1. Spider’s Bite
2. Web of Lies
4. Tangled Threads
5. Spider’s Revenge
6. By a Thread (Feb. 28, 2012)
Why I Started Reading This Series and General Thoughts
Like I said in my Spider’s Bite review, I’m not sure where I learned about the Elemental Assassin series — probably Felicia’s blog. I really enjoyed the first book, and I especially loved Gin’s character. The second book didn’t dazzle me quite as much as the first, but I am still in this series for the long haul, and would be even if I hadn’t picked up Web of Lies, Venom, and Tangled Threads from the library.
You Might Enjoy This Series If…
Gin is a no-nonsense character who always knows what needs to be done to get the job accomplished, even if she has to create a body pile to do it. Urban fantasy readers who enjoy their reads on the tougher and darker side will probably appreciate the Elemental Assassin series.
Warning: from this point on there will be spoilers for the first book.
Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.
I’m Gin Blanco.
You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.
Thoughts on Book 2
Web of Lies picks up very soon after Spider’s Bite. Gin is retired from her assassin gig, but it’s more “retired” than retired. But, like the summary says, she is curious. So of course she sticks her noise into stuff that gets her into trouble. I would expect nothing less. Gin may be a cold and patient assassin, but in her own way she has heart. And her own morals.
The detective made a very big appearance in Web of Lies, but the complicated relationship between him and Gin only gets more complicated. We are also introduced to another possible love interest. Now, you know me and my intense dislike of love triangles. And I do dislike them. But I also appreciate having the story spun so that whatever happens feels appropriate and right. Despite Gin’s involvement with Donovan from the beginning of Spider’s Bite, I was never able to fully connect with him. He was successful at holding himself back, because in the end, a relationship between Gin and Donovan is rough and doomed. Thus, the introduction of someone new makes sense, especially given that he stands to give Gin what Donovan can’t. Rather than being annoyed by this, I am intrigued.
Web of Lies is also important in the series, as it slowly builds the Mab Monroe story line that will continue through the next few books. We don’t necessarily learn anything more about what happened to Gin’s family the night they died (though I want to), but we are introduced to Mab a little more, and are left wondering what the hell Mab knows and what she is up to. In that sense, the job that Gin takes in Web of Lies is not quite as important as the implications of the job as well as who it brings Gin in contact with. Web of Lies sets the stage for something more, and it is perhaps for that reason it didn’t quite dazzle me the way Spider’s Bite did. Or I was just in one of those moods.
Gin is one helluva character, and other than the continual references to eye color, the Elemental Assassin is shaping up to be one of my favorite series. I appreciate that Jennifer Estep’s writing forces me to set aside my own personal likes and dislikes (hello, slight love triangles) and simply experience the story for what it is. In other words, whatever happens makes sense and is logical for the story. When both my logic and emotions are engaged, that’s the sign of a successful series.
And before I forget: don’t read Web of Lies on an empty stomach. The descriptions of food that Gin makes (because hey, she cooks just as well as she kills) are slightly sinful.