Literature / Ethan Banning

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Possession sucks when you're a P.I.

The Ethan Banning novels are an Urban Fantasy series by Naomi Clark (published by Ragnarok Publications) follows the titular private-investigator as he deals with a very specific problem: he's possessed by a demon. Forced to deal with its taunts and temptations on a constant basis, he will make all manner of poor decisions in hopes of finding a way out of his situation. This often leads to him investigating things he shouldn't...

The first novel, Undertow was released on August 24, 2014.


The following tropes appear in the series:

  • A Fate Worse Than Death: What happens to Heather as she becomes nothing more than a puppet to Tursas.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Demons appear to be this in the Banningverse. They have no morality so to speak and possess no sense of honor or decency. They also desire nothing more than to inflict wanton mayhem.
  • Antihero: Ethan is not a good person. He's not a bad one, usually, but he's got very few heroic impulses.
  • Asexual: Heather appears to be one.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Tursas gets away with his new body and everyone who tried to stop him is dead.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Voice makes no pretensions about being anything other than a force for death and destruction.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Not Ethan's passenger, which most certainly is, but Corey the Necromancer's abilities.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ethan is huge one.
  • Downer Ending: Undertow ends with the entire supporting cast killed and a possessed Heather on the loose with Ethan deciding it's not his problem.
  • Expy: Tursas is one for Cthulhu, though he's based on a real mythological figure.
  • Heroic Dog: Mutt certainly is.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: While Ethan may not be much of one, he loves his dog Mutt.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Ethan's understandable reaction after the events of Undertow.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Subverted. Ethan acts like he doesn't care because, it turns out, he doesn't.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Ethan looks up Tursas and gets a bunch of Cthulhu pictures.
  • Noodle Incident: Where Ethan almost had his organs harvested by a witch he consulted.
  • Occult Detective: Played with as Ethan is more PI than occultist. His knowledge of the supernatural is extremely limited.
  • Oh, Crap!: Maggie's reaction to discovering Tursas doesn't feel obligated to honor any deals he made.
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge: Downplayed Trope as Ethan has some conservative views on a lot of things but seems to be 'live and let live' on others.
  • Perky Goth: Corey is one (though he doesn't self-identify as a Goth—he just thinks the look is appropriate for an apprentice necromancer).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Professor Walters and Ethan's priest are both like this.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Ethan's reaction after Heather murders Professor Walters.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Played with as while the town of Peterswell has a gateway to another dimension in it, the vast majority of the townsfolk are not supernatural or aware of it.
  • Urban Fantasy: Demon-possessed detective investigates the supernatural. Ayup.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: What's required to summon an ancient god.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Averted and Lampshaded as Undertow has some staggering similarities to the Shadow over Innsmouth but goes in a very different direction.


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