Review: Death Trace (Hound of Hades #1)

Published January 22nd 2020, 236 pages

Author: Zoe Cannon

Overview from Goodreads:

Mal Keyne came back from the dead five years ago. Since then, she’s been fixing the god Hades’s problems for him—the kind that are best solved with a bullet. In the secret war between the gods, discretion is the name of the game, and Mal’s got it covered.

But there’s a new player in town, someone with power that doesn’t work the way a god’s power should. They’re strong enough to risk open war with Hades, and reckless enough to disregard the one rule all the gods can agree on: keep the mortals in the dark. And they’re assassinating Hades’s agents all over the city—including one of the two people Mal actually trusted.

With the help of a sheltered priestess, and a magic-wielding mortal who may or may not be on her side, Mal is going to hunt down the people—and gods—responsible. And she’s going to show them why you don’t mess with the god of death.

Personal Review

The Hound of Hades series follows Mallory Keyne (a seemingly “normal” human) with a secret. She died ten years ago and was brought back to life by Hades five years after dying. Her purpose is to serve as his “Marked” and help do his bidding while protecting his territory. Death Trace serves as the introduction novel into the series as it builds the world where the story takes place and introduces us to many of the characters that will be present throughout.

In this story all gods/goddesses are real and all the different ones are brought together in one universe. Norse, Greek, Roman, etc. all co-exist in one central universe. This is where part of the story lost me just because it becomes so chaotic trying to keep everyone straight. It could come in to play more in future novels, but as this one takes place mainly in New York, then it could’ve stuck with Greek Gods just for simplicity’s sake.

Our story begins with Mallory trying to put her life together again by reintroducing her true identity to society (her own social security number, etc.). However, this is hard to prove when you’ve been dead for ten years and getting your family to vouch for you after they mourned for you is difficult.  This opening sequence was a great introduction to the character as it begins to show her snarky yet practical personality. She’s no nonsense, but she’s not annoying about it like I’ve read in other novels with similar characters. I found Mal to be an enticing character and she grew on me as I read each page.

The main big picture story is that the other Marked for Hades are being mysteriously killed off. Mal is now tasked with finding the killer(s) and to protect Hades’ territory. She works together with her allies and one of Hades’ Guardians, Lissa, along with a mortal man, Sebastian Reid. The only issue with Bastian is if he truly can be trusted or not. The novel weaves different twists and turns into the overall plot while Mal tries to find out how to stop these murderers.

As this is a series, you don’t get the full insight into the characters and what makes each of them tick. Instead you get glimpses into their pasts and begin to piece together what makes each of them who they are and what their ultimate goal is. It’s one of the more frustrating parts of reading a series sometimes as you get anxious to learn everything up front, but it wouldn’t make sense to have a well-rounded series. This novel does a great job of introducing just enough details so we start to piece together conclusions about each character and also how this novel series will turn out.

As a word of caution, the ending to this novel sets itself up to continue in the next novel of the series. Although there is some conclusion to some main events that occur in this novel, the actual big picture story is inconclusive so be forewarned that you would need to continue reading the series in order to find out more.  This novel was intriguing enough to continue and I hope that this series gets more and more interesting as I navigate through the novels!

Overall, there is a lot of background that explains the Gods and their wars. There is a lot of background of the worlds and how the Marked fit into it. At times this can drag on, but my hope is that the second novel onwards will then focus on the actual story and move at a more decent pace now that the background portion is over. If not, then this might be one series I won’t finish as I don’t know if I could take so much background information over and over again. We shall see though how it all turns out!

**Thank you to BookSirens and the publisher for my review copy. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are completely my own.**

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