He 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.
Debut author Erikson blazes onto the urban fantasy scene with a cornucopia of deceptively simple worldbuilding and meticulously plotted storytelling. Gabe is a professional con man in dire need of money to ensure his ill father’s continuing care. When the perfect way to earn some quick cash appears, Gabe jumps on the opportunity, only to learn—the hard way—that nothing good comes cheap: he and several others are set up to be consumed by powerful unearthly beings called Umbras, and after the ritual is botched, Gabe ends up with one of them in his head. Suddenly Gabe’s narrow view of the world is exponentially expanded, and he’s forced to reevaluate his entire concept of self while dealing with the Umbras and trying to stop the ones who are out to destroy humankind. This is an intricate mystery laced with humor and lore. Precise characterization, and an equal focus on personal evolution and the everyday fantastic, lend the novel a satisfying gravitas. Fans of Jim Butcher and Craig Schaefer will gobble up this trilogy launch and eagerly await more. (BookLife)