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Paternus Paperback – March 24, 2016
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"Wow! Great ideas vividly realised." M. R. Carey, bestselling author of The Girl with All the Gifts.
"Fast-paced, gloriously intricate." Kirkus Reviews
"A wonderful book, forged in the deepest recesses of the human imagination." Michael Easton, critically acclaimed author of The Green Woman (w/ Peter Straub), Credence, and Soul Stealer.
"Dyrk Ashton brings us a war of the gods unlike any you've read. Highly recommended!" Michael R. Fletcher
"Fascinating and stylish." "Utterly unpredictable." "How the author is going to top it (if he needs to) is beyond me." Fantasy-Faction
"Spectacularly entertaining." Laura M. Hughes
"Clever and fast-paced." "A rollicking adventure." Graham Austin-King
"Fleet and gripping prose." Josiah Bancroft
"A wild romp through every religion, myth and culture." "Paternus brings it on!" Pornokitsch
About the Author
Dyrk Ashton was born in Athens (Ohio, not Greece), on a chilly Halloween morning. He whiled away his adolescent years and teens reading Stuart Little, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, everything Verne, London, Kipling, White, Lewis, Doyle, Burroughs, Poe, Howard, Fleming, Lovecraft, Tolkein, Zelazny, and generally ignoring school -- though he somehow managed excellent grades (except in Algebra, of course). He earned a BFA and masters degrees in filmmaking at The Ohio State University, which lead to working in film production in Columbus, OH. He then headed to Los Angeles where he wrote and pitched scripts but fed and clothed himself as a "jack-of-all-trades” in film production. Mostly, however, he made his living as a SAG/AFTRA actor, appearing in nothing you've ever seen. And if you have seen it, he was probably in it so briefly you missed him. After nearly six years scraping by in L.A., he realized he probably wouldn’t, in all actuality, die if he never got to make a big Hollywood film, so he moved back to the Midwest and went to Bowling Green State University for a PhD in Film Studies. He wrote a dissertation on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies. And they gave him a diploma. Shocking. After four years in a tenure track position he began teaching entirely online, and found he actually had time to read books again -- fiction, sci-fi, fantasy -- not just academic journals and textbooks. Then he realized he actually had time to write. And so he did, bringing to bear his lifelong fascination with mythology and storytelling and gathering together (some clearly ridiculous) ideas he’d had for years. The result is Paternus, the first in a trilogy of contemporary mythic fantasy adventures for grown ups. And yes, Dyrk Ashton is his real name. His father is of (mixed) English decent, and his mother (mixed) Scottish, (a Campbell, no less, though her father always emphasized they were highland Campbells, not lowland. The highland Scots fought against the English, the lowlands sided with them, you see). Anyway, Dyrk’s mom liked the way the name looked when spelled with a “y” instead of the more common “i”. Dyrk currently resides in NW Ohio, where he geeks out on movies and books, and writes about regular folks and their trouble with gods and monsters.
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Top Customer Reviews
Paternus takes you on a grand mythological journey spanning time and the entire globe. Unless you have a doctorate level degree in ancient folkloric origins, then forget everything you ever thought you knew about the Gods of antiquity. Dyrk's effort skillfully weaves history and imagination and plops it dramatically smack dab into the here and now - literally. The present tense writing style may be irksome to some - it chafed me to no end - but Dyrk obstinately refused to budge at all on my wailing pleas for a total rewrite, and I must grudgingly admit it can be an effective way of relating a story. Grudgingly. :) The narrative style does lend to immediacy and puts the action all around you, as if a movie director is there with you spelling out a scenes details. Put that tidbit in the back of your mind when you start reading, and the novelty of the narrative style won't detract from the story's broader tapestry of delight and wonder.
The broad cast of characters is a world-building marvel, yet not so broad as to become disjointed and confusing. Each point of view is revisited frequently enough to keep them and their growth fresh in your mind, and flows along with sufficient depth to allow for a rich and sustained suspension of belief that is informative, plausible and entertaining. In spite of the almost scholarly level of knowledge, the content is neither droll nor pedantic, and I found the journey of discovery as compelling as the adventure itself - with room enough for a surprise or two that shocked even me.
For a debut effort, Paternus is a win, and I look forward to continuing on this journey. Pick it up with confidence and enjoy the ride.
I have read one other book this year that had me engrossed from beginning to end, only one aside from Paternus, and that's out of 45 books since January. (The other book was The Shining in case you're interested to know)
Paternus is fantastic. Id say I need book two, but my mind needs a break from epic-ness... That was a lot to take in, but it is so well laid out and easy to follow. You don't have to be an expert on myths and legends to get every reference, Ashton lays it out for you and uses his characters to show the significance of what's happening.
Typically I have an issue with 'the big reveal' moment when characters stop to explain all those unanswered questions in a big lecture on the history of characters and the current situation, it's my least favorite parts of books and sometimes I find I really just don't care, but not this time. By the time I started getting answers I was ready for some downtime and a little fireside chat. For me, it was perfectly timed and very well written.
That's about all I can say... Loved it. Definitely looking forward to book two, just let me book a weekend stay-cation and a long term babysitter in preparation first, because I know I'm going to lose myself again in his work.
The level of detail and the amount of research into various world mythologies and religions must have been exhausting but it pays off, giving Paternus a level of of history and authenticity that draws the reader in completely.
As it begins the novel follows several lines of narrative. Some focus on the beings that have lived among us for millennia, on both sides of the unseen struggle that forms the background of the novel. Another concerns two young people; Fi and Zeke, who have been teetering on the verge of a relationship, when their lives are abruptly turned upside down.
Both Fi and Zeke are excellently drawn, their thoughts and feelings easily recognizable and understood, even as they are drawn deeper and deeper into the world of the Firstborn. Their story is the core of the novel,at first told through alternate chapters, until the third act when the focus is purely on them.
The third act also features a sustained set piece, with the small and beleaguered heroes under siege by a seemingly non-stop array of foes. The action is fluid, visceral and the suspense of these chapters is cranked up again and again. In fact, there are a number of battles between the godlike Firstborn during the book, all with their own methods, but each scene flows smoothly, placing the reader at the centre of the action.
The dialogue is well handled throughout; some times amusing, always realistic. And, for a novel that contains so much backstory and world building, I don't recall a single piece that felt like an info dump. No mean feat.
I can't recommend this book highly enough and eagerly await the next installment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dyrk Ashton has delivered a wondrously creative and well-realized story that turns the...Read more