Review: Fate Lashed (Ethereal Earth #2) by Josh Erikson

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A

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 the second book 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.

📖/🎧 Kindle Whispersync

The story starts 4 months after Hero Forged. Gabe, who is now with Heather and a group of special colleagues, makes a blood contract to go on a quest to find a legendary artifact to save the world (cliché yes, even the author admits it, which makes it all the better) while being attacked by all kinds of creatures sent by Aka Manah, some of which, I had to look up to see what they were. This is Urban fantasy mixed with supernatural at its finest, and low-key progression fantasy.

“The wise man treats every meal as his last, and savors the sauce of mortality.”

Erikson has honed his writing skills in such a short period that Fate Lashed doesn’t feel like it’s just his second book. It feels like more than just a year and several books have passed between Hero Forged and Fate Lashed with how much improvement has been made. That is not a slight, because I thought Hero Forged was great and you can check out my review by clicking on the link here: (Review: Hero Forged).

“We live in a dichotomous world. We laud humility but reward egotism. We painstakingly insulate ourselves from danger but love living it vicariously. We hate fear but seek it like a drug.”

It’s hysterical with Gabe and Heather’s quick-witted, snarky comebacks. It’s fast-paced and has a bunch of exciting action scenes that kept my eyes glued to my phone and ears focused in on what was happening. The pacing was fantastic as well, there was never a dull moment and everything seemed to happen at the perfect time. The character development of Gabe is probably what stands out the most in this sequel, as his growth as a person and as a friend while coming into his own, learning how to fight and use magic, makes this even more special.

“We all believe we’re the heroes of our own stories, and that’s true as far as generic platitudes go. But if you look closely enough, you might be surprised to discover you’re also the villain of it.”

Kudos to Erikson, who once again, does a fantastic job narrating his own book. This was really was a top notch job! There were some spots near the end that really made you feel the emotions of the characters involved that gave me a bit of goosebumps.

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