Ash: Return of the Beast

Ash: Return of the Beast - Gary Val Tenuta

Ash: Return of the Beast by Gary Val Tenuta; an occult thriller about a dead black sorcerer, a broken cop, a mystical FBI agent and the end of the world

When Tenuta asked me if I would read and review his occult thriller, I have to admit I was a little nervous. I don’t handle scary or gruesome tales well at all, and it was rather outside of my normal reading, but I’m glad I gave it a try! The prologues were a little tough for me to get through due to their gruesome nature (not for youngsters!!), but once I got to the meat of the story I was compelled by Tenuta’s writing and characters to find out what happened!

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 Ash: Return of the Beast
Author: Gary Val Tenuta
Pages: 8058 Kindle locations
Genre-ish: Occult Thriller
Rating: ★★★- Compelling, a couple of warnings
Setting: Ash: Return of the Beast is set in the modern day Seattle mostly, except when they go exploring various regions of Hell, and all that magic stuff ;-)
Premise: Aleister Crowley was a major figure in the occult back in the day, but he’s not finished despite that whole death thing. When preachers start getting murdered and mutilated, a Seattle cop and mystically-informed FBI agent have to team up to figure out what is going on and stop it before the world ends.


  • Ravenwood and Kane are great characters with several secrets they keep from each other and their chemistry develops at a good pace through out the book. This is a refreshing change from the boy-meets-girl books where everyone is suddenly in love with each other :).
  • A lot of research evidently went into this book, and I learned some interesting things about the history of the occult.
  • The dark elements of this book are certainly dark, and if that is something you are interested in, you wont’ be disappointed!
  • The writing was really compelling, even though there wasn’t really much of a mystery, I still was always excited to pick up my Kindle and keep reading.


  • A few typos which is typical of self-published books, however mixing up a characters name (albeit a secondary character) is a little weird (I think it was Coldwell to Cawell or something like that).
  • Rape (including of children), mutilation, suicide and vengeful spirits are all included in Ash: Return of the Beast, you’ve been warned. I didn’t think that I was going to make it past the prologues (yes multiple) with how much heavy stuff was happening, but once I made it past those, it was mostly a cop thriller.
  • The multiple prologues and epilogues just didn’t work for me. It seems that there should only be one of each and simply a break between different sub-plots….
  • The “Teddy Bear” lines that Ravenwood used to describe Kane at times got a little repetitive…. Show don’t tell!

I really had no idea what to expect when accepting Ash: Return of the Beast for review, but I’m really glad I did. It’s definitely for mature audiences only, and you need to know that there is some really dark stuff, but if you are okay reading about all of that, then you will probably enjoy Ash: Return of the Beast. I’m a fan of those crime thriller shows on TV, and found a very similar feel for most of the book, except with the whole magic is real thing. As long as you know what you’re getting into, you should definitely pick up a copy of Ash: Return of the Beast! I’m also very much looking forward to future work by Tenuta, maybe something less dark next time? :D