Paternus is the accounting of the third and last great war of the gods. It’s also the story of the Last Daughter of the Father, the fight against evil, the end of days, and the destruction of not just our world, but of all known worlds.
It’s easily the most epic contemporary fantasy story I’ve ever read.
To clarify, by contemporary I mean that it takes place in the real world and in modern-day times. In fact, it begins just at the end of September, in Ohio.
For Tanuki, it begins with buying a nice rug for his brother. For Kabir, it begins with being attacked by Maskim Xul. For Baphomet, it begins with an encounter with a witch no one has heard from in thousands of years. For Fiona, it begins with walking home alone after a rather disappointing date.
It continues with death, magic, and violence – lots and lots of violence, and death, and magic. After all, this is the beginning of the third great war of the gods, and not just any gods, but all of them.
It’s not uncommon for urban fantasy stories to include mythological figures, but Paternus takes it to a whole new level.
There are characters from Greek, Indian, Egyptian, and Norse mythology, to name but a few. Gods, heroes, demons, and villains. Monster and abominations. The knights of the round table, plus Merlin. They’re all baked into the story, and they all come with their own explanations and information about what other names they may be known under.
I read the audio version of the book (all three in one), and I’m glad I did. There are a lot of details, and there is a lot of information, and I fear I might not have had the patience to keep up with it had I been reading the text version. Fans of mythology, intricate world building, and brutal action will probably love either version, though.
What I’ll whine about
Hidden Information. During the second half of the third book, when things are starting to go seriously wrong, there are several flashbacks to things happening a few days previously. These show important preparations that I wasn’t made aware of the first time I read about what happened during that time. In fairness, there were hints, but even then, it still annoyed me.
Information Overload. Throughout the entire series, there is so much information about the origins of the characters featured in the story. It’s interesting for sure, and the story wouldn’t be the same without it, but even so, it felt a bit much.
What I’ll gush about
The scope. This really is a story of epic proportions. The fate of our world and life as we know it hangs in the balance, and many will pay the ultimate price for a chance at victory – willingly and unwillingly. Even great heroes and gods are not spared.
The cast. It’s fantastic to see all these mythological characters appear and play off of each other. Despite many of them being millions or billions of years old, they’re still people (after a fashion), and they’ve got their own quirks and personalities. The story’s not above going a bit silly from time to time.
I mentioned the amount of information as something I’d whine about, but I’ll bring it up here as well. It really does add a lot to the story and it’s for the most part quite interesting. It says a lot for the author that for the most part, the infodumps don’t feel like infodumps.
If you’re looking for an epic fantasy tale, set in the present day real world and brimming with mythological heroes and villains, give this one a go.