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

spider's bite After contemplating for months I finally decided to pick up the Elemental Assassins series and I’m glad I did. I do enjoy a good, strong kick-ass heroine and Gin Blanco delivered.

Gin Blanco moonlights as the renowned and feared assassin, Spider when she isn’t busy cooking the best barbecue in all of Ashland. Just back from a job in the Ashland Asylum, Gin’s handler Fletcher hands a another case. When the case goes horribly wrong with Gin being double-crossed and her handler being dead, Gin is out for revenge. To complicate matters Ashland’s only idealistic, law-abiding
cop wants to kill her too. It doesn’t matter if they are both attracted to each other.

Spider’s Bite was a largely well written book with great, well-fleshed out characters. Gin was a strong, independent woman who did her job using anyway necessary. She makes no excuse for being an assassin and openly accepts that killing is what she does best. It’s a job she can do better than anyone and it pays well. For Gin it was a matter of surviving rather than killing when she was a kid, but she just honed her skills and became the most-feared and sought after assassin as she grew up.

Donovan Caine. I didn’t like him much, mostly because he was riding his moralistic and idealistic high horse. He was too judgmental of Gin. His disgust for her was quite evident. He fails to realize that people are not always black and white. There are shades of grey too. Donovan goes on about how Gin killed his partner, but he never tries to find out the why. He just spews judgment like it’s his God-given right.

There is an indisputable sexual chemistry between Gin and Donovan. While Gin openly accepts it and wants to explore it, Donovan is disgusted by his feelings for Gin. He unable to reconcile his attraction to Gin with his disgust for her. And honestly, he is not the guy for her no matter how Gin might wish otherwise.

Finnegan Lane is one character I loved. Fletcher’s son, Gin’s foster-brother and best fiend, Finn is a total charmer. He loves the high life and makes no excuses for it. Though on the surface he looks like a straight-laced investment banker, Finn is ruthless to his core. Charm, threats, gun, whatever is needed to get his job done, he does it.

Jo-Jo Deveraux and Sophia Deveraux were two other people in Gin’s small family. Jo-Jo, an Air elemental is the resident healer and Sophia was the in-house cleaner. There’s nothing much about them, and their appearances are not very long, but they were intriguing characters.

The book’s back-story consists mainly of Gin’s past, her murdered family and the Fire elemental who killed them. It does keep you interested and curious. Other than that, the main story arc is Gin trying to find the Air Elemental who flayed Fletcher alive and avenge his death.

The book was well-paced but the author kept repeating a few things again and again. “Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy” was an oft-repeated phrase in the book and as was Gin’s patience. It was repeated over and over that Gin was as patient as a spider and that she could wait out the best of it. Constant references to her magic touches and hearing the murmuring of stones also got old after a while.

Though overall the book was really good, I wish the author wasn’t so repetitive with some of the details. I’ll surely be picking up the next book in the series.

4 stars