Zero Sum – Alexi Sokolsky: Hound of Eden, Book 3
Themes & Genres: LGBT, Action, Supernatural, mafia, magic
WARNING: Mature Content
Hitmage Alexi Sokolsky used to sling spells for the Russian Mafia. That was before the man he loved was murdered, before his boss tried to turn him into his vampire slave, and before he learned about the Organizatsiya’s dirty trade in supernatural children.
He’s still a hitman – but now he hunts monsters.
An FBI agent has been raped and murdered in her home, seemingly by the same cult Alexi and his new friends have been fighting for months. The Government wants him to hunt down the cult’s assassin before he kills again… and they’re not taking no for an answer.
Drawn into a grand conspiracy with world-shattering implications, Alexi finally has the chance to answer the questions that have haunted him ever since the Fruit of Eden first appeared in New York City – assuming he can survive long enough to discover the truth.
What I think of the book:
Zero Sum is one of those books that you’ll understand only if you’ve read the books that precede it (with the exception of the prequel novella; you can stick only to the novels).
It takes place in a world that is similar to what our own would’ve been like a couple of decades ago, if magic not only existed, but it was possible to be used by humans. With each new book, we learn more about this intriguing and complicated world and I have to say that while I still believe that there’s nothing truly, absolutely 100% original anymore, the world that James Osiris Baldwin has created is high on the originality scale.
And, of course, it is populated by some interesting characters.
Let’s take the main one – Alexi, for example.
The novels only cover a few months of his life, but he’s changed so much and continues to change – we are probably not even halfway through his journey – and it all makes sense thanks to everything that is happening to and around him. He develops from a mafia drone to someone more independent, he becomes less prejudiced, his magic evolves and he somehow finds time for sexual discovery while you know… Trying to save the world.
The supporting cast are a band of colorful characters with a variety of backgrounds, personalities and motivations.
My only problem with this book, which is in all other books too (save for the prequel novella – Burn Artist), is that the story can get really complicated.
With Book 1 – Blood Hound, I had a problem mainly with the very complex magic system that in my opinion could’ve used more explanation; while the spells are presented better here, it’s the many fractions and characters within these fractions that can get confusing due to the sheer number of them, but also because of the many double/triple/I-was-with-you-but-I’ve-changed-my-mind-so-I’m-with-them-now agents.
Who would I recommend this book to? I’d recommend Zero Sum to people who enjoy complicated Fantasy and/or Paranormal Action books with really high stakes. Again, our heroes are trying to save the world. I should also warn you that I’ve put a mature content warning not because of sex (there’s barely any in the book), but due to violence that some might consider extreme.
My rating: (4.5 out of 5 Binah (Alexi’s cat) silhouettes)
Would I re-read this book? Yes.
Am I interested in other books by this author? I want the rest of the series.
Where can you buy the book?
- amazon.com (link takes you straight to the book)
Add Zero Sum to your Goodreads shelf (link takes you straight to the book)
Other books by this author that I’ve already reviewed:
- Burn Artist (prequel novella of Alexi Sokolsky: Hound of Eden) and Blood Hound (Book 1 of Alexi Sokolsky: Hound of Eden)
- Stained Glass (Alexi Sokolsky: Hound of Eden, Book 2)
Note: My review of the second book in the series – Stained Glass, is coming up next month.
Want to know a little bit about James? Watch the video interview he gave me!
Have you read any of the Hound of Eden books?
What did you think of them?
Share in the comments!