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Paternus: Wrath of Gods by Dyrk Ashton

Paternus: Wrath of Gods by Dyrk Ashton
4.75
Book Name: Paternus: Wrath of Gods
Author: Dyrk Ashton
Publisher(s): Self-Published
Formatt: Paperback / Audiobook / Ebook
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy / Mythology
Release Date: June 19, 2018

Stephen Hawking meets the Dalai Lama.
(And they agree on everything about the universe.)

In my review of Paternus: Rise of Gods, I mentioned my first impression was it felt like an urban fantasy; though neither it nor Paternus: Wrath of Gods belong to that genre. In the end, I compared Rise of Gods to American Gods meeting Clash of the Titans. I’m going to compare Wrath of Gods now to one of my favorites: J. C. Nelson’s Free Agent. Free Agent takes well-known fairy tales and turns them on their head with new interpretations, Paternus does the same to mythological figures.

Wrath of Gods picks up very soon after Rise of Gods left off. Peter, the primordial Father of all life on Earth, has summoned all of the Deva (the gods of Good) to meet in the realm of Freya, so that they might rise up against the threat of the Asura (the gods of Evil). However, they have to get there first.

The first half of the book reminds me of the old adage about travel broadening the mind, with the caveat of having to survive. The main characters split off on their own adventures, where they develop their powers and discover their heritage. Bitten by the spider, Max, Fi learns what it means to be Firstborn—the ability to understand all languages, endurance, strength, etc. She has to unlearn everything she thinks she knows about herself, with the guidance of Peter and her Firstborn siblings.

Zeke continues to be an enigma, with an underlying intrigue—not being Firstborn, there are so many things he should not be able to do, such as slip; and more impressively, pick up a weapon that even Firstborn cannot. He is like an onion, where one layer is peeled away to reveal another; and given that he doesn’t bathe much, he probably smells, as well. With the guidance of Peter, he (and we) learn the mechanics of slipping, which also takes him to parallel worlds.

To me, this was the brilliance of Wrath of Gods. It is clear the author is well-read in theoretical physics as he incorporates Stephen Hawking’s Grand Unification Theory, quantum mechanics, and ideas of the multiverse. In this, the story goes beyond just a work of fiction, and becomes a plausible possibility. As an intersection of faith and science, it could explain mythology more convincingly than the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens.

It raises a larger question: while to humans, the Firstborn could be considered gods, there is room left for capital-G God. Older Firstborn relate to visiting Christ during his lifetime (and indeed, they fit into the biblical Three Wise Men story), and Fi’s uncle, Galahad, clearly believes in God, despite knowing of Peter.

The plot moves along at a good pace along three main story lines, as we are introduced to more Deva and Asura. Like in Empire Strikes Back, where we learn there is a bigger, badder evil than Darth Vader, we find out that the behind book one puppet master Claron is someone even worse. Not only that, but it appears that Earth might have an expiration date.

My main complaint of book one was the head-hopping feel of the present tense omniscient viewpoint. This was not a problem in book two. Perhaps I grew accustomed to it in book one, but I do feel Ashton smoothed out the transitions between character thoughts, making it easier to follow. Even more masterful was his transitions between scenes. I no longer felt trapped in a Michael Bay movie, but rather enjoying a J. J. Abrams movie with an occasional lens flare.

With the improvement over book one in pacing, plotline, and point of view, along with the intelligent worldbuilding, I rate Paternus: Wrath of Gods a 9.5.

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