Former Starr’s Mill English teacher releases first novel


Katie Linkner

Former Starr’s Mill English teacher Dr. Robert Covel recently released his first novel, “Twilight of the Gods.” The story follows Kris, a protagonist who discovers that all of the old mythological gods are real and living among ordinary people on Earth.

Sophia Bender, Staff Writer

Dr. Robert Covel, a former Starr’s Mill English teacher, recently held a book signing in Villa Rica to promote the release of his first novel, “Twilight of the Gods.”

[I have] been a fan of mythology since elementary school, so it was the perfect subject for me and I’ve always loved the Greek and Roman mythology…

— former Starr's Mill English teacher Dr. Robert Covel

“Twilight of the Gods” tells the story of an older man named Kris, a retired English teacher. He is told that gods of all religions live among humans and that he is the son of the Hindu god Krishna. The gods inform Kris that they are dying due to a lack of faith and that they need his help. Kris responds by getting a rag-tag band together to cover older bands as well as create new music.

“[I have] been a fan of mythology since elementary school, so it was the perfect subject for me and I’ve always loved the Greek and Roman mythology but then also the Hindu mythology and the Norse mythology,” Covel said.

The story starts slow as Kris struggles to believe what he’s being told even when he sees it with his own eyes. He also manages to drag friends and family into his dilemma as well without even believing in it himself. He seems to make exceptions for who he should tell about this supposed secret he has learned and who he shouldn’t, depending on who he thinks will believe him.

He tells one of his close friends, as well as his young adult daughter, Starr. However, he fails to tell his ex-wife even when it could potentially save her life on the basis that she might not believe him.

When speaking to Covel, he mentioned that he began writing the book for National Novel Writing Month. This entails writing a full-length novel in just a month. “I actually woke up that morning not really sure what I was going to write. I thought, ‘I’m supposed to write a novel today and I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to write’,” Covel said.

Certain areas of the novel feel like more of a draft than a polished work. While the characters’ actions and reactions to events in the book seemed at least somewhat reasonable, they also felt mechanical. Their thought processes seemed almost too rational, their actions too thought-through for them to be immediate and human reactions.

Most people do not sit around discussing symbolism in their life as it happens, especially when they are just told that everything they know about the world is false. These long descriptions feel like Covel yelling at the reader to understand his symbolism rather than letting the reader figure it out for themselves.   

While Covel’s knowledge on mythology remains evident throughout the book, character development and plot left me wanting more.

To hear Covel speak about his influences for writing “Twilight of the Gods,” click here to listen to my full interview.


*A slight caution about content: The novel contains a sex scene, which may not be appropriate for younger readers.