The birds were chirping. Or maybe not. I was so absorbed in the last couple chapters of Diana Tyler’s urban fantasy, Age of the Ashers, that the afternoon ceased to exist for me. My world consisted entirely of Chloe’s struggles with the tumultuous new truth she had discovered.
In what could have been merely your run of the mill Greek hero in an urban setting, Tyler manages to twist the plot into something fresh and new. Age of the Ashers was a vivid story. I have not read anything quite like it.
The novel is beautifully written and the characters well-developed. Tyler’s descriptions were vibrant and memorable. Even now I can picture the river she described on page 110 and the haunting restrictions that prevented the people of Petros from enjoying the river.
She stopped in the middle of the bridge to take in the lazy turquoise river as it snaked its way down the mountain. It looked so inviting, so peaceful with the juniper trees, and evergreen shrubs nestled around it. It was a shame it was against the law to swim in the river. She would have given anything to let it carry her away. She wouldn’t have cared where it took her.
Tyler’s juxtaposition of beauty with the restrictions placed on the people of Petros is one technique that worked well to create a mood of yearning. She uses the setting in this manner throughout the novel to create a number of moods and emotions in the reader.
Age of the Ashers starts with that perfect kind of ambiguity that makes you want to read on and put the pieces of the puzzle together. From that moment on, the plot gains momentum, and the storyline becomes increasingly captivating. By the final few chapters, I couldn’t put down the book.
One of Tyler’s strengths is in her unique and well-imagined characters. From Chloe’s stress eating to Damian’s dogged determination, the characters are endearing, complex, and moving. The dynamics between the characters proves that Tyler is an insightful observer of human nature. For example, the complex relationship between Chloe and her brother reminded me of so many sibling interactions that I have witnessed, adding to the tension driving the novel.
The only item that might detract from the story is that, occasionally, the point of view shifts were distracting and felt unnecessary. Most of the POV shifts were smooth and relevant, however, and this small experience did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel.
Age of the Ashers is a great read for any who enjoy a good urban fantasy, exceptional world-building, exciting twists on Greek mythology, and unique plot elements. This story earns eight shiny dragon teeth (out of ten), making it a must read.
Chloe Zacharias is an unpopular and unconfident girl living in Petros, a country characterized by its paradise like climate and beautiful scenery. One day she meets someone unexpected and everything changes. Chloe discovers a new world and realizes her old one was built on lies. Can she find her confidence in time to save the people she loves?
Make sure to grab a copy.
Diana Tyler has been writing all her life, starting with her own versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics when she was four. She’s always been fascinated with Greek mythology and comic book superheroes, all of which inspire her fantasy novels. You can learn more about her on her website dianaandersontyler.com
About Dennis Gaede:
Dennis is an author and book reviewer with a passion for speculative fiction. When he isn’t reading, he is elbow deep in a number of creative projects. Right now he is working through the first draft of his own novel and in the beginning stages of putting together his own vlog and website. His favorite read is Night Life by Rob Thurman.