Author: Jennifer Estep
Title: Spider's Bite
Series: Elemental Assassin 1
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
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.
Gin is an assassin and what I like most about the book is the fact that Estep doesn't try to romanticize or explain away the fact that Gin kills people for a living. She is who she is and that doesn't change because of a hot guy, because her mentor is killed, or for any other reason. However, it isn't all she is, which is also well written. Gin hasn't allowed herself to become completely cold and isolated. She's a chef and she really enjoys working in any kitchen. There are so many dimensions to this one character that I can't help being impressed by this book.
The overall plot and world building were just as interesting. Gin is sent on a mission to kill someone and is double crossed by her employer. Her mentor is killed to keep him quiet and she knows she needs to find and kill her employer before they find and kill her. The story isn't a cookie cutter revenge plot. There are layers to it that if I go into too much detail about will ruin the book. Even the romantic interest wasn't easy for Gin. Caine hates Gin and that doesn't magically change just because she's pretty. I liked that Caine remained strong in his convictions and am very interested in seeing how the relationship progresses in future books.
I also really enjoyed the world building. The book is set in a world where magic is everywhere. Some people are elementals while others have different powers. The book is very clear that while elemental power is the strongest, it won't stop a bullet. That means magic users and regular humans can coexist on an even level in the world. I would have liked to learn how these powers came into being. The book implies that they have always been present in the world and that people are either born or not with it, but how Gin learned to use her powers was glossed over. A little more depth into how the magic works would have helped, but enough is given that I completely believed it.
I do recommend this book. It was well written with a lot of depth of plot and characterization that I really enjoyed reading. I will be reading and reviewing the next book in the series.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.