This was such a fun and captivating novella where the Greek Gods are in the modern world — and things are not going well for them.
This is my tour stop with MTMC Tours! There’s also an epic giveaway & interview with the author below.
I love Greek mythology retellings — especially modernised ones. They’re just so fun, and really draw me in. Dio in the Dark is a fast-paced novella where the gods are now in Toronto and rapidly losing powers as people cease to believe and worship them. Losing relevancy really sucks, and not all of them are adapting well. Zeus has grand and starry-eyed ambitions to be a saviour of the humans, but the superhero costumes didn’t really work out so now he’s working as a dump truck driver. Aphrodite is an influencer (big following on twitter). Hades works in insurance (as he likes to say, “insurance is like a parachute: if it isn’t there the first time, it’s not likely you’ll be needing it again”). Apollo is still in love with his guitar. And Dionysius? Well, he goes by Dio now and he’s more like a party and rave king, and the glamour of that is wearing off. He’s kind of depressed (and missing his late mother) and sick of his dad’s (Zeus) ramblings about some incoming darkness.
Unfortunately the darkness is real, and when Zeus goes missing, Dio becomes a reluctant hero who has to figure this out before the world is consumed.
Perhaps the god of wine and ritual madness was really no more than a divine son unable to cope with the loss of his mortal mother.
I always love the reluctant hero tropes because 😂👌🏻 yes to characters who are basically dragged whining into their own adventure and THEN get really invested and cannot ignore their noble streak. Dio has a bitter relationship with his passed life and glory, and watching it fade is hard — so even though he wants to ignore the hard issues in life, I think he’s spurred to action because he misses the glory days.
The whole cast of characters is wonderful, and I loved recognising the Greek god and goddess names coming up. There’s a mystery to solve and legacies to be rewritten, and it was overall super entertaining. Also fast! As a novella, it’s a little over 150 pages, and easy to whip through.
Also gave me like “grown up Percy Jackson” vibes, with some of the humour and the modernised gods.
Magic, mayhem and a quick trip to the underworld, Dio in the Dark is a clever and witty novella about the loss and lust of power.
“Let’s say that The Darkness really is some sort of evil that has somehow survived eons without any of us discovering it. Do you really expect to scare it away by dressing up in lime-green tights?”
Title: Dio In The Dark
Author: Rizwan Asad
Publication Date: October 15, 2021
Genres: Novella, Adult Urban Fantasy
Purchase a copy: Amazon | Book Depository | Indiebound | Blackwell’s
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“Be young tonight, if you must. For tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow you will grow old, and the night will no longer be your lover.”
The powers of the pantheon have faded. The gods live amongst the mortals, grasping for what little of their divinity remains.
When Zeus – King of the Gods – goes missing in modern-day Toronto, it is up to his estranged son, Dio, to find him.
And with rumors of The Darkness coming, Dio will have to race to find his father, and uncover the truth before it’s too late!
Hi Rizwan! Thanks so much for chatting with me today about Dio in the Dark! Can you tell us a bit about your publishing journey and how Dio in the Dark went from first idea to finished novel on our shelves?
Hi! Thank you for having me! So, I had never planned for Dio in the Dark to become a published novel – I had already written it as a short story several years ago. It was just a bit of practice, because I wanted to explore where the Greek gods would fit into the modern world. The story had always felt incomplete, and I revisited it. I reworked the short story into the first couple of chapters of the book, continued exploring the story, and eventually it turned into the first draft of this novella. The publishing journey was very interesting to learn about, I’ve had a handful of short stories published in anthologies so I’ve worked with editors before, but the scope and the detail of the editors involved with Dio in the Dark was honestly a bit daunting! Luckily, they were all very helpful, and helped me bring the book to the published version on your shelves!
That’s amazing it started as a short story and then turned into this most excellent novella 🙌🏻 What is your favourite vs least favourite thing about the writing process?
My favourite part of the writing is allowing myself to write and get lost in the world of my story – learning about the characters, and allowing the plot to reveal itself. My least favourite is preparing the second draft. I get so attached to my first draft that I don’t want to make changes to it (…even though I know it can be improved, or my beta readers and critique partners have brought up some very valid concerns!). Interestingly enough, this was the opposite situation when it came to Dio in the Dark – I wanted to keep adding to the story, but my beta readers and developmental editor all felt that there was enough (and that the extra would break the flow of the story!).
Can you tell us about some of the research you did for Dio in the Dark?
I really loved recognising some of the Greek God names, and also learning about a few new characters 👌🏻 What drew you to writing fantasy?
I write in most genres, but I often find myself coming back to fantasy and speculative fiction. I find it exciting, and a way to explore ideas and characters without the limitations of our world.
The unlimited possibilities of fantasy truly are the best for sure. And lastly! What have been some of your favourite moments of being an author so far?
Wow…that’s a difficult question to answer, I’ve enjoyed a lot of things! I think my favourite part has been hearing from readers that have really resonated with either the themes or the characters in my stories.
Thanks so much for the amazing interview, Rizwan, and congrats on your novella’s release!
Rizwan is a Toronto-based author of speculative fiction. Fantasy is kinda his thing, but every so often he feels like he’s sleeping too well, and begins work on a horror story. Aside from writing fiction, he is the creator behind Chocolates & Chai, his award-nominated food blog. Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram
Enter the rafflecopter below where you can win one of seven digital copies of Dio in the Dark! Ends on December 11th, 2021. Winners will be announced in the Rafflecopter & contacted by MTMC Tours via email.
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