Review: Wrong Side of Hell by Sonya Bateman

Posted November 3, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

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Review: Wrong Side of Hell by Sonya Bateman
Wrong Side of Hell
Narrated by Tristan Morris

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Deathspeaker Codex #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Tantor Audio
Released on October 22, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

I was in the mood to start a new to me urban fantasy series when my eye was caught by this one’s series title.  Deathspeaker, eh?  Why not!  And, there are fae and he’s a body transporter in NYC who doesn’t know he’s half-fae or that there is a supernatural world out there.


So, I dove enthusiastically into Gideon’s life that starts out as a day in the life of a body transporter.  Gideon works with a certain old-style, true blue detective with NYPD now and then who trusts in Gideon’s little gift that allows him to get a reading on the corpses to help nudge the investigation.  But, now there are a string of gutted, ravaged bodies in Central Park and everyone thinks there is a wolf loose there.  Gideon and the coroner are struck by the fact that the ‘wolf’ seems to be targeting people with a mysterious tattoo on them labeling members of some weird cult.

Not long after that, Gideon comes eyeball to fangs with his first werewolf and does the unthinkable when he protects the werewolf by getting her away after she guts another tattooed guy who happens to be a member of the police.  Sadie is reluctant, but gives Gideon a glimpse into the supernatural world she inhabits and side eyes him when he declares he’s only human.  But, then corpses start responding to his questions and he’s on the radar of this Milos Dei group who want to wipe out all supernaturals even while capturing some and stealing their power.  And, guess who is at the top of their power stealing shopping list?

The learning curve is huge as Gideon evades the cult and figures out who and what he is while aided by a rag tag team of Sadie and her friends along with Abe his cop friend.

I had a good time with this one.  Gideon and Sadie swap some wry one-liners and it was fun getting introduced to the series world and characters especially Sadie’s fae friend who joins them.  Gideon had an unusual upbringing with a murderous clan of humans who want him dead, but through the tough life he lead before, taught him how to stay on the down lo and survive a ton.  It helps him adjust to the idea there are really things that go bump in the night and they aren’t necessarily the bad guys.  There’s a whiff of romance, but this is urban fantasy so it will probably develop slowly over the course of the series.

I listened to this story and it was my first encounter with Tristan Morris.  I liked how he voiced Gideon and the other characters.  I did have to bump up the speed a tad because I thought the pace was a little slow, but then it was great.  He had a nice wry sense of humor that matched the dialogue and how Gideon and the others approached the situation they were in.  I hope he ends up narrating the rest of the series.

All in all, my first encounter with the DeathSpeaker Codex series was splendid and I look forward to more.  Those who enjoy action-packed urban fantasy with a humorous tone should give this one a go.

My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #147
Audio #84
Fraterfest #2

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anne - Books of My Heart

Robin listened to this one also. UF is my jam. I might have to try it. Wonderful review!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

It’s a fun one. Hope you like it if you get the chance.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

Most of the time I bump up the speed on the narrator, my default is 1.25, but sometimes higher. The narrator’s delivery can make a huge difference with humor written in, just like a good actor. Glad to hear it was a win! 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

I’m the same. I already listen at more than 1.0, but for some, I have to go higher. You’re right about it making a difference especially with humor that is a timing. Yes, it was a fun one. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
1 year ago

This definitely sounds like my kind of book. Thanks for the great review and for putting it on my radar.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

You would have a blast with this one, I think, Mary. 🙂

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

This sounds fun! I have had a few narrators that felt too slow so I had to bump them up but that isn’t really a problem. I will have to keep this one in mind.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

It was a nice discovery. I did enjoy the fun quips and gang of misfits.

Yes, being able to change the speed is great when I prefer a different pace for the narrator. 🙂

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
1 year ago

very cool looking Sophia Rose I’m looking into this one thanks

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

It was a nice find when I was scrolling through. Love that he’s fae and talks to the dead. 🙂

1 year ago

OH, thanks for the review – I hadn’t heard of this series and I like that it’s brand new…. Getting in on the “ground floor.” Sounds interesting and different. I like that.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Jen

Glad I could point you toward one that caught your eye, Jen. Yes, all new on audio even if its been out in print version for a bit.

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

This sounds like a fun and unique series! I like it when the character thinks they’re only human when they are actually a supernatural or part supernatural being. This story sounds intriguing with how Gideon can talk to the dead-end I like the element of mystery as well. Wonderful Review Sophia 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

I think that is fun when they are secretly not human, too. Made it interesting as he tried to figure out what was happening to him especially when the dead started talking to him. LOL
Thanks, Lindy!

Carole Rae
1 year ago

” enjoy action-packed urban fantasy with a humorous tone”
Sounds like the one for me.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Oh yes, that combo gets my attention every time, too. 🙂

1 year ago

I’ll have to see if I can get this one on audio on the site I use. It sounds like a good one and I enjoy a good urban fantasy read. I like what you say about the narrator, sounds like he did a good job with this book. I haven’t sped up any audio books I listened to so far yet.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Lola

Hopefully it is there for you. This one had some fun quirky parts.
I usually listen at about a quarter times faster than the setting, but occasionally I have to bump it up or down depending on the narrator’s pacing. I can only do it with my Audible listens since my others are transferred to my old iPod that doesn’t have a speed setting.