2 star rating
By Kaylie Austen
ISBN: 9781939865304
Author’s Website:  http://kaylieausten.blogspot.com/

Brought to you by guest reviewer Marie-Reine

*Beware of possible spoilers* 

hellhound-kaylie-austenSelene is a powerful descendant of the Greek gods. Along with her kind, she lives in a protected and cloaked mansion, watched over and protected by shape-shifting sentinels and a Council of Elders. Due to her illustrious heritage, she is destined to marry another of her rank, Nathaniel. But Selene rebels against the fate that is pushed upon her by her parents and the ruling Council. Instead, she falls in love for a rough and dark tracker, Demetrius, a man below her in rank. But her love turns to hatred when she finds the bloody corpses of her intended, Nathaniel and her father with all the evidence pointing to her dark lover, Demetrius. She is sent forth to destroy the man she loves, the one who taught her everything about tracking criminals. Selene must try to find out the truth despite being surrounded by a scheming Council and the mysteries of her own powers.

Whereas other fantasy authors seem to be focusing on only certain myths and tropes, this author, Kaylie Austen, takes a less frequented mythology and thrusts it in a modern setting. The Mythians, Selene and her kind, come from the Greek gods of Olympus and have clans spread over many different cities. Some descendants have pure bloodlines, like Selene and her family as well as the Council, but others are less pure and are relegated to work to keep the higher classes safe (much like the sentinels and Demetrius). Their powers, however, are not clearly defined which can lead to some confusion. For example, Selene and the other Mythians have fangs which appear when their powers are called forth. And yet, no explanation for this is given. These fangs seem to have no purpose and no real basis in Greek mythology—the Mythians do not feed on blood.

Other inconsistencies pepper this book, weakening the plot and beleaguering the reader. There are frequent grammatical or syntactical errors, presumably missed during the editing process. At times, it also seems that certain plot points are given little attention or even completely skipped over in the narration. This can be confusing since these are important to the main storyline. Austen also switches between a formal tone in her dialogues and in Selene’s narration to more modern speech patterns and colloquialisms. However, this is not done with any consistency or sense of purpose. In the case of Selene, this is especially exasperating since she is the narrator of this story. Rather than making her seem multi-faceted or complex, this flip-flopping leaves her unbalanced and sloppily presented. Furthermore, the overall tone suffers and seems scattered and unfocused.

Though the fantastical universe this book creates is intriguing, it suffers from many technical mistakes and irregularities in the voice of the characters. In turn, this makes it difficult for the reader to be fully invested in the characters or to care about their fate. No sequel has been announced officially, but the ending leaves some things unresolved and hints at a continuing journey for Selene and Demetrius.