by Jennifer Estep
Paperback: 395 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books
Available: January 26th 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
“My name is Gin, and I kill people.”
My name is Gin Blanco. They call me the Spider — the most feared assassin in the South (and a part-time cook at the Pork Pit BBQ joint.) As a Stone elemental, I can hear the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet and feel the vibrations of the soaring mountains above me, though I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.
After a ruthless Air elemental double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way. I may look hot in a miniskirt, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble when irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine agrees to help. The last thing a coldhearted killer needs when she’s battling a magic more powerful than her own is a sexy distraction … especially when he wants her dead just as much as the enemy.
Reviewed by: Sophia (FV)
Quick Rundown: Spider’s Bite is the first book in the Elemental Assassin series. Gin Blanco is an assassin. She’s been contracted for a hit and finds that she’s been double crossed and her beloved handler has been brutally murdered. She is determined to avenge the death of her handler and will stop at nothing to do it. Not long ago Gin assassinated Detective Donovan Caine’s partner and he now wants her dead. But the double cross on Gin goes deeper than meets the eye and Donovan Caine team up with Gin to find the culprits.
Impressions after the first chapter: Gin is posing as a patient in an insane asylum ready to make a hit. Love that heroine is a ‘bad guy’ and the opening chapter takes place in an insane asylum. Off to a really good start.
The Heroine: Gin is an elemental which means she can control and manipulate the four elements—Water, Air, Stone, and Fire. In Gin’s case stone with a minor in ice magic. She was orphaned as a child and witnessed the death of her mother and sister. She lived on the streets until a kindly BBQ pit owner took her in. Now, she is an assassin with ethics somewhere under her hard surface. I love that she’s badass, refreshingly unapologetic and solid. Although she has some inner conflict, she remains strong and focused making for a very likeable heroine.
The Hero: Detective Donvan Caine is one of the few upstanding members of the police department and he wants Gin dead. He’s also very attracted to her. Caine comes off very arrogant and is dealing with his own set of ethics, and his attraction to Gin.
What worked: I love it when a author can make a character that should be despised the one you pull for. Gin is a pure badass, unapologetic paid assassin. She’s professional, good at what she does and isn’t willing to change herself because of what others think. She is loyal to a fault and although her profession isn’t one I’m likely to get behind, she has become one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines. I also loved the urban fantasy world this series in based in. Jennifer Estep did a fantastic job building her world up around this story without overwhelming and distracting with excessive details.
What didn’t work: I’m not completely on board with the romantic relationship between Caine and Gin. Caine comes off very arrogant and I never really warmed up to him. I understand his hatred for Gin since she murdered his partner but his whole ‘I hate you but I’m going get dirty with you and then hate you again’ deal doesn’t do it for me. I don’t really understand what Gin sees in Caine but this is the first book in the series so I’m eager to see where this relationship goes.
Final conclusion: Fabulous start to the series, I can’t wait to get Web Of Lies. The world building, action, and characters all drew me in and kept me riveted from beginning to end.
The two men stared at each other. Caine looked at Finn’s supple leather jacket, designer khakis, and custom made polo shirt. Finn eyed the detective’s ratty duffel bag, the threadbare patches on his jeans, and the stains on his faded boots. Assumptions were made, judgments rendered, dicks measured.
“I do want you.” His voice was low, tight, strained. The confession cost him. It was all he could do to keep from reaching for me. Good thing I had no qualms about making the first move.
Books in the series:
- Spider’s Bite
- Web Of Lies
- Venom (September 28, 2010)
- Tangled Threads (May 2011)
- Untitled (October 2011)
Other reviews on GoodReads
Check back later today for my review of Web Of Lies.