Review: Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth # 1) by Josh Erikson

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

29/50 – 2022 Goodreads Challenge

Gabe thought he had covered all the angles, but it’s tough to plan a contingency for accidentally trapping an evil god in your brain. Gabriel Delling might call himself a professional con artist, but when walking superstitions start trying to bite his face off, his charm is shockingly unhelpful. It turns out living nightmares almost never appreciate a good joke.
Together with a succubus who insists on constantly saving his life, Gabe desperately tries to survive a new reality that suddenly features demons, legends, and a giant locust named Dale-all of whom pretty much hate his guts. And when an ancient horror comes hunting for the spirit locked in his head, Gabe finds himself faced with the excruciating choice between death…. or becoming some kind of freaking hero. Hero Forged is the first book in the new series,
Ethereal Earth, a modern fantasy adventure that challenges the natures of myth, humanity, and what it means to be the good guy.

📖/🎧 Kindle Whispersync

I don’t remember how I found this originally, but it’s been sitting on my TBR for a while and I’m very certain I added it because I thought the cover looked pretty cool. I finally decided to give it a shot this weekend, mainly because I was waiting for an ARC to come in and I wanted something short that could fill that time, so I chose this one over others on my scheduled 2022 TBR list. I’ll reiterate this again at the end, but I definitely made the right decision to read this.

“Every choice has a consequence, and part of my job is to foresee each path so I can follow the one that nets me the most of your money. Cold and calculating. We’re like Wall Street bankers, except…… No, I can’t actually think of a good difference.”

It reminds me a bit of the Paternus series by Dyrk Ashton in how it mixes legends and mythologies from different parts of the world into an urban setting. I also got some serious vibes of the tv show, Supernatural, which I feel like may have had some inspiration for this novel and series. Some of these legends I had never even heard of before, like the Preta which seems to be from Asian lore, and then the Pishtaco which is South American, and finally someone you’ll meet that is from Persian legend. I really like this because it’s also somewhat educational for me, and introduced me to legends from other places around the world for me to google and learn about.

“One of the first lessons he’d learned was that stupid people have no idea how stupid they actually are, but that smart people tend to know their exact IQs.”

Even though there was really nothing new creatively, I loved the story and the characters, it was fast paced and just so much fun to read and listen to. The narrator, which is also the author, did such a fantastic job that I think made this read even better. It’s not often you find an author that does a great job narrating his own stuff, and I can’t tell you how many times I giggled at the banter between Gabe and just about everyone he came into contact with. I honestly was expecting it to be a bit darker in tone than it was, so I was somewhat surprised when it wasn’t, but it was still plenty dark and bloody and surpassed my expectations of what I was getting myself into. I definitely made the right decision when I decided to read this, and I can’t wait to continue reading this series later.

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