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Fate Lashed

Ethereal Earth, Book 2
Written by: Josh Erikson
Narrated by: Josh Erikson
Length: 15 hrs and 59 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)
Price: CDN$ 31.27
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Publisher's Summary

Some heroes are born, some are made, and some are willing to fake it for the right pay.

Gabe abandoned life as a conman after the disasters in Lincoln, and he managed to carve out a bit of peace with the scraps he had left. Unfortunately, bad guys suck at respecting personal boundaries. So, together with Heather and a group of weird new companions, he finds himself shackled to a horrifying cosmic game with sky-high stakes, inscrutable goals, and rules that seem to change every five minutes. And when old gods and monsters resurface to make things so much worse, he's finally forced to admit that he might not be talking his way past any of it.

Fate itself rises to force-feed Gabe a cliché quest, leaving him only to find the artifact, get paid the fortune, and try to make it out alive...and if there's enough time, maybe save the whole stupid world.

Fate Lashed is the sequel to Hero Forged and is the second audiobook in the Ethereal Earth series - an ongoing tale about the nightmares we create, those they create for us, and a few people who refuse to take any of it too seriously.

©2019 Josh Erikson (P)2019 Josh Erikson

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing

I absolutely loved it.... josh has done it again. cant wait for the next one!

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  • Ed
  • 2019-03-18

This guy is gold.

After the first book I was hooked. Josh Erikson is an awesome author, and honestly one of the best readers to boot.

The book never seems to drag or make you lose interest. See this normally wouldn't be a bad thing but, that's if it wasnt over so quickly. Cosmic events happen over the course of just a couple days which somehow makes it seem believable. It creates these frantic, fast paced scenes that seem to fit together perfectly.
Josh also does drag on with these super elaborate sex scenes that have creeped their way into most books of this genre. It saves so much time for actual story and I appreciate that. The characters and story are written so well that this makes you love the author all the more for it.

I always like to give the ups and downs to any give book or series but for the life of me I only thought of tiny things that the author fixes mid story anyway. Josh Erikson takes a pretty standard hero story and makes incredibly unique and enjoyable. I look forward to the next adventure.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • MasterTorian
  • 2019-03-17

Another fantastic story!

And Josh Erikson does it again!

The first thing you need to understand is I'm not normally a fan of urban fantasy. The tropes, protagonists, and lack of world building depth typical of the genre just don't usually appeal to me.

Similarly, I generally tend to steer clear of fiction audiobooks read by the author. I've seen a lot of authors who think they should narrate their own books, and it's usually because they feel they know how everything (and everyone) is supposed to sound and don't want an uninvested narrator to "mess it up."

The thing many of these authors miss is that a big part of the fun of audiobooks is getting to listen to someone else's interpretation of the book. In some ways (much like a movie), it's like experiencing an entirely different story.

That said, however, Josh is a fantastic narrator! His voices are top notch, his vocal inflections are almost flawless, and his tempo changes are perfect.

More than that, though, his exact tonal changes don't always perfectly reflect the text. It's almost like he has somehow divorced himself from what he knows about the story as the author and has reinterpreted the whole thing as a narrator to provide a whole new experience!

I've said this before, but it bears repeating. If Josh's books weren't so damned amazing, he could have a brilliant career as a professional narrator or voice actor!


Now for the story.

I honestly don't know what I was expecting from this book, but it certainly wasn't what I got! This is such a fantastic story!

After Hero Forged, I had serious concerns about how he could possibly step it up. The story, the stakes, the scope, the conflict of the first book were so awesome, so epic, I expected that for sure this one would fall short.

Well, in true Josh Erikson fashion, every one of my expectations was blown completely out of the water and shattered into a million pieces.

The sheer epic scope of this story is mind-boggling!

Now, is the prose flawless? Is the grammar perfect?
No.
But with the POV style of the book (very tight third person), it absolutely works and doesn't detract from the story one little bit.

I'm not normally fond of chapter titles or headings, or bonus text at chapter openings. I find they usually contain spoilers, and I have a hard enough time being surprised without them.

I love the chapter openings in this series, however. Through these excerpts of the main character's fictional non-fiction book, "Con Science," we get these wonderful glimpses into Gabe's psyche and motivations and it adds so much to him as a character!

And speaking of Gabe.
Generally, I don't appreciate character contradictions and inconsistencies. In most books, these come off as sloppy. They feel like mistakes or writing inconsistencies.

Not so here.

Here we have a protagonist that prides himself on his pragmatic belief that heroes are idiots who get people killed, yet constantly finds himself heroically protecting or saving the people he cares about.

Similarly, he's this anti-confrontational guy who just wants to find the loophole to get out of every situation, yet has this deep-seated honorable streak (that he almost constantly tries to deny) that brings him to the head of almost every conflict.

On the surface, these contradictions could easily seem like glaring mistakes in the writing. But with how Gabe is written, all of this comes together to create this awesomely complex, conflicted character that (when I don't want to slap him) I can't help rooting for, crying for, and laughing with (or in some cases at!).

I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say this. The plot line of this story is hugely epic (absolutely a worthy successor to Hero Forged), the world building gets deeper and more immersive, and we get to see an impressive array of new magical abilities and phenomenal new plot twists that will keep the best of us guessing.

I love the new characters (Um, hello, can you say MINOTAUR!), I love the deeper dive into Gabe and Heather, and I absolutely love the further development of the villains.

To say nothing of those who I'm not actually sure yet if they are villains or not!

And finally, the ending. I mean, wow. Just. Wow.

If you've read Brandon Sanderson then you've read books by an author who really knows how to stick an ending. And I'm here to tell you that Josh Erikson does it better!

I can't even imagine where this series is eventually going to go, but I have supreme confidence that when we get there the series finale is going to completely blow my mind!

Now I just have to wait for the next book to be published!
(and the next, and the next)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Cassie
  • 2019-03-23

Fantastic Series!

It's pretty rare that the role of author and narrator blend together so seemlessly and Mr Erikson is one of those exceptions. His series, strikes the right balance of action and intrigue liberally salted with most of the contents of a shaker full of heartache and witty snark that definitely resonated with my literary taste buds. I can't wait for the next book on the series!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Cuzzort
  • 2019-03-22

Just keeps getting better!

So a while back I took a chance on this series with my valuable audible credit. This is the second book in the series and it delivers everything I wanted and more. I’m no word smith so I’ll just say this book is fantastic. To those reading this, I truly believe you will enjoy this one more than the first.

Great story and narration. Keep it coming Josh!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-03-20

Outstanding Story

This is the second book in an outstanding series. This is the continuing stories of Gabe a semi vanilla human (he was a lovable con man) dropped into the "real" world were magic and ethereal beings exist alongside our own. Gabe must come to terms with this world and his own powers while struggling with his own humanity. This is a great series with dynamic characters and our female partner is great. Well worth the credit!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rusty Miller
  • 2019-04-15

Great narration by the author

Last year, Hero Forged by Josh Erikson surprised a lot of people (myself included). As a debut novel, the book was well received and became a semi-finalist in the current SPFBO contest. I was especially impressed with the audiobook, especially since the author self-narrated it.

In Fate Lashed, we pick up where the last story left off after Gabe and Heather have spent a brief time in seclusion. Unfortunately for them, that time of quiet comes to an abrupt end, and the two of them find themselves in a the-fate-of-the-world-is-on-your-shoulders situation. They are quickly enlisted to join a team to retrieve a long-lost artifact that is believed to hold much power. To reach that goal we meet many new allies, new enemies, and others that we never know for certain whether they are friend or foe. Plus, a number of the characters from Hero Forged are back.

What makes this book most impressive is that it takes some key elements that worked very well in Hero Forged and dials each of them in to be even better in Fate Lashed.

Of particular appeal to me are the excerpts from Gabe’s book-in-writing called ConScience, many of which are as though his words are spoken directly to the reader. Honestly, this is one of the parts of the audiobook that appealed to me the most. These passages come off as vulnerable, honest, personal and at times therapeutic. In these glimpses into the mind and heart of Gabe his words express a depth that goes far deeper than the persona he shows to everyone else. Much of the writing in Fate Lashed (as in Hero Forged before it) is very conversational and authentic, and these are the points when that shines the most.

In addition to the ConScience excerpts, we see so many layers to who Gabe is becoming. He still has the same sass and wit, but there is so much more to him. We see him questioning the core of who he is. What does he want in life? Does he want a relationship, and with who? Can he be something other than a selfish con-man? What will he do with some power? What matters most to him? Why does he tend to put himself down so easily? In some ways, Gabe offers himself as a mirror to let readers see the best and worst of themselves, while quietly encouraging us all to be better than we are. It is so easy to cheer for this guy.

This book is very much more action-based than the former book both in frequency and scale. In general, this isn’t necessarily good news for me, and there were some times when it was a bit much, but these scenes were well done and featured a motley crew of interesting monsters and creatures.

Overall this is a great new Urban Fantasy series by an up-and-coming author. Do yourself a favor: if possible, listen to the audiobooks for this series. The author/narrator gives each character his/her/its own voice and puts so much personality into each line. Plus, the writing style of the book somewhat seems like it was written so that it would be read out loud.

Bravo, Mr. Erikson! You are now 2 for 2. This was highly enjoyable and I will quickly swoop up book #3. I highly recommend this book. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ClementN
  • 2019-04-12

Second verse, as great as the first.

Yet again I find myself sitting here twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next exciting installment. I can't get enough. Curse you, Josh Erikson. Curse you and your addictive storytelling, relatable characters, and enjoyable narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • john
  • 2019-04-08

Amazing

Love this series. Loved the last one to. Bruh I need more. You said you read these so dont leave me hanging. Not trying to Rush you but I have a boring job and need something else ohh... THIS BOOK WAS AWSOME BUY IT... OR UMMMM USE A POINT OR ROB A LIQUOR STORE. BUT IT SHOULD BE HEARD..AND GET THE FIRST ONE......DUESES

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathan
  • 2019-03-28

Wow! Josh has out done himself.

I just wanted to say how truly impressed I was with this book. Not only was the story amazing, but the author narrated it himself and did an amazing job. Congratulations Josh, what you've done with these books is phenomenal. I highly recommend this series, and with over 400 books in my library I hope you take it some what seriously:).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John J Gerber
  • 2019-03-28

Twisty Tale of Fate Turned Upside Down

It is rare that there is not somewhat a lull in the second book in a series. "Fate Lashed" is the exception. It builds on the first book, "Hero Forged" and ratchet it up for a great story that the reader is bound to enjoy. Never think that you have author Josh Erikson figured out, as he puts one plot twist after another into his tales. In the end, the twisting ideas and realities make sense. Well, as much as anything can make sense that deal with fate, gods, etc. Just know that Josh will not let you down.

There are many elements if you told me "I am writing a story, and I am going to structure it this way and on the audible and I am going to read it," I would have cautioned the author against. The story and author seem determined to prove the expected ways are not always the right path to take. I do not want to include any spoilers. So let us use for example (for audible fans) address an author who reads their own book? That is like being your own lawyer. Yet, Josh Erikson makes it work. At this point, there is no one who can represent these characters better in audible then Josh.

The characters are wonderful. New and interesting characters are introduced and old favorites (who you likely hate) come back. They all make for a great high adventure tale with lots of twists. Finally, Josh Erikson stays true to Gabe and Heather, who in the end are the two main characters readers will keep coming back to the series to enjoy their interactions and adventures together. If you enjoyed the first book, you are going to love "Fate Lashed." My only complaint, I wish I was coming late to the series and all the books were already written and ready to be enjoyed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful