Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin #1) by Jennifer Estep

Synopsis (Goodreads):
My name is Gin, and I kill people.

They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South — when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.
My Thoughts:  Who'd have thought that a cold-blooded professional assassin would be someone that I'd root for?  What's that?  You've read some of my other reviews where I go all gooey over the antihero?  Right.  Yeah.  Okay, it's true.  I like it when a main character doesn't adhere to the traditional main character tropes.  I like it when an author can make you like someone who makes their living slicing and dicing people.  I like it when someone who deserves it gets their brutal comeuppance in the opening chapter from said antihero.  What?  I'm easy like that.

Gin... well, she's not burdened by squeamishness and she's very good at what she does.  She's methodical, patient (hence her nickname) and she's been known to do a little pro bono killing if the situation warrants it.  That's right.  She IS pretty fabulous.  How many assassins do you know who will kill someone who needs killing without getting paid?  That's right.  None.  Because Gin is an original.

Now, I have some thoughts about Detective Caine.  I like the guy.  I appreciate that he's a straight arrow in a city full of dirty cops.  But... yes, there's a but... I can't see him bending enough to ever be truly comfortable with what Gin does.  Yes, they have chemistry.  Yes, they have attraction.  He sees things in black and white, though, and Gin straddles the line between.

I loved the worldbuilding.  I loved the different characters that Gin gathers around her.  I loved the slow glimpses of Gin's past.  I just can't see Caine and Gin being together in the long run unless something catastrophic happens to change his worldview.  Still, I loved the book and thought it was a great start to the series.

More books by Jennifer Estep

Reading challenges:  The E-book Challenge, The Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge, The Morbid Romantica Challenge


  1. I'm seriously curious about this one! Have heard a lot of different opinions, but I usually like assassins in novels, lol. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    Kindle Fever

  2. I want to read this book! (and your review only makes me want to read it more, lol)

  3. I love the Elemental Assassin books. Gin is a fabulous character. The world is dark and original. Keep reading the series. It only gets better!

  4. I've wanted to read these books for so long! But I'm on a new series ban at the moment so it will have wait a bit longer. As soon as I'm caught up though I'm diving into this. Great review! :)

  5. I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Estep during AAD 2011 and she was the sweetest person ever. I would never have thought she was the writer that created this series. Speaking of which I need to friggin' start this series. *sigh* There's not enough hours in the day!

  6. I just recently finished this book and LOVED it!! Seriously, Gin was such a kick-ass character and I can't wait to read more of this series. Awesome series and great review!

  7. Rebecca: It's fast paced and pretty bloody. All in all, it's good fun!

    Amanda: Do it!

    Christine: I plan on continuing! Gin's so fun!

    Jennifer: I understand those series bans. Lol! I've had to limit myself many times!

    Jen D.: Yeah, you need to start this!

    samantha.1020: Gin was BAD ASS!

  8. I love this series and I predict you are going to love it too ;) They're really good and the keep getting better. It's definitely a character driven series and there are a lot of great characters to keep things interesting. Enjoy!

    1. I've read, I want to say, the first three books in the series. I did enjoy them but I haven't picked up any books after those because I have SO MANY books to read as it is. I'm sure you know the feeling.