Throughout the previous thirteen installments in the Elemental Assassins series I’ve praised Finnegan Lane and his constant level of dependability in Gin Blanco’s life. Through thick and thin, no matter what the situation, it’s always been the unflappable, charming Finn who has stood behind Gin and offered support and a helping hand. Sure Owen and Bria are unquestionably on her side now, but there have been times over the course of this series where I’ve been disappointed in each of them and upset over how they let my favorite assassin down. But not Finn, never Finn. To say I went into Bitter Bite with a bit of apprehension would be an understatement.
After discovering that Finn’s mother might still be alive, Gin is determined to get as much information as possible. Which leads her to Fletcher’s office and a file on the mysterious Deirdre. Digging up her grave only leads to more questions when Gin finds it empty save for a Silverstone box full of pictures, mementos, and letters left for her and Finn by Fletcher. But what does it all mean? And how does she tell her brother that his long dead mother might possibly be alive and well somewhere in the world?
Unfortunately, Dierdre has already infiltrated Finn’s life and is more than ready to catch up for lost time. To say Finn is bewitched by his long-lost mother is an understatement. But Gin has a feeling Mama Dee is up to no good and will eventually break her brother’s heart in the process. So she’ll sit and wait and watch, then do what the Spider does best, and that’s protecting the family and friends she holds dear by any means possible.
As with any book in this series the action picks up almost immediately and Gin finds herself caught in the web of yet another mystery. Only, this time, it’s much closer to home and could change certain relationship dynamics I’ve come to trust and rely on. Deirdre is flashy, charming, and does her best to endear herself to the son she left so many years ago. She spins wild tales about Fletcher’s involvement in her departure that go against everything Gin knows about her foster-father. Despite Finn ignoring his sister’s warnings and giving the cold shoulder to the rest of his friends and family, I could actually understand why he behaved the way he did. Oh, I knew it would all blow up into a big, huge mess by the end, but I was right there alongside Gin wishing I would end up being mistaken.
Sadly neither Gin nor I were wrong. While I had quite a bit of anxiety over what the consequences would be to Finn, Gin and their relationship, it seems like they managed to come out the other side stronger than ever.
While Bitter Bite features Finn’s mother, she isn’t really the main villain. She isn’t even the most powerful. That mysterious player stayed in the background throughout most of this book, yet I have a feeling his involvement will grow as the series goes forward. The fourteenth installment has opened new doors that promise to bring new life to this series. Ms. Estep has managed to surprise me yet again. I always thought that after the death of Mab Monroe and later of her daughter, readers saw the end of the original story arc. I’m kind of wondering if this wasn’t the plan all along… to circle back around to some of the original players after Gin had grown both mentally and physically as a character. Now I have no idea what is going to happen next or if everything that’s gone before has all been a smoke screen to something much bigger. This leads me to wondering how many more books are planned for this series and how deep this new mystery will get.
Bitter Bite hit all my Elemental Assassin buttons. I love this series, and even after fourteen books still can’t get enough of this world or these characters. Thankfully, I won’t have to wait long to see what new adventure the Spider and her crew get tangled up in next, Unraveled, book fifteen, has a release date of August 30, 2016. Final Grade- A-
“Shh, shh, it’s okay,” I whispered, trying to soothe him. “Everything’s going to be okay.”
But things were anything but okay right now, and the tears kept streaming down and freezing on Finn’s face.