Book Review: Death is but a Dream by Erin Hayes

Death is but a dream - 2 copySynopsis:

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.

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About the Author: 


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 and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.




My Review:

I’ve always been fascinated with ancient mythology, and for writers, it instantly gifts us with an almost pre-built world and character list. I’ve read the Goddess Test series by Aimee Carter which deals with Greek mythology and loved it, and its why I wanted to review Death is But a Dream, as this also includes aspects of Greek mythology cleverly weaved into an urban fantasy style story line.

I must admit that I found the start a little dry, but it does soon open out into an intriguing story that keeps you reading. It had more bite than the Goddess Test books, perhaps because this falls more into NA/ adult than YA. So, I found myself understanding the protagonist more – there were less hissy fits and more action with a stronger female lead.

From a writer’s perspective, this book posed the age old problem of the first line hook. I myself have fallen foul of it in the past, and I think that it really proves a point of how important it truly is. The very first line is: “I was walking down Market Street, when I saw a small family taking a stroll, a young couple pushing a stroller with small toddler in it.” Not very hookish, and (to make it punchy) should have really been two sentences rather than one. It doesn’t represent the rest of the book very well, which is full of intrigue and action. Perhaps starting it off as she literally saves the child and feels herself die, rather than scene setting?

The front cover is lovely, although doesn’t give the feel of Greek mythology, which is one of its strongest selling points.

Overall, I’d give Death is but a Dream 4 out of 5 stars –  a really well thought out supernatural book with a twist of Greek myth.