Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Blood & Ash by Deborah Wilde
Narrator: Hollie Jackson
Series: The Jezebel Files #1
Published by Self-Published on January 23, 2020
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 8 hours, 45 minutes
Ashira Cohen takes pride in being the only female private investigator in Vancouver. With her skills, her missing persons case should be a piece of cake.
She wasn’t counting on getting bashed in the skull, revealing a hidden tattoo and supernatural powers she shouldn’t possess.
Or the bitter icing on top: a spree of abductions and terrifying ghostly creatures on a deadly bender.
And don’t even get her started on the golems.
Reluctantly partnered with her long-time nemesis Levi, the infuriating leader of the magic community, Ash resolves to keep her focus on the clue trail and off their sexual tension because WTF is up with that?
But with a mastermind organization pulling strings from the shadows and Levi’s arrogance driving her to pick out his body bag, can Ash rescue the captives and uncover the truth or will the next blood spilled be her own?
Blood and Ash is the first book in The Jezebel Files and as such it sets the tone and direction for the entire series. This seems to be off to a good start though using some lore from Judaism that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention or representation in literature. So far the series has a few things going for it.
Interesting Heroine – check
Ashira thought she was just a human until the hidden tattoo on the back of her head was discovered and destroyed, releasing her supernatural powers that is. Her snarky attitude and ability to cause no end of chaos made her fun. I also liked that she has a limp from an injury in her past, it made her more human.
Family Dynamics Drama –check
With a father who went mysteriously MIA and a mother who seems to manipulate and control most of the human world around her, Ashira has some interesting mommy and daddy issues to deal with.
The Hot Guy the Heroine is Playing Hard to Get With – check
They might have gone to Jewish kid camp together over the summers for a long time but that doesn’t mean that Levi and Ashira run in the same circles. She wants nothing to do with the leader of the magical community; he doesn’t think she is a picnic either. But could most of their time fighting and arguing just be a front for the sexual chemistry…?
Girl Power Friendship – checkity-check-check
I love it when girls have a female best friend and they stick together through think and thin. Priya is the absolute best friend a girl could have and the banter between her and Ash is hilarious. It is quick-witted and made me laugh out loud more than once.
Interesting World-building – check
I really liked reading about something where I didn’t already have a lot of knowledge. The main characters are Jewish and the mythology used for much of the plot was from Judaism. Since I don’t have much experience with this, it was new and interesting.
There are a few downsides though.
I wanted more world-building and explanations of the various magical houses and conflicts between the magical and human community. Much of the story is Ash running headlong from one situation into another without much time between. That does make the story fly by but I like a little more depth. The romance is supposed to be enemies to lovers, sort of. It needs a little more fleshing out since Levi and Ash were so tight as kids that I didn’t really believe they ever fell out to the extent they did. Still the banter between them was always a lot of fun.
Solid first story to a series. There is a lot of room to grow and build on everything that has been shown so far. I really liked Ash and all her snarky ways, she reminded me a little of Charlie Davidson’s level of snark. I’ll continue with the series to see where all the craziness goes.
Holllie Jackson is a seasoned narrator and it shows. She did a phenomenal job of bringing all the characters to life.
Listen to a clip:
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
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