RetroReview: Paternus by Dyrk Ashton

It’s so pretty :O

Oh, Paternus. Never stop being a big mythological smoothie of awesome. I read Paternus in December. Then I listened to the audiobook in… also December. This is unusual because I very rarely reread books, never mind within 2 weeks of each other. This means that Paternus is extra-special.

The gods and monsters of myth have returned. In a breathtaking story that takes place in a single day, two ordinary humans are caught up in the final battle of a war that’s been waged since the dawn of time.

Gods, monsters, angels, devils. Call them what you like. They exist. The epic battles between titans, giants, and gods, heaven and hell, the forces of light and darkness. They happened. And the war isn’t over.

17 year old Fi Patterson lives with her stuffy English uncle and has an internship at a local hospital for the aged. She doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, misses her dead mother, wonders about the father she never knew. One bright spot is caring for Peter, a dementia-ridden old man whose faraway smile can make her whole day. And there’s her conflicted attraction to Zeke — awkward, brilliant, talented — who plays guitar for the old folks.

Then a group of very strange and frightening men show up for a “visit”…

Fi and Zeke’s worlds are shattered as their typical everyday concerns are suddenly replaced by the immediate need to stay alive — and they try to come to grips with the unimaginable reality of the Firstborn.

Far above the thin skin of atmosphere that shields the earth like a blanket protects a child from unknown terrors of night, the moon keeps its eternal watch in the cold silence of space. Through cloud, rain, and fog, roof, rock, sea and stone, the moon sees. And the moon knows.

Like Zeke, I’ve always been fascinated with mythology. Primary Greek at first, for me, but later on it was mythology of all kinds. When my grandfather noticed my childhood love of unicorns and Pegasus (it was actually my obsession with the ‘Pastoral’ segment of Disney’s Fantasia), he bought me Edith Hamilton’s ‘Mythology’ and it sort of went crazy from there. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a ‘mythologist’ when I grew up. Turns out that I work at a mental health clinic. Go figure. >.>

So, in this novel we have everything from Merlin and the Lady of the Lake (or not really >.>); to Fintan, the man who brought Noah’s granddaughter to Ireland before the great flood and survived it by becoming a salmon; to Tanuki, the Japanese raccoon-dog spirit with giant, floofy (and apparently lucky) balls; to Asterion, the minotar from the Knossos labyrinth. And so many, many more. Hephaestus, Samson, Wepwawet, and Cù Sìth (COOSHEE!!!). Gods, angels, vampires, and werewolves. Mytholosquee!~

So, it’s pretty obvious that I had a total mythological geek-out the whole time, OMG. The idea that all the gods of every pantheon you can think of are all siblings, who have taken on different guises depending on where and when they are is fantastic. All fathered by the same dude, too. ‘Who is the Father?’ I thought for about 2 seconds, because if this is a world where all the pantheons are combined, then it’s really everyone I thought it could be, isn’t it? Is it God, or Odin, or Zeus, or Amun-Ra, or Perun? How about all of those plus a thousand others? Then there’s the other characters and having a bit of a mythological who’s-who session. Not only gods appear, but characters from legends and folklore as well.

Fi is a fantastic character, and I wanted her to win at everything ever. Zeke too. I can’t wait to see what happens to them in the next volume.

This book was really quite difficult to put down and it hit nearly all the buttons I’ve got. Spunky protagonist: check. Mythology: ohboy check. Mysterious characters that I have to figure out the identity of: check. Tanuki: check. Dream sequence that ends in a shattered glass effect that immediately brings to mind the dream/ball scene in Labyrinth and makes me want to watch it unendingly on repeat but it’s just going to make me sad because Bowie: check.


So, in conclusion… yeah I loved it. 🙂 Really eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. I want to see what crazy slip worlds they’re going to take us to. 5/5 stars!!!


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