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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2018 Josh Erikson (P)2018 Josh Erikson

What listeners say about Hero Forged

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly Good

I usually don't like Author narrators but this author is actually good with the exception of the god villan . I hated the over the top way he was done.
The story itself was very good and a fresh take on urban fantasy. It is well worth an audible credit.
I recommend giving it a listen.

43 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Dresden files meet now you see me

Ok that may not be the best description, but what I can tell you is, this was fun.
I have been into “the Dresden files” “iron Druid” “ink heart” “Harry Potter” type books for a long time. This is now up there on my to recommend list.
My biggest hope for this story is that the author keeps doing the audio books as he brings the story the color and emphasis that every part needs.
Josh keep up the great work and I will be referring your books to friends!

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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MC isn't a hero.

Consider the fact that the MC is a lifelong con man who manipulated, robbed and abused people his entire life, all of a sudden decides to have morality checks for any decision he makes. There's a bad monster who rapes, tortures and kills little children yet we shouldn't stop them because murder is bad...STFU you little Beta Boy.

10 people found this helpful

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Yes!! Give me More!

Fast paced and enjoyable! A different twist and not the same ole same ole. Looking forward to more! I also think Josh should moonlight as a narrator for other books! Just finished a book and the narrator drove me nuts with the monotone reading and bad monster sounds and I thought, this would of been so much better if Josh would of read it.
Just my two cents.

27 people found this helpful

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Wow..just...WOW!!

Great performance and great book. Can’t believe the author did both. It’s a great story and I am amazed that it convoluted and muddled with how how complex it became. Can’t wait for the new book in January.

6 people found this helpful

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Hero Forged

Ok , let me start with I had no idea what I was getting into with this book . That’s not always a bad thing, I didn’t realize that the author is also the narrator. It’s a good thing cause I probably wouldn’t have bought it .
I am very glad I did ! It’s a fun ride . I was expecting the tried ok overly tried hero stick . You know , shepherd/farmer chosen/ Prophecy meets wise old sage/master you all the tropes . That is not what I got . Too my delight this is better , refreshingly good story interesting an remarkably likable characters an a nonstop ride into a magical unseen world . Plus this world is full of possibly.. I Eagerly await the next step in the story!
I have too give kudos to Josh Erikson not only did he create a great story with his written words . He brought it too life with an outstanding Audio performance , which is no easy thing. So if your like myself and love a good story , give this a try you won be disappointed.

36 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Great plot but a complete pushover main character

Got about 8 hours 30 min into the book before I had to drop it. I did love the plot of the book and how the story was playing out, but the main character's characterization was atrocious. When dealing with his succubus lady friend, he basically does whatever she wants. If it were literally anyone else in the main character's position, she would have been left on the curb in the first couple hours of the book (even despite it probably ending up with her dead).

Next comes the classic story hero mentality (where he can't hurt others without them hurting him first)... This honestly makes me want to howl at the sky in frustration. I don't think I've ever seen a main character in a story that acts as much of a little bitch as this one does. He can't bring himself to kill a rapist sorcerer who sells dead child body parts, or even kill a few passed out child slavers, murders, and grave robbers. If the author made the main character's age closer to the early teenage years, then it might be slightly more appropriate. A dude in his 30s thinking like this is honestly depressing.

I can't say I'm much of a badass in real life as a computer programmer, so it shouldn't be as much of a problem as it is, But trying to immerse myself into the story is impossible with this guy as the main character. Sorry, it's just not a believable characterization.

26 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

great build up, missed the conflict

I want to address the narrator first.

normally I am reluctant to read a book narrated by the author, especially one who doesn't have previous narrations to his credit. it's too easy to ruin a book with a bad narration and enthusiasm can't save it.

Having said that, I love Mr. Erikson's narration. He has a great voice for it, and every character was sufficiently distinct to be recognizable by the voice alone.

Now onto the book itself.

A con man walks in the middle of a ritual and tries to con a god.

I had a fun time for most of this book. the idea of a conman as the main character must have been used before, but it's a first for me, and it was handled in a fun way. the characters are fairly unique and distinctive and the story builds up to what would be an epic fight that... kind of falls flat.

Here are some of the problems with it. we are told over and over that the two beings can't exist together. we're given a literal timer on when this mind bomb will go off. And supposedly it does go off. but it doesn't affect the story. The story continues exactly had it had before it went off. it's used to justified one detail that didn't need it to happen.

Then, there's the fact this is a story staring a con man. in itself, that's a promise that a con will win the day. But it doesn't.

Then there's the fact that luck fixed more problems in this story than it creates.

Behind all of those, the fact that the main character takes far longer than credible to accept his new reality is minor, and even he addresses that problem.

I'd worked out what would happen to the god in Gabe's head by the time the character to whom it would happen was introduced. when it happened it didn't feel satisfying and felt like it broke the established rules. why it didn't gets explained, but it still didn't feel satisfying.

The story feels like Mr. Erikson had this great concept, knew it would build-up to this conflict that would be amazing... but didn't actually know how it would be resolved and still wrote it, hoping he'd be able to con me into thinking it was good.

Unfortunately, that's one con that didn't work. Fortunately, he gave me many fun characters that I want to read about again, and faith that his crafting skill will have improved by the next book,

because in the end, every reader is looking to be conned.

3 people found this helpful

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Stop making new main chars to fit each situation.

The character becomes a completely new person for no reason half way through the book and it makes no since. he's willing to stand his ground on certain subjects but becomes a cry baby on that subject later for no reason. I don't want to give spoilers so I wont state what actually happened but it was bad enough for me to stop listening to the book.

3 people found this helpful

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slow to start but kept you going

it was a really slow start but it kept you going about a quarter of the way through pics of real quickly though if you can send to get through the start very good read

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nathan J
  • 07-27-18

great book

This book is one of the best ones I have listened to in while. It puts a new spin on things that I enjoyed greatly.

1 person found this helpful

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  • scott hardy
  • 08-30-20

eeeeexcelleeeeent (you'll get it one you hear it)

Incredible, I loved both the story and narration, he really brings the characters alive

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  • Kirstan
  • 06-11-20

It's ok

I really tried to like this book, the guy writting it obvioulsy has a good heart and is trying to make it fun, but it just doesn't work for me. He's going for a Skullduggery style fun, young adults book but, though it's not a bad job, it doesn't come close to the writing of Derek Landy or even someone like Eoin Colfer.
I don't think it helps that he's read it himself, he can't do accents and should have left it to an actor who could have really given the story a new angle.
Having said that I did finish it and I'm sure lots of people will enjoy it, it just wasn't for me.

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  • mitchell
  • 12-28-19

genuine

This book is very original in its approach, which is rather refreshing in a lot of ways, combined with the earnestness of the writer makes it awesome. I'd it reccomend highly.

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  • Matt R Brooks
  • 11-29-19

Brilliant, Scary, Fun

I loved this story! It was the right amount of mystery, fantasy, horror and comedy that I needed to read after tackling ‘Ulysses’ for... some reason I thought was smart.

Either way, the characters are brilliantly thought out, even the small fry, and the story is clever without trying to be so smart as to confuse you. The ending twists included some I saw coming and relished when they did, and some I didn’t see coming and enjoyed discovering.

Overall, ten pishtacos out of ten!

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  • Joseph B. Tay Teck
  • 08-23-19

Enjoyable, irreverent, fun

I liked it, good spin on an old trope. Don’t get why the old gods would still have so much power though

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  • Mr James Saunders
  • 04-21-19

Bit rough around the edges but overall very good.

This was a very entertaining audio book, full of engaging characters and rich lore. It was well paced and had a plot that kept me gripped from beginning to end. There is lots of great tension building throughout, in which I was genuinely on the edge of my seat wanting the heros to succeed and I shared in their triumphs when they did. The author (and narrator) paint a vivid picture of the world that really helps to bring the characters and their actions to life in a very enjoyable way.

The book falls down a little bit due to the protagonist escaping death one to many times due to dumb luck. He's a con man, I would have liked to have seen a bit more clever trickery in his escapes. Also feels that sometimes the characters make decisions based on what the plot needs them to do rather than through their personal characteristics.

With the above being said through, it was still an extremely fun ride and I'm very much looking forward to the second book in the series!

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  • Andrew B.
  • 03-11-19

Stunning debut

Josh blends the amateur energy of passion with a seriously adept story that's been polished to a mirror sheen. This urban fantasy novel brings together a lot of influences, and eagle eyes will spot notes from some particular 90s movies - but the resulting work is never derivative, and the author's good humor and humanity shines underneath. Well done.

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  • Paul Jones
  • 01-21-19

Really enjoyable and unusual fantasy story.

Very good and unusual story with well thought out characters and good world development. Really enjoyed the narration and cannot wait for the next book in the series.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-07-19

Around good listen

Looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Narration very good had no trouble knowing who is who

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  • michael
  • 08-24-21

loved it

just the right ballance between plot, character development, mystique, magic, action and laughs. a classic loose yourself read! thanks Josh looking forward to downloading the next 2!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dean
  • 08-13-18

First 4/5 were great

Took a sharp turn into stupid typical self sacrificing hero decisions in the last few hours filled with angst and tears from the MC. Really enjoyed the book up till that point, maybe the author for depression toward the end of writing this?