Book Review: "Dio In The Dark;" Author: Rizwan Asad; Publisher: Ness House Press; 1st Edition (October 15, 2021)
I want more from this author.
I want this magic he created in "Dio In The Dark" to continue in other books.
I was instantly captivated by the intriguing plot. The once mighty, mythological Zeus and powerful Olympians in modern-day Toronto are attempting to adapt to life but are drawn into a battle that casts a dark veil over their lives once Zeus vanishes. It is up to his son, Dio (a.k.a. Dionysus), with whom he has a strained relationship, to put aside the resentment he feels towards his father and embark on a perilous journey to find him.
Let's get down to the nitty-gritty. Take in this early line in the book regarding Zeus:
"Zeus, god of thunder, overseer of the universe, the lightning hurling King of the Gods himself, sprang easily to grab the handle and land on the running board of the garbage truck. He wore dirty blue overalls and work boots. The back of his overalls read, “Barker Sanitation,” and the front, over his immortal heart, had a patch that said “Zed.”"
Hahaha! I love it! I laughed... out loud! This was so refreshing to read! Witty humor is continuously laced throughout the book which was a wonderful addition, seasoning it with a plethora of flavors. I caught myself giggling many times at the descriptions and the banter that ensued throughout the book. Here is another line I greatly enjoyed:
"“You tell me about The Darkness every freakin’ Friday. And this ‘young one’ business? Man, I’m sixty-two years old! Only thing young about me is my teeth, and even them is gettin’ to be teenagers!”"
Even though there are some lively, humorous scenes going on in the book, we also have some strong issues snaking forth that steadily develop within this book as the plot deepens such as family squabbles/resentment, depression, self-doubt, alcoholism, longing for love and family, loss and grief and other issues that are laced throughout the characters. Even though the book appears light, it contains other complex layers, touching upon real life experiences/traumas that exist in the world.
I studied Greek Mythology at school and note that these immortals were consistently illustrated as being stoic, all powerful, literally larger than life. Their aloofness and seriousness you read about were not present in this book. The author does a wonderful job in this book to alter your previous perceptions of the gods by humanizing them with shattered hopes, dreams and flaws.
I like way the characters were fleshed out. They were painted with a carefully detailed writing brush. I truly felt the inner-turmoil experienced by Dio and Apollo. Both had issues but both came together to rescue their father and the rest of their family and mankind from an evil force. The title is perfect for the story as Dio was in fact stumbling in the dark in his personal life as well as when he set out on his journey to rescue his father. The darkness enshrouding Dio is twofold and aptly played out in the book. Dio, is indeed, "in the dark."
It was a treat for me to read and encounter such notable Toronto areas such as The Don River, Young-Dundas Square and the Fairmont Royal York Hotel- a personal favorite. These 'mentionables' added an intense sense of realism to the author's story and made it a delightful, personal experience for me.
I don't believe the book would have had the same effect on me if it went into long-winded detail depicting the background of Greek mythology, adding several dry pages that would have taken away from the flow of the story. The book is under 200 pages- enough to tell the story and keep you interested. From one sentence to the next, the author's writing is seamless, drawing you in as if each word was held together by invisible strings leading you from one page to the next.
In summation, this book delighted me on many fronts. It contained a well developed plot, an engaging writing style and carefully executed tones that intermingled with one another. It was properly formatted, I did not detect any grammatical or typing errors and... it made me smile and shut out the world for a few hours.
This creative work can only be best described as something beautiful and promising.
This author is a gifted writer endowed with an abundance of artistic clarity and vision to create a piece of fiction that stimulates the reader's imagination. I hope he does a few more follow-up books as this first book deserves it.
You can find out more about the author, Rizwan Asad, by visiting his website at: www.rizwanasad.com
I was not requested to do this review. I did it of my own volition, volunteering my views in an effort to bring the author and potential readers together. All opinions/views are my own.
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Book Reviewed: "Dio In The Dark;" Author: Rizwan Asad; Publisher: Ness House Press; 1st Edition (October 15, 2021)
Book Blog Copyright (C) 2021 Mary-Lisa Russo
You have stumbled into the writing world of Mary-Lisa Russo, an avid storyteller observing the universe around her and her humble place amongst the stars. “Excerpts From The Wandering Mind” is Mary-Lisa’s first collection of poems and she is currently working on her next book, a compilation of romantic poetry. She is a university graduate having majored in English Literature and continues to nurture her ongoing writing education at a local college and other educational avenues. She is a member of the Ontario Poetry Society and various writers’ groups. She enjoys reading and giving a voice to fellow authors.