Book Review and Author Interview: Paternus: Wrath of Gods (Paternus Trilogy #2) by Dyrk Ashton
The author Dyrk Ashton kindly agreed to answer some of my questions! So, below is my review and following is the interview.
I listened to the audiobook of the first book in the trilogy, Paternus: Rise of Gods, and absolutely loved it (read my review here), so I was super excited for book two. I read this one as an ebook and absolutely loved it too. Hurrah!
The action picks up immediately after the close of book one and we are reintroduced to the teenagers Fi and Zeke, and their companions. These companions happen to be gods. Basically, think of all the legends, myths and figures of ancient lore and fairy tales from across the world and spanning every age, religion and culture. Well, in Paternus, those guys are real.
They are known as the Firstborn and have incredible powers, all fathered by one rather promiscuous guy who has been at it for millennia. Since the beginning of time his offspring have included Asterion the bull from Greek mythology, Merlin from Arthurian legend and Mokosh, a Slavic goddess. Plus PLENTY more, including Lucifer. There are also second and thirdborn and so on.
Anyho, the firstborn are divided. There are the good guys, the Deva, and the bad guys, the Asura. And there’s been some pretty horrific battles over the ages. At the close of book one, we learn that the next battle is looming and in book two, Peter (the daddy) needs to gather together his Deva firstborn, who are scattered across the world, to fight.
However, that’s not as easy as it sounds, as they are not only scattered across our world. Oh no, for there are alternate worlds where some of these guys live, and there’s also the matter of the Asura enemy who is making things difficult. Plus there’s something pretty nasty coming on Fi’s eighteenth birthday that they also have to contend with.
I really enjoyed all the characters in this novel. There are loads, but they all have a distinctive personality that makes them stand out vividly against one another and feel very real. There’s humour, action and blossoming romance. There’s also a snarky teenager, Fi, who is discovering some pretty major stuff about herself, as well as quiet, sweet Zeke who isn’t quite all he seems either. There’s also friendship, forgiveness and, devastatingly, death. (That ending, though. Sob.)
The pace is fast and relentless with a few quieter moments. The writing propels you along swiftly, and suddenly it’s the end of the book. It is written in third-person present tense and within one chapter you switch regularly between different characters’ points of views. At no point did I feel lost or confused though, so it was done with some skill.
I’d recommend Paternus: Wrath of Gods for those who love mythology and for those who love a great action story, one which is building up to have a spectacularly EPIC finale. Can’t wait for book three.
My rating: 5/5
Goodreads | Author website
* I received a free review copy from the author
Hi Rosalyn, thank you for having me for an interview! I’ve done a few of these now, so I’m going to try to answer a little differently, and hopefully add some things I haven’t said before.
Q. Please tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in rural NW Ohio, played a lot of “army” and soccer, climbed a lot of trees, and read a whole lot of books. Eventually I got two degrees in film production and moved to Los Angeles where I lived for about 6 years.
I wrote a bunch of screenplays, none of which sold, though some came close. I even pitched an idea for a TV series called Death Drives a Cadillac, about a group of teens who inadvertently get caught up in the breaking of the seven seals, which is of course going to bring on the apocalypse. They become involved with an agent of Death, who of course drives a Cadillac, and go on various adventures with him. It mostly took place in very rural areas, which we don’t see all that much.
It did get championed by American Zoetrope TV, but was ultimately turned down by the finance company. (Fun fact: I once pitched it using Camper Van Beethoven’s covers of “Matchstick Man” and “O’ Death.”)
I now have a PhD in film studies and teach all online, undergrad and graduate courses of various kinds, including screenwriting.
Q. What is your favourite book and why?
After all this time and so many books, it’s still The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The depth and epic nature of it still astound me, particularly considering when it was written.
One of the main reasons I still love it is that, in spite of it being considered kind of an archetype (or the archetype) in fantasy fiction, it’s actually a very strange story in many ways. One of the most profound is that Frodo really doesn’t become the ultimate hero and destroy the ring – it’s Smeagol/Gollum.
Frodo is also forever “broken” to a certain extent, and even has to leave his home to sail off with Gandalf and the elves. Very risky in many ways, narrative-wise, I think, and the books are full of this sort of thing.
Q. What got you into writing?
Reading and a runaway, uncontrollable imagination. After awhile I just thought, ‘maybe I could write this kind of stuff,’ and gave it a shot. Paternus is my first full-length novel, but I’d been building up to it for a long time.
Q. Paternus: Wrath of Gods is the second book in the Paternus Trilogy. The first being Paternus: Rise of Gods. Where did the idea for the trilogy come from?
A zillion crazy ideas I’ve had for decades, really. And I’ve always been fascinated with mythology, comic books, big action super-hero films, and all kinds of fantasy and fiction writing.
It’s not that I set out to do anything in particular, it was more an outgrowth of who I am and what I like. That might not be entirely true, though, since I’ve always wanted to try my hand at creating a fictional universal field theory for all the world’s mythologies, and that’s really the basis of the entire Paternus story.
Q. What did you most enjoy about writing Paternus: Wrath of Gods?
Building the progression of Fi and Zeke, mostly, and introducing some new fun characters. Some of my favorite things to write are not the big things, though, but the smaller instances of character interaction.
Q. How long did it take you to research and write both Paternus books? Any substantial changes whilst writing?
It took three and a half years to write book one, but a lot of that was research and putting ideas together. I’m a research freak and really have to rein myself in. I have hundreds of pages of notes, and elaborate backstories, the vast majority of which will never actually appear in the trilogy (though I would like to do a Paternus Companion of sorts and put a lot of that stuff in there).
I’m also a rewriter more than a writer, so that takes time. It was two years and a couple of months after the release of book one that book two came out, but most of that was getting my mind wrapped around marketing and sales, going to a lot of cons, and writing three short stories in the Paternus world. The actual writing of it took about eight months.
Q. Who is your favourite character in Paternus: Wrath of Gods and why?
I really don’t have one, but if I had to pick some, I’ve loved writing Edgar and Pratha, though Freyja is now right up there. I really don’t have a reason, I guess I just like them a lot and they intrigue me.
Q. Can you tell us more about the third book in the Paternus Trilogy?
Fi and Zeke have some seriously difficult times ahead as they grow further, as adults and as warriors, but there will be some good times as well. The dangers they face will become more terrible, physically and emotionally, and the battles will get more epic to the conclusion. Fi and Zeke will also get some training along the way, Fi to be a Valkyrie, and Zeke to control his burgeoning powers (which will be explained and are pretty crazy).
We’ll also find out what Pratha, and all of the daughters, can really do when faced with what appear to be insurmountable odds...
Q. What writing projects are you currently working on / excited about?
I’m writing book three at the moment, and will be for awhile, though it will be released next year (2019) come hell or high water - no more two year gaps.
I’ve got a few ideas for projects after that, but I’m terrible at multi-tasking, especially when it comes to writing. My little pea-brain can only handle one project at a time.
Q. Where can readers find out more about you?
Paternus: Rise of Gods http://myBook.to/Paternus
Paternus: Wrath of Gods http://myBook.to/PaternusWoG
Thanks again, Rosalyn, this has been an honor - and a lot of fun.
Thank you, Dyrk! The honour has been all mine :)
>>My debut novel, a grimdark epic fantasy called MELOKAI, is out now! Available from Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play Books, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Read more about my books here.<<
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