Etta

Review: Blood & Ash (The Jezebel Files #1)

Published January 23rd 2020, Audiobook Version

Author: Deborah Wilde

Overview from Amazon:

Cold-blooded kidnappers. Long-lost magic. When things get serious, she goes full Sherlock.

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 & Ash is the epic first novel in The Jezebel Files. If you like headstrong heroines, complex mysteries, and a dash of red-hot romance, you’ll love Deborah Wilde’s kickass urban fantasy.

Personal Review

As I did an audio book for this novel compared to reading it, I will start with the narration aspect. The narrator was Hollie Jackson who is an excellent overall narrator, but this just wasn’t the story for her. The novel and the narrator just didn’t mesh well together and as the novel is told via Ashira (the main character), it just wasn’t a good fit for that character. Her delivery was nice for the humor portions as she was able to convey it in a more believable fashion. She changed her tons subtly to reflect the different personalities of each character as much as possible. She did a good job being clear and concise with some hints at emotions in the correct places, but you never felt the characters come to life as the tones of the narrator didn’t match what the character is imagined to be.

One thing to note, depending on your preferences, is this book contains A LOT of cursing. If you’re the type that prefers not to read/listen to it, then you might automatically dislike this book and miss out on the opportunity to experience the story. For me, I loved it as I would probably be saying a lot of the same words/phrases, especially if I get in to some of the situations as Ashira.

Blood & Ash is book one in the start of a “snarky, urban, fantasy detective series.” In this new reality that takes place in Vancouver, Canada where magic exists, but not everyone has it. Our main character is a private investigator named Ashira (“Ash”) who starts as a non-processor of magic. She later discovers that she does have magic, but it was blocked when she was a teen. As she faces a new adventure, she must not only navigate through this quest, but also how to deal with her new-found magic abilities.

She teams up with Levi, the leader of the magic community, to take on the quest. Together they face many obstacles and there’s a lot of action throughout the story which moves it along at a great pace. There are enough details along the way to explain possibilities for what could happen next in the series. The romance between Levi and Ashira has potential and the relationships between all the characters were enjoyable.

The characters were great and they interacted well together. I loved the stronger female lead who was herself the whole time and didn’t always bend to others. As this is the first novel in the series, I’ll have to reserve overall judgement until I finish them all. Compared to some other novels that I read that felt like they could be standalone books, this one felt like a part of a set. I will say that this novel is an excellent start and I can’t wait to check out the next book in the series!

**Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to listen to an ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own based on my experience.**

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