Paternus: Rise of Gods by Dyrk Ashton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Paternus Trilogy (Book #1 of 3)
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mythology
Published: July 2017 by Paternus Books Media (Indie)
An excellent new take on urban fantasy, Paternus: Rise of Gods was fascinating, fun and simply fantastic.
Calling all fans of mythology, lore, legends, folk tales and all that jazz. You need to read Paternus because somehow the brilliant Dyrk Ashton managed to take almost every myth and legend that we know and didn’t know of into a cohesive fantasy narrative that was incredibly fun to read. From Greek to Norse, Celtic, Sumerian, South American, Russian, Chinese and Japanese myths, as well as legends of yore, all could be found in this singular UF creation which made me geek-squeal in delight many times during the course of reading this book. What truly amazed me was how well such an amalgamation of different lores worked in the story. I think this was achieved mainly through the notion of how myths were created, propagated, adopted and adapted through the ages by different cultures and peoples. The level of research that Ashton has poured into pulling this off must have been enormous.
Rise of Gods was overall an utterly entertaining read, but I would like to highlight something which had been raised by some other reviewers as well. The first quarter of the book has some issues which would have put me off without knowing how much better the rest of it would be. Two of the main characters, Fiona (aka Fi) and Zeke, appeared in the second chapter and it immediately read like a cliched young adult urban fantasy with romance thrown into the mix. It also didn’t help much that the first several chapters constantly changed POVs and locations pretty quickly. I’m usually fine with head-jumping POVs in a single chapter because I grew up on fantasy in the 80s, but with so many new characters doing that at the beginning of a book it could get pretty jarring. One could put that down as the author trying to set the scene and also establish his voice in this ambitious debut. However, it didn’t take long before the story took flight and it became immensely hard to put the darn book down. In fact, it’s been awhile since I’ve been so compelled to finish reading a book of this size in two days flat. And I’m also sorely tempted to binge-read the entire trilogy at this point.
Fi and Zeke became less cliched YA characters and more interesting as the story progressed, but I would say that I’m still not fully invested in them yet. Strangely, I was more concerned for some of the supporting characters, especially for a particularly devoted uncle and a canine companion. But, I sensed that Fi and Zeke’s character arcs are poised to really take off in the sequel. Everything is pointing to the next two books ramping up on character and plot development to a spectacular finale. From what I read so far (and even without my co-blogger’s insistent rave about it), I’ve a feeling that I’m going to be treated to a mythically epic adventure that pushes the boundaries of what modern urban fantasy has to offer.