Death is but a Dream by Erin Hayes
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
Source: Review Copy for Tour
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Caught between life and death, all Callie wants is to live again.
Homicide detective Callie Saunders knows that death isn’t all pearly gates and angels. After being hit by a bus, she finds that it's the ancient gods and goddesses of Greek mythology who are in charge of everything.
So when Hades offers her a deal, she accepts. If she wants to be brought back to life, she’ll have to figure out who is trying to kill his son. But if she fails, both her soul and the world will be destroyed.
With the odds mounting against her, it’ll take everything she has within her to wake up from death. But the rules are constantly changing. And someone wants her to stay dead.
I absolutely love a good mythological fiction. The characters and stories involved in the original mythology offer an incredible playground for authors to adapt and make their own with an already epic jump-off point. Death is but a Dream was definitely one such tale. Set primarily in the underworld with appearances by a number of mythological favorites, we follow Callie Saunders, who is tasked with protecting Hades and Persephone's son Plutus from an unknown enemy in order to earn her life back.
The investigation leads Callie on a wild ride through the hierarchy of the underworld and will leave you guessing. I only wished more of the story would have been set there, because the mortal world is just so boring in comparison.
As far as the players in the story, I especially loved the concept of Plutus' character. Although his parentage differed from classical mythology, he was still made lame and blind by Zeus in order to keep the distribution of wealth fair and those qualities in this story gave us a wounded, gorgeous man/god you can't help but love. His relationship with Callie was rife with tension and overcoming self-loathing and -deprecation. And because I'm a sap, I ate it up like nothin' else. I'm not above admitting he was my favorite part of the story.
The one struggle I had throughout this book was there were a lot of scenes where the editing felt rough. I tend to be a perfectionist and a stickler, so this can really be a deal breaker for me. Examples ranged from scenes where phrases would be repeated verbatim to dropped words and misused tenses. If you're like me and this gets on your nerves, be forewarned. With that said, I was wrapped up in the story enough that, even though my inner-editor cringed and twitched to whip out the purple pen, I kept reading till the end. The intricacies of the plot and characters were enjoyable enough for me that I could pass over the tough bits, but without them I probably would've tacked on at least an extra half star.
Death is but a Dream was an enjoyable, quick read with just the right blend of mystery, romance, and mythology to keep you interested. If any of those subjects interest you, check it out!
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Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books, like the fantasy mystery Death is but a Dream and the sci-fi middle grade book Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.