Book Review - PATERNUS: WRATH OF GODS by Dyrk Ashton

(Title: Paternus: Wrath of Gods / Author: Dyrk Ashton / Publisher: Paternus Books Media / Publication Date: July 10, 2018)

For those who aren't aware, Dyrk Ashton has done the impossible with respect to my reading tastes.  He's actually made me a fan of Urban Fantasy.  For years it has been my least-favorite sub-genre of Fantasy and I avoided it like the plague for a long time.  I approached it much like I approached country music, tolerated but never a big part of my listening experience.  

That being said, anyone who read my review of Dyrk's first book in this series Paternus: Rise of Gods knows that I unequivocally loved it almost beyond explanation.  I thought it was a rip-roaring action story with a dash of Celtic Mythology and characters who instantly felt like people you knew and wanted to read as much as you could about.  That's a triple threat that most authors can't pull off, but Rise of Gods was a truly watershed moment for me in that it changed the way that I viewed Urban Fantasy.  I also think the fact that it isn't pure Urban Fantasy but also contains elements of ancient mythology really served to make it more accessible to me. 

I found it equal parts Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising (both favorites of mine).  The awesome part of finishing the book was knowing that the next installment in the series, PATERNUS: WRATH OF GODS was being released a couple of weeks later.  Since I enjoyed the first book so much, Dyrk very graciously reached out to me and asked if I would like to be one of the select few to receive an advanced reader copy of book 2, to which I said "HELL YES I WOULD!".  Unfortunately since I had such a backlog of books at the time, I wasn't able to get to it before the official release date of July 10th. Eight days later isn't too bad I guess and I absolutely flew through this book as quickly as I did book 1 in the series.

PATERNUS: WRATH OF GODS picks up immediately following the events of the first book.  To avoid spoilers I will forgo describing how book 1 ended, suffice it to say there were many battles between gods, monsters, mortals, and all sorts of hideously magnificent creatures of a mythical persuasion.  The main characters Fi and Zeke are left battered and bruised and awaken to find their party separated in different parts of America.  The Deva now find themselves searching for long lost allies wherever they can find them so that they can be at full strength when the eventual war with the evil Asura begins.  But the Asura are not resting on their laurels, for they have dispatched assassins to try and pick off members of the Deva one by one in an effort to decimate their ranks.  

Led by Kleron, they have hatched a plan to hunt down Fi and her friends and eliminate all of the Firstborn before they can pose a threat.  Kleron is ruthless in his pursuit and has recruited some nasty mythical minions to do his dirty work for him.  Fi and Zeke are thrust in the middle of an all out war between the gods of old, when mere months ago they were simple teenagers working at a hospital for the old and infirm.  Now they are key players in defeating the evil of the Asura and their master plan of world domination.  Together they embark on a journey to help Kabir and the rest of the Deva collect allies, who may or may not be still alive, to assist them in the upcoming battles ahead.  The path is fraught with much danger and murderers lurk around every alleyway and dilapidated house in this shattered American landscape.  

Along the way Fi and her allies travel to many different locales, both in the real and parallel world where monsters hold sway. They also encounter and fight legends out of a storybook that are suddenly very real.  I find myself needing to be less than specific because to reveal too much would be to give away a hell of a fun and engaging adventure story.  The ultimate question before the final pages of this book are: who will survive among the Deva to make it to the next book, what other seemingly normal characters will be revealed to be anything but normal, and will Kleron succeed in rallying the evil forces of the past to severely damage or eradicate the Deva once and for all?  The journey to finding out these questions is a long and interesting one indeed.  Do you have the fortitude to find out?  If so, you need to read PATERNUS: WRATH OF GODS and find out for yourself.  I will make one guarantee though, you won't be bored and it will be a thrilling ride that you won't soon forget.

Okay, so damn you Dyrk Ashton for writing another brilliant book for which I now have to wait at least 8 months to a year to find out what happens next.  PATERNUS: WRATH OF GODS has managed to exceed the brilliance of its predecessor and that is a really difficult thing to do.  One way to measure the greatness of a book is by how pissed off you are when it's over because you didn't want it to end.  And I was pretty pissed off when I turned the final page of this book, I have to tell you.  I can't gush enough about how much I love this entire story arc that Dyrk Ashton has penned.  

The characters have grown immensely and in unexpected ways, the mythology continues to both educate and excite, the world-building is among the best of any book or series I have ever read.  There seems to be universal praise for Dyrk Ashton lately and I have to say that it is more than deserved.  Dyrk has created a story that perfectly blends the real world and the world of legend.  And he also manages to seamlessly make them both equally compelling and relatable to each other.  If you aren't reading this series, you should drop whatever you are reading right now and get on the bandwagon.  You will not find a more breakneck, action-packed, mysterious, thrilling, and historically fulfilling Fantasy book anywhere.  These characters constantly make you question their motives and their allegiances.  

That's where I found the true brilliance to be honestly.  Betrayals are aplenty and there is zero predictability in both the characters and the plot.  I thoroughly dislike books where I can pretty much tell how the story is going to go and how the characters will act.  The characters in PATERNUS: WRATH OF GODS are by no means that way at all and often they shock the hell out of you.  In conclusion, I will again reiterate that these books need to be savored and experienced for the wonderful tales that they are.  Those looking for Urban Fantasy with loads of action and creatures of myth, look no further than the Paternus series.  You will be in for a wild ride that will restore your faith in what incredible writing can achieve when executed by a true master.  

(My Rating: 9.5/10)