From a modern perspective on classical Greek mythology, Rizwan Asad creates a world poisoned by darkness in this short short story, Dio in the dark. For Dionysus, Dio is over a thousand years old, but in the twentieth century he chose to play the role of a young adult. Unfortunately, over the years, he became cheerful and depressed; constantly disagrees with his father Zeus. Night after night, he explores the city of Toronto, traveling from one party to another in an alcohol-induced melting mist and overflowing with sweaty, dancing bodies. One night after the party and a drink, Dio notices a woman tied to a bridge. He saves a woman destined to be sacrificed to darkness only to know that without her sacrifice the world will be destroyed. When his father disappeared, it was Dio’s business to save the world from an unknown entity.

The author’s passion and creativity is demonstrated in vivid, descriptive writing. Assad creates the atmosphere of humanity around the gods by showing the worst and best parts of people. For some of the smaller characters, Assad remains true to his original depiction in Greek mythology and does so well. Assad changed some of the stories and information from the original mythologies to fit his story, making it an intriguing turn. For example, Sheme, the Princess of Thebes, was deceived not by Nyx (Goddess of the Night) but by Hera (Queen of the Gods) when Hera discovered the infidelity of Zeus. Although, according to mythology, Zeus killed Semel, he sowed Dionysus in the thigh and gave birth to him. In Dio in the dark, Hades is portrayed as one of many antagonists. His role in history has been a bit confusing. It is difficult to say whether it was Had who kidnapped Zeus for the deal he made with Apollo, or whether it was Nyx to prevent him from stopping the end of the world.

The structure of the story is similar to the mystery of murder, gradually revealing fragments of the story, the reader wants to read more. Assad has creatively recreated these stories, and the reader can tell that a lot of hard work and love has been put into this novel. There is no ultimate antagonist and protagonist, although Dionysus is a strong contender for the role of protagonist. I would like the story to be longer so I can learn more about the characters.

Dio in the dark is a great short story that takes the reader on a mythical adventure.

Pages: 170 ASIN: B09FFR4M6D

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