Review: Fate Lashed by Josh Erikson

43489240I really, really liked Hero Forged, and so when Fate Lashed was released I was super excited to get to it, but since I loved the narration of book one, I decided that I would very, very patiently wait for the audio to be ready.

Thanks to the author for the review copy of this audiobook. 🙂

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.

This is the continuing adventure of Gabe, a conman from the midwest who was inadvertently pulled into the world of the supernatural when he gets a very powerful evil god stuck in his head.

Gabe and Heather are recovering from the events of book one, trying to lay low since there’s a pretty sizable bounty on their heads, but are hired by a group of witches and tasked with breaking into an unbreakable vault to collect an item before anyone else does.

They are teamed up with a minotaur with anger-management issues, a hexen (sort of like a shaman, I think), an ancient spectre, and her granddaughter, a human scholar. They are tasked with first retrieving a magical artifact, which is used to get into the unbreakable vault, and then getting there before the aforementioned evil god who no longer resides in Gabe’s head can get there so that he can’t get all of his evil shenanigans under way.

This was a well written and fast paced sequel, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, but I didn’t find that I latched onto it quite as hard as I latched onto Hero Forged. Not at first anyway. By about the halfway point though, I was hooked! It was an exciting romp through a few different locales with all kinds of baddies on their tails.

Gabe and Heather are still together but not really together, and this one added a bit of a third wheel to that entire scenario, which I wasn’t a huge fan of, at first. I didn’t especially love Lorelei as a character, and it seemed unnecessary to have her in the middle of the other two. The whole triangle ended up uh… actually really kind of weird as well, but in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t bother me overmuch. I still enjoyed myself quite thoroughly.

This one was something like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom meets a Final Fantasy game. I often think that many books would make really great movies, but I think that this series would make an amazing anime. Someone should get on that!

The narration was again awesome. Josh Erikson puts emotion where it needs to be, and emphasis where it needs to be. That’s one of the pros of having an author be the narrator. Not all authors are good narrators though, but I’m glad to say that this is one author narrator who pulls it off very well! The last 1/4 or so of this book was full of emotion and I got suitably misty-eyed.

And so, all told, this was a really fun sequel to Hero Forged, which forges the way (#notsorry) for many, many more adventures for Gabe and Heather and whichever company of odd heroes they manage to recruit when the time comes. I definitely had 4.5/5 stars of fun with this one. Can’t wait for more!


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