reviews

Paternus Trilogy by Dyrk Ashton - Book Review

Write on: Tue, 13 Jul 2021 by  in Max's Reviews Read 693

I belong to a few genre readers and writers groups on Facebook and for the past few years have heard so much hype over Dyrk Ashton’s Paternus Trilogy. The recommendations have been so positive and frequent that I was compelled to support Ashton’s Kickstarter campaigns for each novel in the series without having read any of them. That all changed recently when I noticed a one-credit deal on Audible for the entire trilogy, unable to resist. Well, having just finished the final installment – War of Gods – let me tell you: like the gods of myth and legend, the hype is real. 

At times alone, and at times together, Fiona and Zeke do their best to navigate the everyday trials of life as burgeoning adults. When the hospital that they both work at is unexpectedly attacked by menacing assailants, their lives quickly shift from the ordinary to the extraordinary. 

I first want to discuss Ashton’s impeccable development of his characters, as this is where the book truly begins (with Fi and Zeke), progresses (with the introduction of a HUGE cast), and ultimately concludes (with each and every character). One would expect the two main protagonists of the novel – Fi and Zeke – to evolve the most; and while this is certainly true throughout the Paternus Trilogy, every supporting character, however large or small the role, experiences the kind of growth that takes many writers entire novels to accomplish with their characters. Ashton is able to do this through the inclusion of any character’s given history and their relation to others; through pivotal character beats; and through the quieter moments that slow and calm down an incredibly fast-paced and engaging story. Without going into detail, because I don’t like to include any spoilers in my reviews, I’ll just list a few of my favorite character arcs and let you read for yourself: The Prathamaja Nandana, Baphomet, Tanuki, Munin, Edgar, and the Asura. 

This is a series about myths, legends, and religions (maybe all of them?) coexisting through eternity, and coming to their climactic conclusions in modern day. I was blown away, pretty much in every chapter with the depth and magnitude of the world building. Ashton must have had to do an incredible amount of research to be able to understand – and shape to fit his world – the histories of each mythical creature and deity. I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever read a novel with such a vast scope, carefully connected through the finest and largest details. 

I’ve heard it said that the Paternus Trilogy is like watching an action movie play out in book format. I’ll take it one step further and say that the series is so fully realized and vivid that it feels like it’s playing out right in front of you – like a VR experience in book format! Paternus provides pure exhilaration and excitement on every page. 

Max

Max’s passion for fantastic stories began with weekly trips to the comic book store as a child. Now an English teacher at a boarding school, he is always reading. Max has written for sites like Geeks of Doom and SF Signal, where he created the Indie Author Spotlight. Max lives in Connecticut with his wife – who graciously embraces his need to display action figures all over the house – and daughter, who is inheriting her parents’ affinity for books.