Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect


Worth reading 😎

Not at all what I expected: "Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect" by Philip Wyeth is also a good mystery.

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, Detective Theodore “Ted” Gillard, one of the last male coworkers in the police corps, 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 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 several 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 water. The focus of the book narrows to solving the murders though and Ash experiences some surprising changes (to her) in her thoughts and behavior, especially toward one of the witnesses, a male gamer named Vernon.

The book is well-written making it easy 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 which may pose a problem in future stores. And though I was initially turned off by the character, Ash, I wanted to see her solve those murders and be absolutely right about her theories by the end of the book. I really liked "the runts" (the single, orphaned young adult males), Vernon, in particular, and her partner, Detective Gillard, and wanted a better situation to come about for all of them. I 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. 

Reviewed by

I love to read and hook up others with books that they might enjoy. I like genre fiction with a weakness for cozies, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, and westerns. My professional background is in law enforcement, fire, water, and environmental education. I have basset hounds and ham radio is a hobby.


About the author

Philip Wyeth's writing is imaginative and intense! His fully immersive speculative novels explore what might happen if people actually got everything they say they wanted—politically, technologically, or socially. He has written seven books, including the ongoing "Ashley Westgard" detective series. view profile

Published on May 20, 2019

50000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Dystopian

Reviewed by