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Publisher's Summary

Described as American Gods meets the X-Men, True Blood meets The Talisman, and Supernatural meets The Lord of the Rings, Paternus combines myths from around the world in a modern story of action and intrigue that is "urban fantasy on the surface, but so much more at its core!" 

"Paternus is an imaginative...exhilarating ride ... A refreshing take on contemporary fantasy." (Anthony Ryan, New York Times best-selling author of Blood Song and The Legion of Flame)

"Epic, innovative urban fantasy. A great read!" (Mark Lawrence, Gemmell Award winner and international best-selling author of Prince of Thorns and Red Sister)

Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth.

When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old man named Peter - and find themselves running for their lives with creatures beyond imagination hounding their every step. 

With nowhere else to turn, they seek out Fi's enigmatic Uncle Edgar. But the more their questions are answered, the more they discover that nothing is what it seems - not Peter, not Edgar, perhaps not even themselves. 

The gods and monsters, heroes and villains of lore - they're real. And now they've come out of hiding to hunt their own. In order to survive, Fi and Zeke must join up with powerful allies against an ancient evil that's been known by many names and feared by all. The final battle of the world's oldest war has begun. 

"Terrific. Paternus is intelligent, intricate, suspenseful, and epic." (Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose)

"Ashton is a bloody, terrific genius. The action sequences are truly mind-boggling. Miss out on this one at your own risk." (Fantasy Book Critic)

©2016 Dyrk Ashton (P)2016 Dyrk Ashton

Critic Reviews

“Fast-paced, gloriously intricate.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Spirited
  • Manor, TX, United States
  • 07-30-17

Brilliant Story Revolving Around Myth and Legend

Would you listen to Paternus again? Why?

Sure. The person narrating had a really annoying narration style. It sounded more like he was reading slides than a book. His voices for the characters, however, were really well done. I was a little surprised that his narration was so weird, as a result.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Loved Fiona and Zeke. They were so real, so visceral and their story seems like such a normal occurrence.

What three words best describe Nik Magill’s performance?

Frustrating, surprising, great [voices]

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

When the Gods have a fight to the death, who survives to make the legend into a myth?

Any additional comments?

In a story told from multiple points of view, omnipresent style, we learn of the Cataclysm, and the first and second apocalypse. In time, we are introduced to Fi, the main focus of our story, and Zeke, a co-worker and the man Fiona is interested in. Through miscommunications and fumbles, Fi believes Zeke doesn't like her which will make working with him awkward and will make things difficult for Zeke who truly loves her.

After the mishap with Zeke, and while on her way to work, a bum accosts Fi and later, the hospital where she works is ravaged. Confused and scared, Fi seeks safety with Zeke and the old man she cares for and discovers she has been unwittingly involved in a conflict of mythical and godly proportions where the bad gods will stop at nothing to take over the world and the good gods seem to be losing the battle.

It took some adjusting to get used to the story telling as it's been a while since the last time I read an omnipresent POV book. I loved knowing thoughts and feelings of most of the characters, even in little snippets. It added some depth to characters I wouldn't otherwise have must investment in.

The storyline was really clever, well researched, well thought out and I very much enjoyed it. When it ends, it doesn't make me feel as if I've been robbed of an ending, but likewise it leaves me wanting more.

Dyrk's characters feel realistic, with real problems, flaws, miscommunications, while being attractive, or plump, or maybe hideous for a variety of reasons. Even the mythical or legendary creatures are made visceral.

I'd definitely recommend this book if you have an interest in myth and legend, but be aware it covers a ton of myth and legend, not just the major ones. Well done!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great alternative take on mythology

This book is very good. It starts a little slow with the introduction of characters, but once the action starts it's hard to put down. Loved the alternative explanation of the origin of mythological creatures. It sets up the larger story very well and I can't wait for the next book in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

an action-packed mythological adventure

Fi and Zeek are young adults who face the typical obstacles to a budding romance and life in general.  Fi is completing an internship at a nursing home while living at home with her stuffed shirt uncle and Zeek is preparing for a conference and working at the same nursing home and madly in love with Fi.  Fi is the only person able to take care of the dementia-stricken and invalid Peter.  Fi and Zeek stumble through their relationship when suddenly the nursing home is invaded with evil looking creatures who mangle and eat the residents.

Mythological beings on all sides (good and evil) invade the world of Fi and Zeek to the point that nothing surprises them any longer.  The question lies in the outcome of the 3rd holocaust, who will win?  Good or evil?  Regardless, the creatures and beings believed to be mythological are real and at war.

Dyrk Ashton, the author, is an amazing story-teller creating an action-packed adventure by blending mythological creatures and myths into the present world and bringing them to life.  One senses the story is not going to be boring even given the slow start.  One does not expect, however, to be so totally immersed into the action and story that one is caught off guard momentarily to find oneself so thoroughly engaged.

Ashton builds the action around the development of the characters, in some cases, the character development is done almost instantaneously – such as the first time we meet Clarion.  There are several twists and turns, but not so much that one loses interest or connection to the story.  The story flows smoothly and each twist is handled with aplomb.  This is an epic journey in many ways, one the listener has no choice but to go on once they are snared in the story.  Thrilling to the end, one cannot help but wait for the next book to know who wins and who else will meet their mortal demise.

The narrator provided an excellent performance in the narration of the book.  Although the book was a total of 15 hours, Nik Magill did not once lose his place or the voice of the characters.  His talent helped to draw the reader into the story and captivate them into staying as well as the work of Ashton.  His light rhythmic voice made listening to the story pleasant.  He never went campy nor did he become shrill as some tend to do during epic length books.

Paternus is a very good book, one I would listen to again without hesitation and would appreciate more the second time around now that I understand how some of the pieces fit together.  At first, I admit to being lost because I didn’t realize there were two worlds that were going to be blending together into one.  I struggled to see the connections but once things started to fall into place, this book quickly became a favorite of mine.

There were no production or quality issues with this book.  Everything was smooth and clear.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great fantasy book to read and listen to.

I really enjoyed this book. I am hooked with the story and I am anxiously waiting for the next part of this series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Do yourself a favor, and listen to this novel!

Such an amazing concept!! Dyrk Ashotn brought forth a beautiful new outlook on the views of religion, folklore, and mythology! Cannot wait for more!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Al
  • British Columbia
  • 07-08-18

Urban fantasy as it should be

Let's write an urban fantasy. Hmmm, now what mythology should we base it on? Persian? Greco-Roman? Celtic?

To hell with that, says Dyrk Ashton (author may not have said that), let's use ALL of them.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Paternus: Rise of Gods, a funny, erudite and action-packed urban fantasy that will leave you hankering for book two. The author weaves the world's mythologies together with skill, and his characters are likable and believable, even the mythological ones. The plot rattles along at a breakneck pace, rarely giving you the opportunity to catch your breath. As if you'd want to.

I listened to the audiobook version, and the narrator (Nik Magill) did a great job with the voices, although he needs to work on his pronunciation of Gaeilc names. Based on his performance though, I won't hold that against him.

The best thing about Paternus is it's accessible to everyone from grotty teens (the leads are teens and really well written) to cantankerous adults (like myself), and deserves more kudos than it gets (which is a lot).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Could not stop listening!

This is easily one of the best books I read this year, so when I saw that there was an audiobook, I couldn't not immediately drop a credit on it and devour it in a day. It should be said that I very rarely read (or listen) a book more than once. I read this one, and then listened to it *within 2 weeks of each other* it is that good.

This book is full of mythology, from just about every pantheon that has ever existed, and they're all blended and whipped together in a really interesting way... like a big, amazing mythological smoothie. This story is really original and quite engaging. It's an age old story of good vs evil retold in a very unique way. I love Fi and Zeke, and I'm not sure it's possible to not like the Pater.

While I think some of the accents weren't quite what I was expecting them to be, I really liked the narrator, Nik Magill's voice is mesmerizing in a way. You'd think that'd make me sleepy, but no, not at all. The opposite, in fact. The combination of the story and his telling of it kept me awake well past bedtime, and then all through the next day despite a lack of sleep. In a week where I struggled to stay on task with anything at all, including the book before this one, and despite the fact that I very recently read this one and know exactly what happens, I happily listened to this one in more or less one sitting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Gods Behaving Badly

First third of novel overly didactic and overflowing with too many wordy metaphors, even given how well they are written. All the extra wordiness interferes with providing a cohesive flow to the story arc. Still, near the middle, the story begins to coalesce and pick up the pace as the action between the opposing forces starts to kick in.

For those who are interested in blending of many cultural mythological deities, and I do mean many, into an Infinity War type battle, they may find this novel fulfilling. However, while the author's writing skill is quite good, along with the narrator's performance, the story arc itself came across too fractured and somewhat superficial for my liking.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Hard to get into at first but worth it

At first, as I point out in the headline, this book was painful to get through. It jumped around incessantly never staying in one spot long enough for me to bond with any character and they all had names that were incredibly difficult yet all similar at the same time. I couldn't keep them straight and had the overwhelming impression that the authors scope was way to large for what he was attempting and what he was able to pull off. A fact that I really wished one of his beta readers or someone else involved in the draft process had told him.

At about 3/4 of the way through the book it seems like he learned how to write an actual novel and the author started sticking with a core set of character perspectives and things started getting pretty dang good, making me glad I dealt with the pain and almost unreadable/unlistenable sections before it.

I love the idea of what the author is trying to pull off; tying all of world history and mythology together into one story line. But man he does go out in the weeds to do it, and most annoyingly has to tie it all together using one amazing guy named Zeke who is a foster kid mythology buff, who dropped out of Harvard and Juliard to become a music therapy guitar player for a local hospital for homeless people and spends his time traveling to South America to help impoverished people. I liked him and recognize the need to have someone in the story explain and tie this far reaching mythology together but really? Zeke is more unbelievable than the progenitor of all life that has ever existed on earth and his son the original Dracula Irish fairy King put together.

This book has a lot of flaws and can be downright annoying but once it all ties together I believe it is worth the effort to try to get through which is why I rated it 4 stars instead of 3. I'm hoping the author cleans things up much more in the sequel.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible writing style

The writing style is reminiscent of a pitchman trying to sell an advertising campaign. It was just too irritating a style for me. Returned the book because it was impossible to listen to.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • JPA
  • 01-24-17

The revelations continued throughout!

Urban fantasy isn't normally my bag, but this felt more like historical myth and legend manifesting itself, for real, in modern day... everywhere. I expected a US heavy story, but I was wrong. Many wonderful locations, people's and, more importantly, monsters, demons and gods(!) punctuate this epic throughout.
A smashing debut that promises a potential full blown 5* to follow this 4* story and performance. In fact, I'd say 4.5* if I could.
Very real characters meet apparently real mythological beings - the research for which is evident and incredible.
I'll look forward to the sequel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Andrei
  • 07-29-18

Good first half!

I really enjoyed the first half. Once Peter recovered, I felt that the story lost it appeal.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Timy - RockStarlit BookAsylum
  • 05-22-18

It’s action packed, funny, bloody and entertaining

Myths and legends are real. Part of them anyway. And they are still roaming the world, keeping to themselves, sleeping, helping people or plotting for taking over the world. After the Cataclysm and two wars called Holocausts the world is in peace, until, that is, when the Asura (those children of the Father who choose to do bad deeds, and not exactly fond of humans) decides it’s time to show the Deva (the good kids, who choose to help humans and doesn’t consider them as cockroaches) who is in charge. Deva are attacked all around the world while the Master of Asura focuses on an old man called Peter. He lives in a nearly catatonic state in a hospital. The only one who can have an effect on him is Fi, the 18 year old girl who works there in part-time as an intern. This is where she meets Zeke, mythology enthusiast, guitar player, too-smart-for-his-own-good guy. Together they help Peter to get away from those who chase him. And so they face the craziest 24 hours of their life while unexpected and not so unexpected twists occur.

Rise of Gods builds up slowly, but the second half or so is packed with action to the brim. But then you need a bit of time to get used to the book being written in the third person, present tense and the sudden changes in the POV, which sometimes can be kind of annoying. Because of this and that things happen really fast, and mythical creatures and legends get a rather big role (maybe bigger than they should have at some points) there isn’t enough time and space for character building (I liked how Fi and Zeke adapted to the situation though), so this book is rather action driven. Sometimes this is overwhelming and makes hard to connect to the main characters: Fi, Zeke and Peter. Although their interactions are good and they bring some humor into the bloodbath, which does good to the book. These light moments are refreshing and give a moment of break to get from one scene to the other. Still, my favorite character was Tanuki.

But there are so many things going on that you can find it hard to catch up. Personally, I think if this book were about 50-100 pages shorter and maybe a bit more focused on the characters rather than the myths/Firstborns, it would have been much more a page turner. I’m not saying it’s not as it is, because the second half of the book kept me glued to my kindle.

The writing is smooth otherwise and this book is crammed with mythology, stories, names and legends from all around the world: from Native America through Ancient Europe to Africa and Asia. Good points for Mr Ashton using the less known legends and stories instead of the overused greek and roman gods. Actually, let’s give the man respect for doing such a thorough research to bring together so many cultures.

A big shout out to the narrator, who did a really good job with this one! I'm extremly picky with voices but I loved his, and it was also easy to understand his reading, which is a big bonus in my book being a non-english speaker.

Paternus: Rise of Gods is an exceptional work in its genre. Dyrk Ashton had an ambitious goal when he started to write this book, and for a debut book it did really well. Yeah, it has some flaws and all the side stories can be overwhelming for those who are not familiar with all these myths – which is probably most people. Even I had to google some things and I had some studies regarding religions. And although for some reasons it didn’t work out as well for me, it deserves all the hype and praise it got so far. It’s action packed, funny, bloody, intense and highly entertaining. So, what are you waiting for? Go and get it already before the second book comes out in July!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R
  • 08-02-17

Excellent

Intrigued by the blurb, I started listening to this audiobook immediately and - mind blown – this book was brilliant!  It’s a unique blend of urban, contemporary, mythical fantasy, and it features the most incredible beings – called the Firstborn.  

The Firstborn are from our myths, legends, folklore and fairy tales from across the world and spanning back through history.  They include the Japanese racoon dog Tanuki, the half man / half bull Asterion from Greek mythology, Bodvar Bjarki the bear from Norse mythology, the occultist goat figure of Baphomet, and even Merlin the wizard from Arthurian legends.  There’s also Gods, demons, vampires and werewolves. 

These Firstborn are old, some as old as the beginning of time, and – as much as possible – live out of sight of humans (or mtoto as they are known to the Firstborn).  Being around for so long, it’s to be expected that a few Firstborn have rubbed each other up the wrong way, picked sides and had a few wars. And it’s time for another battle, perhaps the biggest of them all…

This story is told from multiple points of view, but the main story is told through the characters of Fi, a seventeen-year-old who lives with her odd English uncle and his huge dog, and works at a hospital for the elderly.  Zeke, her handsome colleague who plays guitar to the old folk.  Peter, the mysterious patient who Fi is looking after at the hospital and Fi’s uncle Edgar.  We also hear from some of the creatures.  Each non-human character is fascinating and the humans are likable and believable.      

The author’s descriptions of the appearance of the creatures and their backstories are vivid and mesmerising, the action flows effortlessly, the fight scenes and violence is truly epic, and the blossoming, awkward relationship between Fi and Zeke is perfect as it is subtle and realistic.  There’s also humour and this book made me laugh out loud at a few points (which is no mean feat).   

The narrator, Nik Magill, was brilliant.  His voice is captivating and I felt he portrayed all the characters distinctly and naturally, and I was completely absorbed by the story.

It is clear that a ton of careful research has gone into this book, and the scope of myths/legends/fairy tales/folklore that the author depicts is huge, and the way they are all tied together is clever.  I was fascinated by all the mythical creatures from different cultures, times and religions.  I can’t wait to read the next book and find out what happens next!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-14-17

Get some Paternus for your ears!

What made the experience of listening to Paternus the most enjoyable?

The ever expanding scope of the story - Ashton leaves no hero of old to rest in peace, instead he drags them kicking and screaming into the Paternus world for our aural pleasure!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Paternus?

The hospital scene where Fi and Zeke are first encountering the true strength of the antagonists. It was tense, gripping and exhilarating.

Which character – as performed by Nik Magill – was your favourite?

I really enjoyed Max! Also, Bodvar Bjarki and Peter

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The World of Myth awakens once more for the ultimate battle royale!

Any additional comments?

I very much encourage you to let Paternus enter your consciousness via your ear-holes!

I enjoy a good book when on long drives, and can very quickly determine if I’ll make it all the way to the end. In the case of Paternus, it does start a little slowly, but it builds, and it builds, and it builds. So stick with it!

I normally don’t read contemporary or urban fantasy, and have a pathological aversion to anything that sparkles, or even hints at being a Twilight type affair. Fortunately, Paternus kicks that notion into the long grass, and forges ahead as a thoroughly entertaining  mytho-fantastical romp.

From the depth and complexity of the cast, it’s clear that Ashton spent a considerable amount of time researching Paternus (probably the understatement of the age). He has cleverly woven together myths and legends from across the globe into one single tapestry, and so vividly realised. After a bit of  a slow start, things really start to come together for this story, and before long, legendary creatures, heroes and gods all make their way into the piece, causing mayhem for our protagonists. In particular, the hospital scene is excellently realised! Throughout the course of the story, there are some excellent reveals of familiar heroes (and villains) of ages past, and I found myself at several times giddy with happiness at their appearance!

There are bits and pieces about this book that would normally put me off, for example, the first person omniscient point of view took a little getting used to. But in audio, it made things easier to transition for my peanut brain courtesy of the excellent performance by Nik Magill. One other aspect that slightly bothered me was that Zeke didn’t quite fill out as much as I’d have liked, instead becoming something of a six-foot Wikipedia page of every mythical being that came to life before the eyes of our protagonist. But these are small concerns, and they are consumed and forgotten by the expanse of the story.

On the whole, I found Paternus to be a triumphant act of imagination, research and adventure, in which Ashton kicks off what promises to be a very innovative series.
For the sheer breadth of imagination, Paternus merits its place a SPFBO 2016 Finalist. I tip my hat to Ashton on an excellent advertisement of all that is good in the world of Independent Fiction.