March 4, 2013

Pack Review: Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

Series: Elemental Assassin 1
Format: Digital
Release Date: January 26, 2010

Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Gift from Amber I at AwesomeSauce Book Club
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

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.

Today's review is special because this is my first Pack Review with my chicas, Lee of She-Wolf Reads, and Opal of Akamai Reader. Just a little background we got together because Lee needed help on what to read next and asked her followers to vote. So I voted for Elemental Assassin and we ended up with this little book club. 

I personally find it motivating and so fun because I'm not much of a fangirl like Debbie and some of you guys. I need help in bringing out my inner SQUEE and I find that buddy reads help unleash that! 

So here's the our very first Pack Review. We still have some room for improvement so forgive us if it's a little choppy.


Lee, She-Wolf Reads
Emotions are for those too weak to turn them off. And I hadn’t been weak in a very long time.
Gin Blanco is a Badass with a capital B. She’s strong, sexy, efficient, brutal, smart, and wholly unapologetic when it comes to all of the above. She does what she does, so deal with it. I can’t put into words how much I loved this woman. What’s great is that though she has an unsavory job that requires her to be ruthless, there’s a streak of vulnerability in her that’s waiting to come out. Estep does a wonderful job of setting up Gin’s world – not many good friends, meaningless sex, and a routine that keeps her alive and her anonymity intact. The combination of Gin’s strength and vulnerability makes her one of the most compelling heroines I’ve read in a long time.

Secondary characters are also well-done. The two main supporting cast members are Finnegan, a stepbrother of sorts though it seems he and Gin had a sexual relationship in the past. He’s a rake – a sexy flirt who likes women and making money. He’s utterly charming. As Gin’s right hand man, he’s also deadly and efficient. Then there’s Donovan. He and Gin are attracted to one another but as a diehard cop, he can’t deal with his attraction to a killer. I also liked this complicated relationship, and I understood his ambivalence, but it has all the makings of a dysfunctional relationship, being with a man who hates you and all. I can’t see this lasting the series but I’m curious to know where it goes.

Opal, The Akamai Reader

Gin was amazing. To say she kicked ass would be an understatement. She was self-confident, self-aware, and had just the right amount of pride in herself. She wasn't intimidated by anything. Gin handled her personal relationships with the maturity that comes from someone who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to get it.

Donovan was a conflicted guy. He was attracted to Gin on a physical level but he was repulsed by her on a moral level. He was forced to work with her which brought him into close contact with her. He had preset notions about what an assassin was. What he learned about her conflicted with what those notions were.

Finnegan was a favorite of mine. Basically, he was a charming thug. He cleaned up nicely and he became a professional money guy, but honestly? He was ruthless. He grew up with violence and he was comfortable with it. Unlike Gin, he preferred guns to knives. Finnegan was much more of a Wise Guy then a clean cut banker.

Braine, Talk Supe
I'll let you be the good cop. I'm so much better at being the bad guy anyway.
I think we can all agree that all the characters are well written, superbly characterized and captivating to read. Personally I like how Gin is 30, I know it's really subjective but this made her a very relatable character to me. I mean I'm not adept with guns, knives and the standard accouterments of assassins but as far as normal issues of a single 30yo woman is concerned I totally get her state of mind. That aside, Gin is what I want my Urban Fantasy character to be: badass, sharp witted, fearless but vulnerable, impulsive but calculating, independent but loyal. Those contrasts made her endearing to me. As for Donovan Caine, I feel a little bad for the guy. Obviously he's very conflicted about the whole thing being a black & white kind of guy and Gin is most definitely a gray area and he's not ready to let go of his moral compass. Oh and he's hot and very intriguing, I get why Gin is painfully attracted to him.

The secondary characters, both good and bad, are well constructed too. And as I love villains, I'm really looking forward to meeting the infamous Mab, I have a feeling she'll give Lilith a run for her horns. Scales. Or whatever Lilith has.

Follow the our little pack review:
Plot & Conflict: Lee at She-Wolf Reads
World Building & Final Verdict: Opal at Akamai Reader


  1. This was so much fun! Thanks for doing this with me!

  2. Gin is great, this is a really fun series. I know you guys are just getting started, but I have to say. Donovan may be hot... but I can't stand him! ;)

  3. This was awesome! Lots. Of fun to read that you all enjoyed this and the fact that the characters were loved by all definitely pushes me towards this one!! Look forward to seeing more of theses hopefully :)

  4. this blog is very useful for us.because we learn many things from this blog


My reviews are subjective & does not reflect that of Talk Supe's followers.

Also I LOVE commenting back so if you're checking out a post, leave a line or two and I promise to visit your blog back. Let's feed each other's blogger soul!