Paternus: Wrath of Gods by Dyrk Ashton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Paternus Trilogy (Book #2 of 3)
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mythology
Published: July 2018 by Paternus Books Media (Indie)
If I’m limited to just two words to describe The Paternus Trilogy so far, I would say that it’s fun-tastically spectacular.
I’ve not had so much fun reading for a while, for although I’ve discovered quite a few new favourites this year, some of those reads could not exactly be termed as ‘fun’. The story in Wrath of Gods took off almost immediately after the events in the previous book (of which a summary has been provided in the front matter). The scope of the narrative just kept getting more epic and exciting, as more legendary and mythical characters were introduced. More notably, legendary names from Egyptian and Norse myths were pretty much only mentioned in the previous book, and we finally got to meet these characters in this sequel. Cue: much squealing. And I remain in awe of the sheer amount of research and cleverness that have gone into pulling this off.
I’ve postulated that Fi and Zeke’s character arcs would really start to take off in this book, and – oh my goodness – not only was I right, it turned out to be remarkably rewarding. The ‘problem’ that I had with the beginning of Rise of Gods was so far behind now as to be like a dream. Fi and Zeke then were pretty much the shocked bystanders to the insanity that unravelled around them back in the first book as the story focussed on introducing Peter and the Firstborns. With all that has transpired in the course of that one crazy day, the enormity of the world’s true reality and what it all portend have begun to settle in for our two young MCs. The obvious question one would ask was why these two were important to the story, and the obvious answer to this would be that there’s something special about Fi and Zeke. Such characterisation could easily backfire if they were given the tropish treatment of special snowflakes ala Mary Sue or Gary Stu. Fortunately, Ashton did a marvellous job in fleshing out their unique abilities while keeping them grounded and relatable.
One thing I have not mentioned in my earlier review was how humourous these books were, and it totally worked in the context of the narrative. These Firstborns collectively form the most enormous, most unusual and dysfunctional family that I’ve ever encountered. However, the tone was predominantly light-hearted and fun, as opposed to dark and broody. It was also beautifully rounded out with some moving and poignant moments which resulted in some shed tears and heartache. Of course, what is urban fantasy without lots of action. In this case, the action was larger than life when you’re involving mythical gods and creatures of legends. It could also be quite ridiculous – I dare you to hold an image of a human-sized chicken fighting a donkey in Muhammad Ali style and not laugh. As I’ve said above, so fun and spectacular!
All in all, Wrath of Gods reads like a sequel that is done right. It builds upon and elevates the story told so far, develops the characters wonderfully, and then sets the stage for even bigger and more epic things to come in the grand finale. As of the time of this review, I’m already more than halfway into the third and concluding book, and I’m sure this will end up on my list of all-time favourite trilogies. Believe me when I say that all fans of urban fantasy and especially of mythology must not miss reading these books.