Book Review: Wrong Side of Hell (DeathSpeaker Codex) by Sonya Bateman

Wrong Side of Hell is the first book in the DeathSpeaker Codex by Sonya Bateman. Hauling dead people around Manhattan is all in a day's work for body mover Gideon Black. He lives in his van, talks to corpses, and occasionally helps the police solve murders. His life may not be normal, but it's simple enough. Until the corpses start talking back. When Gideon accidentally rescues a werewolf in Central Park, he's drawn into the secret world of the Others. Fae, were-shifters, dark magic users and more, all playing a deadly cat-and-mouse game with Milus Dei, a massive and powerful cult dedicated to hunting down and eradicating them all. Then a dead man speaks to him, saying that Milus Dei wants him more than any Other. They'll stop at nothing to capture him and control the abilities he never knew he had. He is the DeathSpeaker. He is the key. And he's not as human as he thought. Life was a whole lot easier when the dead stayed dead.


Wrong Side of Hell is a urban fantasy that strays towards the darker side, but still with flashes or humor and fun. Gideon has had a hard life, and when his normal gig of shuttling dead bodies from crime scenes to the morgue gets stranger thanks to a werewolf and dead bodies talking to him his life spirals out of control. He discovers that the things that go bump in the night are real, and he is at least partially one of those things. He is smart, resourceful, and able to make due without much. I really liked his personal ethics and desire to protect those in need, even werewolves.I enjoyed the character development for Gedeon and a couple of the biggest players- and thought the big bad and conflict were extremely well done.


Wrong Side of Hell is a nice introduction to the series, but I felt like there must have been something that came before this book even though it is a series starter. I wanted more background on the fae players- or at least their species, particularly when things got really interesting. I also feel like Gideon's human companions had more to them than we saw here- and I want more background and active participation from them. I am hoping that this book handles the set up for the larger story arch, and that the later volumes include this more detailed information. In fact, I fully expect that it does and plan on testing the theory. I will let you know when I get there. I am interested to see where this goes.
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