Paternus: Wrath of Gods (Paternus Trilogy #2) by Dyrk Ashton


On the run from an ancient evil and his army of terrors straight out of myths from around the world, Fi and Zeke aid Peter in his globe-trotting quest to seek out the remaining Firstborn, uncover the enemy’s plans, and gather the Warriors of Old for what may become the final battle in the world’s oldest war. Along the way, Fi and Zeke discover that they, too, have strengths of their own–though they come at a cost neither may wish to bear.,

I read Paternus during the finalist round of SPFBO 16.  This was the finalist chosen by Fantasy Faction and it was a riot of a book – I gave it 8 out of 10 at the time.  Checking my review of Paternus I wrote the following – which I think still applies to Wrath of Gods:

‘this is a story of Gods, myths, demons, angels – call them what you will.  A story that encompasses billions of years and brings together multiple myths in a compelling and fascinating way, a story of good and evil.  This is also a story of war.  In a world of Gods and firstborn a thousand years is a mere bagatelle and here we have the story of a continuation of war that has spanned thousands of years but,  worry not, this particular story takes place over the period of one day – all that came before will eventually be revealed but for you, the reader, just sit down and enjoy the unbridled chaos that is Paternus’

Wrath of Gods is a difficult book to review purely because I don’t want to give away spoilers.  There are many revelations as the story moves forward and it would be easy to spoil the read for others so my review will probably meander around a little as it tries to avoid these so please bear with me.

I would mention that Wrath of Gods is not a book that you can pick up half cocked – you need to read Paternus first and if you haven’t done so then you may also want to be aware that this review might contain spoilers for No.1.

The story here begins right where book 2 left off and very helpfully the author has provided a recap at the start of the story.  Straight away we meet Fi and Zeke who are in a bit of a scrape.  Shit got real!  Now, I can’t really tell you too much other than to say that Fi and Zeke’s companions are on a mission to find all the firstborn.  This involves crazy escapades such as diving out of a plane without a parachute and going in search of the king of all snakes.  If you’re thinking that the action and pace sound next level then you’re right.  Book one was a crazy little number but book number two just ups the ante – and I mean that in an absolutely positive way.

When I read book one I think the only issue I had was that it was maybe too busy and had too many alternating chapters.  With Wrath of Gods I didn’t have any of those issues and in fact the book overall just feels more substantial and polished – which, to be clear, book one was really good – just, this is even better – imo.  There’s more backstory involved, we learn what’s really going on in terms of the nature of the threat and the gathering together of the firstborn and Fi and Zeke are both more fleshed out,  I particularly enjoyed discovering Zeke’s interesting family history – and Fi’s uncle – another really interesting character.

In terms of the writing, well third person perspective is not always my favourite style yet for this particular story it works like a charm.  Then there’s the inclusion of an impressive array of firstborn.  Wow.  That is all.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a story with such a glorious abundance of Gods from around the world and myths and legends being brought into play.  I can’t begin to comprehend the amount of research that must have gone into this to bring to life so many different beings and entities, it’s simply staggering, particularly as they all complement the story so well.  I just kept having moments where I felt like I was meeting old friends from other tales and it was amazing to read about them in this setting.

I think my only criticism for this book is that I read it too quickly – so really a criticism of me and not the book.  I practically sped to the end, jogged along by the furious pace and that’s something I regret.  Yes, of course I can pick it up again, but I know myself well enough to realise that in spite of any good intentions I may have about returning to books it very rarely happens.  Still, never say never.  Perhaps I could round up a few people who fancy a readalong of the first two books a little closer to the release of No.3 – nothing like a readalong with questions and answers to provoke thought and help you to understand things and pick up on nuances that you missed first time round.

Anyway, before this review gets completely away from me I’d like to sum up by saying Wrath of Gods was an impressive read.  I’d like to tell you not to race to the ending like I did but instead to savour this like a fine wine – but, it’s probably pointless and also given the way I couldn’t put this down probably a bit hypocritical to expect anyone else to show such restraint.  Perhaps a better piece of advice would be to tell you to pick this up when you have enough free time to do so – because you won’t want to stop.  It’s definitely a ‘just-one-more-chapter’ type of read.  Furious and fun, bittersweet and packed with twisted revelations.  I really wish I could tell you a little more about what has been created within these pages but I can’t – maybe, just a teaser – alternate universes, plagues of locusts.  Are you not intrigued? Also, keep a hanky handy – there may have been tears – although I will deny it, what happens on this blog, stays on this blog.

A series that I highly recommend – I can’t wait to see how it all concludes.  When is that third book due already!  No pressure.