On the run from an ancient evil and his army of terrors straight out of myths from around the world, Fi and Zeke aid Peter in his globe-trotting quest to seek out the remaining Firstborn, uncover the enemy’s plans, and gather the Warriors of Old for what may become the final battle in the world’s oldest war. Along the way, Fi and Zeke discover that they, too, have strengths of their own—though they come at a cost neither may wish to bear.
We received ARCs from the author in exchange for honest reviews. Paternus: Wrath of Gods will be released on July 10th.
When I read Paternus: Rise of Gods last year, I found it to be an enjoyable urban fantasy story with a really interesting premise. Bringing every mythological figure to life, combining similar legends from different regions and religions, and wrapping this all up in some awesome original lore… The first Paternus book was pretty damn cool.
But the sequel is just so much better.
One of the most rewarding things about following an author from their debut novel is that you get to see them grow as they write more books. Rise of Gods was already good, but Wrath of Gods just feels so much more polished. If the first was a little nervous in places, the sequel exudes confidence. It takes everything that was already there, and dials it up to eleven.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Paternus, it’s what I’d describe as an Epic Urban Fantasy series. It runs with the concept that every god, myth, and legend is real, and that they belong to an immortal species known as the Firstborn. In the first book (slight spoiler alert), Fi and her maybe-boyfriend Zeke get pulled from their mundane, everyday lives, and into this crazy world of gods and devils and world-ending calamities. They meet a whole bunch of mythological big-hitters, and not all of them are on their side. The Firstborn are about to go to war.
These books are so well-researched. I loved being able to make use of the dictionary and Wikipedia functions on my Kindle to check out the accolades and credentials of each new legendary character, and those are not in short supply. We have gods and legends from North America, India, Scotland & Ireland, England, Korea, China, Egypt… the list goes on. But despite the sheer volume and variety of these legends, Dyrk Ashton manages to weave them into his narrative in a way that feels organic, interesting, and engaging.
There’s such an impressive cast of characters, but I have to give a shout-out to my man Baphomet. Calm, collected, and conniving—he really captured my attention. Even when he’s not in control, he’s always looking for a way to manipulate people and situations to his liking. And just as a little tease: I’ve never wanted a person to be re-united with a musical instrument so much in my life.
While most books start off slow and then pick up the pace as they go, Wrath of Gods does the opposite. It picks up where Rise of Gods left off, and the pacing is a hundred-miles-an-hour from the start: with plenty of action, fight-scenes, and mythological goodness. Despite the initial focus on the action, the book actually slows down quite considerably towards the end, giving plenty of room to explore the motivations, fears, and personalities of our characters. There isn’t any deep Hobb-style introspection, but there was more than enough there to satisfy me. These characters certainly captured my imagination, and there were a few scenes that packed an emotional punch.
Wrath of Gods is different, it’s unique, and it’s just so damned readable. I was so engrossed in this story that I completely lost track of some very important things happening in the real world.
Mrs. Cabbage: Hey, you want something to eat?
Hiu: There’s a GIANT SNAKE WITH ARMS!
Mrs. Cabbage: We have ice-cream, if you want some?
Hiu: IT HAS SWORDS!!!
Mrs. Cabbage: It’s chocolate-chip.
Above everything else, what makes Paternus: Wrath of Gods great is that it’s fun. Just pure, unabashed, fun. I love stories that are just unapologetically themselves, and this book fits that bill to a tee.
It’s some of the most fun I’ve had from reading this year, and I really hope that you’ll check it out. Maybe you’ll love it as much as I did.
Paternus: Wrath of Gods was amazing. I read Paternus: Rise of Gods exactly six months ago and really enjoyed it, but Wrath of Gods was a step up from there. There is no trace of a book two slump which is normally expected in trilogies.
One of the things I really like about the Paternus books is how unique and interesting everything is. The concept itself is something I really like. All folklore and mythology is based on real situations and people. These mythological figures travel a bit, as happens when you’re immortal and become known by different names in different cultures. Oh, and they like to go to war with each other every now and then.
Paternus is obviously very well researched. Ashton pulls on bits and pieces of mythology from all over the world and melds them together to create his own history, conflicts, and characters. And some of them are pretty cool characters. As a quick cast overview:
- Flying Irish dude who was once an Egyptian God
- Merlin – yes, the wand waving Arthurian wizard one
- BIG FUCK OFF DANGER NOODLE WITH ARMS AND MASSIVE SWORDS
- Flying rooster cock dude
- Scary Cerberus dude
- Badass mute ninja lady
- Kali – scary Indian goddess of death lady
- Creepy scheming goat dude
- Cute and very smart god doggo
- Galahad – you know, badass knight of the round table
As I was saying, the cast of Paternus is quite extensive and very unique. Ashton also does a good job of dropping in a few different cultural easter eggs for people to pick up on.
Plot-wise, there is never a dull moment in this book. Things are always happening and it’s very fast-paced. I read the whole book over two sittings, only breaking them up because it was very early Sunday morning (something like 2am) and sleep was something I needed. I just didn’t want to stop reading for a moment.
Ashton’s writing is quite different from most fantasy novels I’ve read. Using third person omniscient allows him to change point of view between characters quite easily and shows insight into their different thoughts and motivations. As such, Ashton is able to create a wide cast while still developing the main characters and making them much more interesting.
I really enjoyed the fast-paced and very deep world that Dyrk has constructed thus far in his Paternus series, and will have to pick up the last part of the trilogy as soon as I can get my hands on it. If you want to know more about this series, you can check out my review of Paternus: Rise of Gods too.
I’d recommend Paternus to people who like:
- Primary world
- Omniscient POV
- Present tense
- Lots of characters
- Multiple plot threads
- Contemporary settings
- Urban Fantasy