Blight Marked by Josh Erikson

Series: Ethereal Earth #3Genre: urban fantasy
Date of Publishing: March 11th 2020Publisher: self-published


Quote of the Book

“Sometimes the end result of a thing is so much better than the component parts that it really doesn’t matter what it was before it fell into your lap. People are the same… except they can continue to improve. I have to believe that’s true, and that we can all become what we want without being held back by what we were. There’s darkness in all of our lives, right? That doesn’t mean we should have to wallow in it.”


Blurb

Becoming a target is never great, but it’s a little worse when the people trying to kill you are technically the good guys.

Gabe escaped the Ether with the ultimate prize, and he thought that meant he was done with deadly cosmic games. But the nightmares infesting his life have different plans, and they’re not asking nicely before dragging him back in. It turns out holding all the power in the universe doesn’t mean much if you have no idea what to do with it.
So together with Heather, he embarks on a frantic race to collect the remaining six Iglas and stave off the coming darkness. And in the process, they discover just how much deeper their problems go. With new threats lashing at them from every side, and old ones tightening their grip, it becomes a contest against chaos to see who will dictate the future of existence: the assorted protectors of Earth, an all-consuming darkness…or a conman who would really rather not.

Blight Marked is the third book in the Ethereal Earth series, an ongoing story about reality, illusions, and all the ridiculous crap in the gray space between.
 


Disclaimer/Personal Note

I’ve got an ARC from Josh Erikson in exchange of an honest review. He still owes me a song though 😉

I also count this title into my Armed with a Bingo card. I’ve put it under the ‘A book in the middle of a series‘ square.


Song of the Book

I picked a Three Days Grace song for Hero Forged, then I got misdirected for Fate Lashed by Josh Erikson himself, so now I’m back to Three Days Grace again. This time my pick fell on Get out Alive!


Review

Despite my reading slump, I was excited to get back in the world of Gabriel, Heather, Dante and the others to find out how their story continues. Blight Marked takes up the mantel right where we cast it off at the end of Fate Lashed. If you are already familiar with the Ethereal Earth series by Josh Erikson, then you already have a good idea what to expect. Rest assured, you won’t be disappointed.

These books are getting better as the series progresses, and that’s troubling, because I have no idea what comes after a 5* rated book. 5.5*? Thankfully that’s a problem I have to worry about once the next book is in my hands. Until then, let’s focus on Blight Marked, shall we? I have to warn you here though, that if you didn’t read Fate Lashed, then this review might contain some spoilers for you and thus you shall proceed with caution.

Heather and Gabe doesn’t get too much time to recover after what happened with them in China and come to terms with the changes. 6 more Iglas are waiting to be collected and there is no time to waste. Their enemies are on their heels and everyone wants to grab for the power and if Gabe gets killed in the bargain, well, all the better. So they not only have to fight against monsters from Gabe’s nightmares, but also somehow evade to be captured. Things are getting even more complicated with Aka Manah’s involvement who plays Gabe and Heather like a master pupeteer. Oh, and did I mention that the Endless Dark is knocking on the metaphorical door of Earth? Just a normal day in Gabe Delling’s life, nothing to see here.

The pace of Blight Marked could shame the shinkanzen as the action sequences follow each other with some occasional down time to catch our breaths. And for Gabe to deal with his feelings towards Heather, his parents and his role in the grand scheme of things. And of course Aka Manah is there to “motivate” him into learning some new handy tricks regarding his magic. But beside the old characters we are all familiar with, we get some new ones, such as Penny, the water sprite. She is damn annoying, but apparently look isn’t everything. It’s easy to underestimate someone who is small and totally out of the norm, but once you fuck with them… you are better be ready to pay the consequences. Just saying.

“Then her hands were holding onto the big horns to either side of her, and she was smiling like a kid on the world’s deadliest pony.”

When I started reading, I didn’t exactly know what to expect: will they search for Iglas from now on, 1 Igla a book? Will this become repetitive? Thankfully Erikson had better ideas and that absolutely won’t be the case. But then, that shows who is the writer between the two of us.

“I love surprises. What I hate, are the ones I don’t see coming.”

Blight Marked kind of reads like an action movie of which I’m not a huge fan of, but what makes this book better than those movies is Gabe’s sarcasm and humor. Plus the fact that he is havng a great character arc throughout the series and I really appreciate that, because what really sells this series to me is the characters. And the humor. Okay, who am I kidding? I’m totally here for the CONScience snippets at the beginning of the chapters. I just love how Erikson waves those parts into the story in a way that it gives us a chance to look into the thoughts of Gabe so we could better understand how he thinks and why he makes the decisions he does.

Blight Marked sets the bar one step higher yet and though the story concludes nicely, it also sets up the next installment to be something we can look forward to. Blight Marked is a fast, witty and emotional roller-coaster ride and I can’t wait to see what the next stop will bring.


Our Judgement

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