Blood & Ash: A Snarky Urban Fantasy Detective Series

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

This is the best book I've read in a while, and I never give out 5 star ratings.  If you took Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan and Jessica Jones, and they had a wonderfully snarky woman-baby, Ash would be it!

Ash is a mundane (or at least we all see her start the book that way) private investigator, in a world full of magical people.  They are divided into Houses, and her old frenemy, Levi, is the leader of the local one.  While following one of her client's kids on a failed B&E, she gets bonked on the head, starting an awesome and terrifying series of events.  What began as a simple "is my kid doing drugs" case turns into a magical kidnapping ring investigation.  Throw in mysterious powers manifesting, magical smears, and enough sexual chemistry to light the world on fire and you've got the very busy life and times of Ash.  

This book built a world that had me completely hooked.  There are alternate dimensions on top of what is already a rich and magical universe.  There is a wonderful combination of theology and fantasy without jamming it down your throat.  There was enough steampunk to be believable without it being obnoxious and silly.  I could go on forever!  I would read this book again and again, but instead will eagerly await the next installment.  There's another one, right?  Please?
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Blood & Ash, by author Deborah Wilde, is the first installment in the authors Jezebel Files series. 28-year old Ashira Cohen is the only female private investigator in Vancouver along with her best friend Priya Khairi. As a supposed non-Nefesh, or non-magic user, she's forbidden from taking any magical cases. When she takes on a missing person case, unregistered Nefesh kid, she feels it will be an easy case. After taking a blow to the head, a hidden tattoo is revealed and, much to her amazement and shock, she finds that she has supernatural powers.

Ash apparently had a ward put on her after an accident when she was a teenager. This doesn't go over well with the House of Pacifica and its leader Levi Montefiore since he and Ash have had a running fight since they were kids. Levi believes that Ash has had magic the entire time and arrests her for suspicion of being a rogue magic user. All magic users are supposed to register with their local Houses like Pacifica. What's worse, Ash's mother belongs to a group known as the Untainted Party who has a dislike for Nefesh and wants to keep them in check or eliminated altogether. 

Apparently, her father had the ability to charm people. Things get interesting in the story when a spree of abductions and terrifying ghostly creatures go on a deadly bender. Ash, it seems, might have the ability to drive the creatures away but it isn't until much later in the story that we learn why and what her powers are called. To say that Ash might be the most dangerous character in this world, would be apt. Ash also resorts to her snarky attitude to keep her sane. 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.

Wilde combines hard boiled noir and Jewish folklore in this action-packed series opening. There are several secondary & tertiary characters who make this book more interesting, especially the Queen of Hearts, Meryem, and Miles Berenbaum. This is my first attempt at reading a series by this author. I've heard that her previous series was based on Jewish mythology and this one also hints that the origins of magic go back to Sodom and Gomorrah. One of the things this series needs to resolve quickly is Ash's issues with her mother and father otherwise, it will drag down the series.
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I got this book for Netgalley awhile ago and I am kind of mad that it took me so long to read it because I loved it!!  It is exactly the kind of book I love.  Ash is a snarky, funny as hell main character.  She is a private investigator who though she was completely human... until she wasn't.  dun dun dun.. She has to partner up with Levi for a case and they have the whole "I hate you but I really want to see you naked thing" and that's always a good time.  I loved seeing them get close and I loved the storyline.   I am looking forward to the next book.
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This book gets all the stars. I put off reading the authors other series because I thought the h was to young for me to get into. Once I read it, I never looked back and if this book is any indication; this series won't be any different. The characters are flawed, snarky, sarcastic, and completely lovable. Deborah Wilde is now and forever a one click buy!
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I’ve read this author before, and I liked her snarky style. For some reason, I never read any others so I was excited to see another series start (I like to start at the beginning). I loved this book with its interesting characters, great writing, and fast-paced action. I do have to admit that the author has a way of writing (I can’t put my finger on it exactly) that takes me a minute to get used to. I also guessed at something right away and didn’t believe the red herring (no spoilers!). However, those didn’t stop me from enjoying just about every second of reading this. I am really looking forward to the next book to see what happens next. Give this a try if you like urban fantasy with a dash of romance! Recommend, and I was given a complimentary copy which I voluntarily reviewed.
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She was filming a teenager for cash. Charlotte Rose Scott-age sixteen was currently trying to break and enter a weathered Craftsman house. Ashira watched C R try every way she could think of to break in without success. Charlotte was Mundane which meant she had no magic, no powers.  Except she had disappeared so apparently she wasn’t Mundane. Now Ashera was about to get screwed by House Pacifica. When Victoria Scott had hired Ashira to spy on her her kid who’d been acting cagey and  obviously  some drug addiction. Than an air elemental appeared to be Charlotte's co-conspirator and pushed a gust of wind at Ashira she fell and hit her head. Ashira found the small box stashed in her jacket pocket and pushed it’s single button. It produced a high frequency  sound barely within hearing range that made the newbie double over and Charlotte Rose appeared , hands over her ears, moaning in pain. Nowadays people prefer to hire private investigators who had magic, wanting the extra abilities the Nefesh brought to the table.  Ashira was the only female P I in town and a Mundane. She’d worked her butt off to carve a niche for herself and she wasn’t letting Victoria jeopardize that. Charlotte said she wasn’t breaking in that this her birth mother’s house  and she wanted to see… Ashira ended up in the emergency room with her head. The doctor  wanted to run more tests so Ashira called her best friend Priya/Pri to keep her company. Ashira found out from the doctor she had a Star Of David tattooed on the back of her head. She had no idea how she got it. Pri was a coder and was working six months for a local high end restaurant group. Pri and Ashira share to an apartment. Ashira’s mother Talia was in the Untainted Party . Ashira than found out after she  got the concussion that she had blood magic. She was a Nefesh. The tattoo was really a ward that had bond her magic. She had the ward removed. 
I loved this book. I didn’t really know what to expect but I quickly got intrigued I didn’t want to put this down and only did when I had to. I loved the plot and pace. I loved Ashira and Levi and how they interacted. I loved how Levi loved his people. I loved the characters and the ins and outs and I highly recommend this.
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Blood and Ash by Deborah Wilde was my first experience with this author but I don't think it will be my last.  This was a really good supernatural mystery with a lot of mysticism based upon religious twists on the origination of magic.  This book will keep you guessing and the plot will keep you in that chair reading until the story is done to see what happens next.  I enjoyed Ash and her humor.  I was given an ARC of this story for my honest opinion.
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Thank you to Te Da Media & NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review!

This was my introduction into a mystery/thrill/suspense-esque type of book. I found "Blood & Ash" to be an okay book. It helped that there was a fantasy element to the story. The premise made it sound like this would be a good read but I wasn't blown away by what happened.

Ashira is a very strong character with an incredibly strong voice and personality. I liked that she is trying to diversify the P.I. business in Vancouver, Canada as the only female detective. Ashira distinguishes herself very well in contrast to everyone else. She takes on so much and doesn't back down. She's persistent in the conflict from beginning to end. Her sense of humor wasn't my kind of humor and there was too much sarcasm where there need to be seriousness.

The author creates an unusual world. I get the magic system but paired with the setting it I was a little confused on the state of the world. And it seemed like some countries became territories so maybe this takes place in the future.

The romance was so-so. It kind of took a back seat to everything else but I think that was intentional in order to explore Ashira and Levi's relationship more as the series progresses.

I liked the way the book ended. It was more satisfying than anything else. I might read book 2.
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"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 and 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 laugh out loud tale."

If you subtitle your book "A Snarky Urban Fantasy Detective Series" you can be sure I'll read it.
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Awesome book, first time reading this author, loved the humor mixed with the seriousness, it won’t be the last time I read her books!. Ash is the kind of heroine ever girl wants to be. Smart or smart ass lol. Levi is yummy and doesn’t know what to do with Ash spank her or love her or maybe a bit of both. Together they track something or someone that is stealing magic from kids.

I read and reviewed this advanced complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley
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I'm happy I requested this arc because I discovered a new to me excellent urban fantasy series.
I loved the world building, the fleshed out cast of characters, and the gripping and entertaining plot.
Can't wait to read another instalment in this series.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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4.5  Anyone looking for a good urban fantasy that's got a hot romance, this is it! Ms Wilde's Ashira Cohen is a fabulously sassy detective with powers she's just exploring, think Jessica Jones or Kate Daniels, and her Vancouver has magic and Houses of magic users, so I kept thinking of Ilona Andrews' Nevada Baylor series. Very happy with this series: it's got an overarching mystery, a hate-lust relationship (at least for now) and some fun banter. I will definitely be looking for the next book, and will check out the author's previous series as well.
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Ok I’m not gunna lie, I started out a wee bit confused when I started this book but it took very little time for me to become completely and utterly hooked, I could not put it down. Cannot wait for more of this series!
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Blood & Ash is the first book in the Jezebel Files series by Deborah Wilde. It is currently scheduled for release on January 14 2020. 

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 a solid start to an urban fantasy series. I have to admit that it took me a chapter or so to get into the story. It starts off with Ash in the middle of something, and for a few pages I thought maybe I misread and this was not the first book in a series, or that there was a previous series that I should have read to fully understand the set up. Thankfully, that was cleared up quickly and I was in the groove and enjoying the world and character building. I liked Ash's character, and her combination of vulnerable, capable, and smart ass appealed to me. I also liked the set up with her moral code, friends, and where she stands on just about everything. Similarly, I liked getting to know Levci and his network- as well as the secondary characters that are likely to play important roles in the series as it continues. I also really enjoyed the use of Jewish lore. I know a little, but not much, of the stories and this inspired me to take a closer look. There is so much there, and I look forward to learning more. Now, as far as the mystery, action, and hint of romance that are balanced through the story. Since it is a new world for me, there was no previous knowledge as to who might be pulling the strings or what kind of magic might be involved. I think the way the mystery and magic were revealed, built up, and resolved to a degree were well done, and very well paced. There was so much groundwork laid for future developments and  tension, however I was not left with the kind of unresolved questions that typically leave me frustrated at the end of the book. Rather, I was left with a satisfying conclusion but enough unanswered questions and possibilities that I am eager to read the next volume. That balance can be hard to hit, and I think Wilde hit it right in the sweet spot.

Blood & Ash is a wonderful start to a new series. Looks like I have one more urban fantasy to add to my must read pile.
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When I first started Blood & Ash, it reminded me of  Ilona Andrews Hidden Legacy series. Not that I'm complaining. That's one of my all-time faves. Both feature private investigators with hidden magical powers and a House system that governs magic users. Levi, the head of the House in Vancouver, where Blood & Magic is set, even has the same kind of magic, not to mention attitude, as Augustine, one of the Heads of House in Hidden Legacy.

Where Blood & Ash starts to set itself apart is in the magic system, which is based in Kabbalah. It also has one House per region so there's none of the House warfare. Instead, there are tensions between the mundane majority and the magical community called the Nefesh. Oh, and a conspiracy to hide Ash's magic, and maybe a secret society. I loved all the twists and turns!

I also enjoyed the frenemies vibe between Ash and Levi, which brought to mind Rachel and Trent in The Hollows series. Still not complaining. I love them. I'm looking forward to seeing how Ash and Levi's relationship develops.

Blood & Ash is my first book from Deborah Wilde. I've considered starting her Unlikable Demon Hunter books before, and now I think I'll have to give them a try while I'm waiting for more Jezebel Files. I really enjoyed Blood & Ash and I can't wait for the next book in the series.
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I am a sucker for a fast paced PNR read and had high hopes for this book, but it fell a bit short for me. It was listed as an adult book and while there is adult content the MC acted more like someone in her teens vs a 30 something. While the story suggested she was very educated and cultured her rash decisions and language suggested otherwise. 
I really liked where the author was going with the Sherlock Holmes theme and while the world dynamic of Nefesh (those with magic) and regular humans without was not a new concept I liked the spin that the author put on it. It seemed like I came in on an existing storyline and was missing a lot of background on the world, but hopefully more will continue to be filled in throughout this series. 
Overall I enjoyed the story but the lack of background information and the MC’s internal monologue kept me from getting sucked in and really enjoying the book. 
Thank you to NetGally and Te Da Media for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I loved this book. I was entertained and really didn't want to stop reading this one.

I think this is the first time I have ever read a book by Deborah Wylde and it will not be the last.

I do recommend this book .
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3.5 stars. What Ash thinks will be a simple case to locate a missing girl turns into a dangerous conspiracy that could upend the magical world. A world that Ash wasn't part of, until this same simple case exposes a tattoo that's been blocking her magic ever since she was a child. The last thing she wants to do is team up with the man she loves to torment but since he's in charge of that magical world, at least the bureaucratic parts of it, she has no choice. Ash is uptight, a little damaged, and snarky to the point of rudeness but she loves her best friend Priya and she will always help people when she can. This book was a fun take on the traditional urban fantasy PI trope.

[I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.]
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What an intriguing read!  The different abilities of the "nefresh" were amazing.  The heat between Ashira and Levi is smoldering.  The intrigue and twists in this book were cleverly crafted.  Loved it!
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Ash is a mundane where 10% of humans have some king of magical abilities, she's a PI reduced to minor investigations because the Head of House Pacifica has deemed her unable to investigate anything involving the magical, even cheating spouse cases. Then an innocent bump on the head reveals a strange tattoo and hitherto unknown magic blood powers.

If the idea of a secular Jewish PI with attitude and unheard of magical powers floats your boat then I think I have a new series for you. Engaging characters, a complex plot and snappy dialogue make this a big thumbs up from me.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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