Blood and Ash (The Jezebel Files #1)
By Deborah Wilde
Originally Published January 14th, 2020
Single POV, First Person
I received an ARC audiobook copy of this book to review, a rare kind of ARC but since I have been feeling sick the last couple days, a welcome one. For those who don't know, ARC stands for Advance Readers' Copy and is given to other authors, bloggers, people in the book community, to read and review before the book's actual release date. It helps garner some buzz for the book and I am always more than happy and honored when I'm asked to receive one. This book was already published back in January, but the author wished to get some attention on the audiobook version!
My overall thoughts of the audiobook are simple:
I was not a fan of the narrator, but her voice wasn't enough to keep me from being invested in the story. 3/5 on the audiobook recording.
However, my review of the book in general is:
Blood and Ash was F-U-N! Urban Fantasy, as we ALL know, is my favorite genre. There is never any shortage of reading material in the genre, which can either be a very good thing or a bad thing. Blood and Ash is what I like to call Mass Market Urban Fantasy, UF that the author pushes out three books a year and that you would normally only find in mass-market binding if self-publishing wasn't a glorious thing now. We all know that Kindle Unlimited is rife with thousands and thousands of UF books being published, mostly independently, and sometimes it is hard to settle on a new read without cringing in the first few chapters. My ratings for UF are two categories only: either superb or severely lacking--no in between. But at the end of the day, I still enjoy reading either end of the spectrum. I can really enjoy a book but know that it wasn't any prize winner (or Ilona Andrews in this case!). Now, as you can tell by my four-star rating, Blood and Ash sits firmly in my superb category, and here is why!
It has, literally, everything I love about this amazing genre:
Token cheesy cover (Just look at it, it's glorious!)
Snarky MC (Who takes no crap, but is also a mess!)
BANTER (BANTER, LOTS OF IT!)
Magic (Different magic castes and unique, yet familiar, political structure.)
Mystery and detective shenanigans (Or MC is also a Sherlock fan so the references and jokes made me smile!)
Enemies-to-lovers romance (Need I say more?)
A dark, growing evil (Just enough revealed to keep us in the dark for the next books.)
Lore / Mythology (The magic in this book revolves around Judaism, a rich culture and deep history rarely tapped into in books. Truly unique. AND our MCs are Jewish!)
Action (Mild, but there.)
Sure, all these things above that I look for and want in a UF book that I read are usually in every UB book I pick up. But, they aren't always done well. Deborah Wilde writes a fun and fast-paced romp full of wit and humor, mixed with a sprinkle of dark and dangerous. While some parts of the book felt slightly rushed, or could have been expounded on a little longer, or even felt tropey, I greatly enjoyed this first installment into a new Urban Fantasy world. Ashira, our main character, best moments were when she dropped her tough act and actually felt human to read about. There were moments where true emotion shined through and I hope for more of that in the future, even if it comes with cheesy dialogue. I am all about heartfelt moments from a guarded character, it's a kink of mine.
If you enjoy quick, fun reads and Adult Urban Fantasy, I recommend you give this one a go!