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Ashley Westgard #1

Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect

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“Robots and exowombs and hemp, oh my!”

Welcome to 2045. Automation has freed humanity from the drudgery and limitations of blue-collar labor. For twenty years, a remarkable group of female bureaucrats has overseen an ambitious construction program that is spreading equity, prosperity, and peace worldwide.

But Detective Ashley Westgard of the Jacksonville Police Corps senses that beneath all the glimmer and shine, a new malaise has taken root in society. From brazen acts of criminality and rampant party pill abuse, to her own insatiable desires... All is not well on the road to paradise.

Ash is beautiful, vain, headstrong, and erratic. A symbol of her time as she careens from impulsive shopping sprees to drunken fights to escapades of sin. But now that a methodical killer is on the loose, she must rise above apathy and doubt in order to forge her raging inner fire into a fearsome weapon of justice.

Philip Wyeth’s crazy fifth novel is imaginative, hilarious, sexy, and poignant. It will dazzle fans of Rich Larson, Neal Stephenson's “Snow Crash,” “The Tomorrow File” by Lawrence Sanders, and women who kick ass!

Note to Readers: This book contains adult language and sexual themes. (45,500 words)

“Once you get that nano crawling through you... You feel alive!”

146 pages, Kindle Edition

Published May 19, 2019

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About the author

Philip Wyeth

9 books21 followers
Philip Wyeth's writing is imaginative and intense! His fully immersive speculative stories explore what might happen if people actually got everything they say they wanted—politically, technologically, or socially.

Relatable characters, polished prose, and outrageous spectacles ensure that readers are entertained along the way, no matter how high-concept the ideas being explored are.

Inspired by such unique writers as Heinrich von Kleist, Ambrose Bierce, Joseph Conrad, and Len Deighton, Wyeth's explosive novels will resonate with fans of Philip K. Dick, Harry Harrison, Robert Sheckley, George Orwell, Michel Houellebecq, and Neal Stephenson.

Also a lifelong fan of heavy metal music and its many sub-genres, Wyeth strives to infuse his work with comparable levels of independence and larger-than-life visions.


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Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews
Profile Image for Inkslinger.
232 reviews40 followers
March 1, 2020
Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect by Philip Wyeth

ARC provided by Philip Wyeth. All opinions are mine and freely given.

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"She held up the two bras in front of the mirror. The yellow one looked nice. Maybe she could find a pair of matching panties and play banana for a lucky someone to peel later tonight..."

02-29: No. You read that correctly. That's exactly how 'Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect' by Philip Wyeth begins.

I don't know a single woman who thinks like that. Nor one who would wear a 'dark teal blue combat bra' in the line of work as a cop if she could, particularly one with 'blue glitter.' That stuff gets everywhere. But it's just a story and in this case it's really not meant to be realistic.

If I'm being honest.. and that's something I pride myself on in reviews.. I immediately put the book down at that point and stared at it. I picked it up, re-read it, and followed the same pattern a couple of times in disbelief. I even went around my house telling people what I read.. because I was astounded that I'd read it at all.. but bear with me.. until the end of the review. The book is actually very well-written, despite my issues of personal taste and the general state of disorientation it left me with.

Basically a satirical dystopian sci-fi story, the book is literally only 178 pages long. It should have been a quick read, but it wasn't and for me that's mostly because I found it so weird. I love sci-fi, dystopian works, and satire.. but together it takes a bit of adjustment. I'm a pretty open-minded person and reader.. so I'm not offended by the drug use or strange scenes or devices like the 'Clam Bake.' I'm not explaining that one here.. you're going to have to read it.. if you want to understand.

As is especially popular these days, the book puts women in charge of the populace. The difference being that in this future things like procreation are all handled in labs, menial jobs by robots, and any work of any real value is done by women. Men are essentially being phased out. A few older men may still hold positions from before the changes, but the younger ones are mostly kind of set aside in communities together and kept entertained. As I said, it's an incredibly odd story. There's a lot of man-hating going on here and that's just something I've never been a fan of.. so I had to keep reminding myself it was a satirical approach.

Unpopular opinion time. This felt like a representation of a lot of what's going on in society today. Women have been oppressed, harassed, assaulted.. so much.. that many men not only defend against that, but can be found going so far as to verbally degrade their own overall. Not just specific people. The same can be said for discussions on race, religion, gender, sexuality, and more.. and that's interesting.. but also kind of frightening.

Anyway, after several attempts to read the book.. about 48 pages in, I hit my stride. I finally at least mostly adjusted to the strange atmosphere of their world and though the way women spoke to and about men never felt comfortable, I was used to seeing it enough that it didn't automatically pull me out of the story.

Digging beyond all that, there's a murder mystery below that's centered around a group of women that have elevated themselves through helping to bring on the societal changes at hand. It's a bit predictable and the conclusion doesn't feel really satisfying, but it was woven well and no one could ever blame Wyeth of lacking in creativity.

The book mostly comes across as a fun, kind of campy sci-fi adventure like one might have read in the 70's and 80's.. or like you still might catch on one of those tv channels specializing in bikini clad babes fighting aliens with giant guns shaped like-- well, you get the picture.

If you enjoy those types of things, this is the book for you.

02-21: Going to try to start this one in the next few days.. very curious..
Profile Image for Susan.
1,745 reviews36 followers
February 12, 2020
Wow! Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect wasn't what I was expecting but it was an awesome ride! I'm a big fan of dystopian novels, which is why I gave this book a try. But it's more than that. It really makes you think, and also laugh, and sit on the edge of your seat. It's sexy while also being dramatic and thought-provoking.

Detective Ash Westgard is such a fun character. She's arrogant but also good at her job, despite the occasional on-duty inebriation. An early scene in the book has Ash meeting up with her posse for a night on the town. They're all prettied up looking for liquor, dancing, and a lay. Then the book surprises me by tossing in some yoga and dead lifts in between bars.

In this near-future dystopia, women rule the country. They are encouraged to be forward, physically strong, and decisive. Meanwhile, men have declined in numbers and are second class citizens. They don't get paid as much as women, don't hold any high-ranking jobs, and are considered extraneous to society. Wyeth has built this into the story seamlessly and that bar/gym crawl at the start of the book was my first peek into this world.

Sex is part of Ash's life so it is part of this tale. She enjoys both women and men, though has more respect for women. Indeed, Ash starts off a little bit sexist, believing that women are innately better than men. Yet, as the murder mystery unfolds, she finds she needs info from a certain group of guys. Through this investigation, she gets to know them and one in particular better. I love that Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect has built this flaw into Ash, making her a very real character. And I also love that she comes to see that she may be wrong about a few things where men are concerned.

Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect is definitely an intriguing book with the perfect mix of action, sex, and reflection.

Narration Review: Cheryl May nailed it. Just a fantastic performance all around. I love her catty voices for the ladies when they are trash talking. I love her serious, completely in control, have a gun aimed at your head voice for Ash. May's voices for the male characters were masculine and all characters had distinct voices. The pacing was perfect and there were no tech issues with the recording.
Profile Image for Emily Quinn.
197 reviews25 followers
April 29, 2020
I was very pleasantly surprised with this one! After reading an intriguing blurb about a hi-tech future, women rulers and a killer on the loose, I was very interested to see how the author pulled it all together without getting lost in too many themes. The result? It was PERFECT! Incredibly gritty, captivating and fast-paced, the story did exactly what it meant to - drew me in and left me wanting more of it!

If you like strong, feisty female characters, gruesome murders and an unforgettable mystery, you need to read this right now! Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect shows that women can pretty much do anything in this society, and shows just how much things have developed over the years. It was great to see so many futuristic elements as well as a few steamy scenes from time to time, making it a great book for fans of a multitude of genres. I'm sat here eagerly awaiting book two already! The author has done such an amazing job creating real characters and a memorable story line, and the effort really shows. Reading this is definitely recommended! :)
Profile Image for Amys Bookshelf Reviews.
392 reviews23 followers
June 20, 2022
A Grand Read.

What a grand story in Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect by Philip Wyeth. This is the first book of Wyeth's that I've read, and I really enjoyed it. It seemed to fit a mixed match of different genres within the story, while making it all totally believable. The characters had a lot of depth, and were very realistic. This is the first book in the Ashley Westgard series (and there is another one coming soon). So, here the reader is introduced to Ashley "Ash." Ash is detective, who is headstrong, and can be compulsive as well, and even though it's 2045, not everything has changed so much. And, add in a killer to add to her chaos that is her life, and brings out something in her to focus on. This is a fun, entertaining story, and it brings a lot of laughs, and periods of seriousness. A truly grand read. I have just become a fan of Wyeth's. This author is a great storyteller. This story was very unpredictable. I will definitely add more of this author's books to my bookshelf. Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews.
256 reviews4 followers
October 10, 2019
I've listen to the audiobook instead of reading and the narrator really does a very good job at bring all the different characters to life.
The story in itself is captivating because of the context (a future world were the women rule and men are the underdog, while robots slowly seem to drive humankind into boredom, seeking thrills by drugs and sexual pleasures), and also the interesting characters and their reflections.
There was one thing that I was not expecting in this kind of story with a clear "hero", witch was the not so occasionally switch of point of view. Though I understand it could enrich the story, it was a bit too much at some point and got me to lose focus. Some of the longer inner monologues also slows down the pace of the story, but it's still an interesting story for anyone that like thrillers with provocative themes. The ending, taking a turn to a conspiracy theory, really leaves us wanting for more.
Profile Image for Curly's  Ramblings.
1,738 reviews7 followers
October 1, 2019
Hot Ash and the Oasis Effect was not what I expected, but it was definitely entertaining. A story packed with satirical levity and turned upside down compared to what we face today with regards to male and female roles. My only hang up was the painting of the lead character as a big bad MF was a bit overdone. The narrator did a nice job. I received a free copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
2 reviews
June 1, 2021
Detective Ash uncovers something more than jus a murder

Story was very moving and had a lot gusto- I couldn’t put it down. The characters were well developed (including some steamy situations) and the settings where realistic even though it’s in the future- I really felt that I was cruising around on the back of Ash’s atv- I’m going to continue Ash’s story in the next novel
341 reviews
March 23, 2020
Excellent writing style. Good plot and good characters. I look forward to more from this author
Profile Image for Karen Siddall.
Author 1 book53 followers
March 31, 2020
Not at all what I expected: Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect by Philip Wyeth is also a good mystery.

The year is 2045, and it is almost two decades since society flipped on itself. The 2020s saw the rise of the empowerment of women, and in the elapsed time, the world has become a feminist-forward stronghold with men relegated to second-class status. Detective Ashley Westgard of the Jacksonville, Florida, Police Corps is at the apex of her physical prowess, her career is flourishing and on the rise.

After a night on the town with her gal pals, Ash is summoned to the scene of the annual Cheri Chat (being held this year in Jacksonville), a conference of the high-powered movers and shakers encompassing the female-led world of the day, where one of the original “Essential Planners” has been brutally murdered. As she and her partner, Detective Theodore “Ted” Gillard, one of the last men actively working in this field, gather evidence and launch an investigation, she is called to another crime scene – a nearby convenience store robbery-gone-bad where the store owner has shot and killed the would-be perpetrator. Talking with the deceased thief’s (Dayve’s) companions, two young male orphans known as “runts,” she hears that this act was completely out of character for Dayve, a shock and tragic surprise to his two friends. They believe his bizarre behavior is a direct result of his ingesting a new “tasty” he got that evening from his pill supplier.

Uncharacteristically for Ash, she immediately takes a very personal interest in one of the friends, a runt gamer named Vernon, and they end up spending a surprisingly satisfying night together. More amazing to her is the fact that she begins to have feelings about Vernon that are quite unlike those she’s experienced in her past relationships. Together, these two unlikely people team up to get to the bottom of Dayve’s actions and how it is related to the murders of some of the most prominent feminist thinkers of their time.

Although categorized as a Sci-Fi tale and reminiscent of those men’s action-adventure stories from an earlier time, Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect is also a good mystery.

The main character, Ash, begins as a pretty shallow, arrogant creature out for what she wants, no matter who she uses to get it. She’s even quite insensitive and rude with her police partner, Ted, frequently poking at him over his physical limitations (he’s got an artificial leg) and haranguing him about when he’s going to retire. Sooo not a buddy partnership.

Her thoughts and thought patterns are not like any woman’s I’ve ever known BUT the author is depicting an alternate future where women are the power gender (and have been, at the time of the story, for a couple of decades) so who knows for certain what this altered environment might produce in the population. I don’t think any men I’ve known, in real life, thought this way either but what do I know. I felt the author was trying to create an extreme on purpose, a vast contrast, maybe to provide for a greater change in attitude for the character to have later in the story.

There is a lot of “horn-dogging” on her part and that of her friends at the beginning of the book. There is a meaninglessness to Ash’s sexual relationships, past and present, but as the book progresses she is cognizant of her dissatisfaction and knows that something inside her is changing. She realizes she’s living recklessly, without meaning, drinking too much, doing pills, and going through sexual partners like issues. The focus of the book eventually narrows to solving the murders though and Ash experiences some surprising changes (to her) in her thoughts and behavior, especially toward the witness and male gamer, Vernon.

The book is well-written making it easy and enjoyable to read. It’s a real page-turner with a future society that seemed plausible with an increase in the use of advanced AIs and things called Worker-Factory-Mechanics which have eerily embedded themselves into every aspect of life and that may pose a problem in future stories.

Although I was initially turned off by the character, Ash, I wanted to see her solve the murders and be absolutely right about her theories by the end of the book. (We really don’t find out about her theories though leaving room for sequels, I hope.) I really liked "the runts," Vernon, in particular, and her partner, Detective Gillard, and wanted a better situation to come about for all of them. Just another reason to hope there are more books in the future continuing this story.

I recommend this book for readers that like a futuristic mystery in a society that is very different from our present. There are sexual themes and scenes (male-female, female-female) throughout so this is not a book for some readers or younger ones.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews

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