Also by this author: Damned If I Do
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.
Death is But a Dream is like an urban fantasy mystery-thriller with Greek mythology. I received a review copy of this book further back than I care to admit and I feel like a total jerk for only just now reading it. Though it took me a long time to finally read it, I’m very glad I did; I just wish I had done so sooner!
Callie Sanders is a likeable main character, and Plutus seems like a jerk at first, but after you get to know him, you can understand why he is the way he is. He’s the son of Hades and Persephone. He also happens to be the God of Wealth, which on the surface seems like a great job, but the more you learn about it the more it sounds like it sucks.
There are many great elements to this book. I love the way Hayes has incorporated the different deities and potential afterlife destinations. Even if you don’t know much about Greek mythology, it is presented in an easy to understand way that isn’t intimidating. I’ve read some books in the past with mythological elements that made me feel like a dumbass because I couldn’t remember which god did what. That didn’t happen in Death is But a Dream. Easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to fall in love with.
Another thing I enjoyed about this book was that it wasn’t completely predictable. Like many books, there are certain elements that can be expected or things that you really aren’t surprised when they do happen. All too often, the predictability takes away from the story and you know either whom the mysterious villain is or how the book will end halfway through the book. Death is But a Dream surprised me several times, and I completely appreciate that. There was at least one situation where the surprise just about broke my heart, and I still don’t think I’m quite over it.
I really enjoyed the way this story is written, the characters, and the overall feel and tone of this book. It kept me entertained and guessing throughout the entire book and I sincerely hope Erin Hayes decides to write another book that incorporates some of the characters and world she has built in Death is But a Dream.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good thriller/mystery/urban fantasy based in Greek mythology. Hell, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes thrillers and mysteries also. Don’t let the idea of Greek Mythology scare you away from reading this book. You will cheat yourself out of a great read. The author tells you everything you need to know in order to enjoy and understand what is going on.
“Callista…” he said softly. “It means ‘most beautiful’ in Greek, doesn’t it? So are you?”
“Am I what?” I snapped.
I threw my hands up in defeat. “What do you think?” I exasperated. My temper was short at this point.
The corners of his mouth turned up the barest amount. “Well, I would tell you, except for the small fact that I can’t see to tell you.”
“What?” I asked. His words were sinking in a bit slowly after my brain was saturated with everything I had to take in. “What did you say?”
Plutus reached up, took off his sunglasses, and looked at me. I involuntarily gasped. His eyes were golden, a strange, beautiful color that I had never seen in a person before now. The pupils were cloudy, giving his eyes the appearance that he was seeing the world through a milky white coat.
“You’re blind,” I stated. It sounded accusatory. I winced at that tone in my voice.
I wanted something to hold onto. Everything was making sense again. From him not accepting my handshake, to my surprise poke, even to his weird assessment of me, all signs pointed to the fact that I should have been able to pick up on that. I felt my cheeks heat up with embarrassment.
He blinked at me, the wry, sarcastic smile still on his face. “I’ve apparently left you speechless,” he said.
“No it’s…I wasn’t expecting…”
“You weren’t expecting a disabled god?” he asked. “Neither was anyone else. Especially my parents.”
He turned away from me and then I noticed for the first time that he used a cane, and heavily favored his right leg. I gaped, and shut my mouth, which must have made a noise, because he tilted his head in my direction. “Blindness isn’t my only disability,” he bitterly explained.
“How…?” I started, but my voice trailed off. I didn’t want to offend him when he seemed to be in such a pissy mood; it was an anomaly I hadn’t expected. Gods were supposed to be perfect, right? I didn’t want to point that out to him, so I changed tactics. “Your father…he mentioned that an assassin came about six weeks ago…”
Plutus shook his head, a gesture I hadn’t been expecting from a blind man, and paused before speaking. “No, this isn’t from that.” He patted his thigh. “Good old Uncle Zeus saw it fit for me to be blind and lame. Blind so I could dispense wealth without judgment and lame so that it took time for my power to arrive to any of the fortunate.” He grimaced. “So he condemned a baby to be…well…me, all because I was born with the power of wealth.” He laughed mirthlessly.
I didn’t know what to say at that point. I just stood there. “I’m sorry,” I said, although I didn’t know what it could possibly be for. “It seems like such a waste.”
“You’re telling me,” he snorted. He moved deeper into the courtyard away from me, so I could see how severe his limp was. He was fighting the entire time to correct his walk, and it was still very bad.
There was a lump in my throat and I tried to swallow it back down. It felt like my limbs were heavy and I couldn’t think of anything appropriate to say. I felt sick about the whole thing, mainly because I didn’t know what to do from here. What do you say to a god?
I didn’t have to worry too long—he took over the conversation.
“So, tell me. Why are you really here?” he asked over his shoulder.
The question spurred me into motion, and I followed him. “I’m here to figure who’s trying to, ah, kill you. And why.”
“We already know the why,” he grumbled.
“But why now?” I asked, combing a hand through my hair.
He chuckled dryly. “Well, isn’t that what you’re here for? To find out?”