By a Thread
Author: Jennifer Estep
Title: By a Thread
Series: Elemental Assassin 6
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website:
When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation.
Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silver stone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.
I started this book not knowing what the new plot might be. With Mab dead in the previous book, the plot that had been carrying the entire series was over. I knew Estep would need to come up with something and I was very disappointed to learn that she didn't.
Mab's death left a hole in the underworld and all the bad people in the city are scrambling to consolidate power and take her place. Since Gin was the one that killed Mab, many people think that killing Gin will give them the proof needed to show that they are stronger than Mab was and can therefore rule the city. Gin quickly grows tired of every idiot that attacks her, but instead of finally doing something about it she chooses to run away. In some ways I do understand. No matter what Gin does the city is still broken. Gin is also lost now that her reason for fighting is over. She spent her entire life preparing to fight Mab and suddenly finds herself at odd ends. This would have been the perfect opportunity for Estep to set Gin up in a new role for the city, but Estep skipped that opportunity and sent Gin on a trip instead.
I like that the trip did turn out to be necessary. Gin needed to figure out who she was now and some time alone without having to constantly watch her back did do her a wonder of good. I also liked that Gin realized that there are other people out there who are as powerful and as evil as Mab was, which gives Gin someone new to fight. I just didn't see anything grow that would carry the series.
It's very possible that this is a transition book and that in the next book the series grows again. I suppose I'll have to wait until I find time to read it to find out.
This book did serve a purpose to the series by giving Gin time to figure out who she is now that her greatest enemy is gone, but there wasn't anything to really tie the series together. I missed having an overarching plot and really hope the next book will rectify that lack. This is the first book in the series that I wasn't entirely happy with, although I still recommend it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.