ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Paternus: Wrath of Gods is a brilliant concoction of mythologies, cultures, and fantasy that fans of urban fantasy definitely must read.
First of all, how awesome is that cover? In my opinion, it’s one of the best indie cover art I’ve ever seen. Then let me proceed by expressing my gratitude to the author for including a RECAP of the story and a list of characters from the first book at the beginning of this sequel. If it weren’t for this, I doubt my experience of reading this book without rereading the first one would be as good. Seriously, I still don’t get why traditionally published authors—except Mark Lawrence and Michael J. Sullivan—don’t do this more often; it is only a few pages long, and is so useful in enabling readers to acclimatize themselves to the world and characters again. So yes, even if it’s been a while since you’ve read the first book, you don’t have to worry about feeling lost.
The story picked up immediately after the end of Paternus : Rise of Gods, and it revolved around Fi and Zeke aiding Peter in gathering all the Firstborn from around the globe, in preparation for the final battle that will decide the ultimate fate of the world. I must say that I enjoyed this more than the previous installment; beginning with fast-paced action sequences, Ashton’s pacing in the book has improved tremendously. While I disliked the opening half of the first book, it wasn’t the case here. Without spoiling anything, the story was filled with unexpected revelations and fantastic subversion of mythologies.
I can’t emphasize highly enough how well-researched this book was. Ashton’s inclusion of mythologies from all over the world was given just and equal treatment. Seriously, just think of the author as a freaking Libra Zodiac sign because he’s that fair. From Arthurian (Merlin, Lady in the Lake, Galahad, Lancelot), to Norse (Odin), and the Chinese (Ruyi Jingu Bang and Sun Wukong!), and a myriad more which I just don’t have the space to mention; the book almost overflows with them. If you love the exposition of the mythologies in the first book but found it too info-dumpy, Ashton did a better job here in ensuring that the pacing of the story does not suffer from the same. My favorite newest inclusion in this regard was the importance of Hinduism for the plotline. Whether it’s the cosmic calendar, Ganesha, or Nagalok, the integration of the myths into the narrative never ceased to intrigue me. One of the reasons behind this is probably because I am Buddhist. For those of you who didn’t know, the teachings of both Hinduism and Buddhism bear some resemblance to one another.
“There is much in a name. A single word that stands for your very being and marks your time in this life.”
In the first book, although Zeke and Fi were the main characters, their presence was overwhelmed by Peter; I loved how this book changed that perception. We finally get more revelations around Zeke and Fi and the immense significance of their roles. Plus, their personalities were so much more fleshed out. The entire part two of the novel, or what I would say are the chapters which divulged Zeke’s background, for instance, was easily my favorite section. It was wholly engaging, a non-stop page turner, and unpredictable. Part three slowed down in pace as the narrative prepares for the big conclusion in the coming finale.
Don’t give up too quickly easily on this series if you find yourself struggling through the first one-third of the first book — I disliked that part too. Dyrk has grown a lot as an author, professionally and writing-wise, since then. I do, however, have to admit that the book took some time for me to get used to despite the great pacing and compelling story. This is because of my personal issue with the narrative style that occasionally utilizes paragraphs to shift character perspectives, instead of chapters. For example, in one paragraph we have Fi’s thoughts and in the next, the perspective seems to have changed to Zeke’s point-of-view; I disliked this storytelling method the majority of the time. However, even though it is not a style that sits well with me, I must also admit that this approach works well for this series given the multitude of mythological figures to explore.
I honestly believe that any reader who loves urban fantasy that’s imbued with mythologies from all over the globe will enjoy this series. By now, I think it’s safe to say that Dyrk Ashton is one of the most consistently great authors for me. I’ve read all his work – short stories included – and I have so far rated all of them four-stars. This time, however, a higher rating is warranted because Paternus: Wrath of Gods, in my opinion, is his best work so far.
I won’t lie, I have dropped a lot of other indie fantasy series from my reading list. Paternus is one of the very few indie series that I’m willing to follow until the end. I truly can’t wait for the last book—Paternus: War of Gods—to come out next year. Even though I mentioned my general dislike for urban fantasy in my review of Paternus: Rise of Gods, I’m starting to think that it’s time for me to retract that statement. Since then I’ve read great urban fantasy series like Robert Jackson Bennett’s Divine Cities (if that counts), Rachel Aaron’s Heartstrikers, and now, Paternus; it makes me believe that I simply haven’t looked in the right places. This is large-scale mythological urban fantasy at its best, and if you’re a fan of the genre, you won’t regret treating yourself to this series.
The quote in this review were taken from an ARC and is subject to change upon publication.
Official release date: July 10th, 2018