May 31, 2014

Pack Review w/She-Wolf Reads: Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Series: Elemental Assassin 8
Format: eGalley
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Recommended By: Amber I. Awesomesauce Book Blog
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Red is definitely my color. Good thing, because in my line of work, I end up wearing it a lot.

Most people shy away from blood, but for an assassin like me— Gin Blanco, aka the Spider—it’s just part of the job. Still, it would be nice to get a night off, especially when I’m attending the biggest gala event of the summer at Briartop, Ashland’s fanciest art museum. But it’s just not meant to be. For this exhibition of my late nemesis’s priceless possessions is not only theplace to be seen, but the place to be robbed and taken hostage at gunpoint as well. No sooner did I get my champagne than a bunch of the unluckiest thieves ever burst into the museum and started looting the place.

Unlucky why? Because I brought along a couple of knives in addition to my killer dress. Add these to my Ice and Stone magic, and nothing makes me happier than showing the bad guys why red really is my color.

BRAINE: Hi Lee! I missed you, beech! Where have you been?! Gosh it’s been almost a MONTH! How are you?

LEE: I know, I’m sorry.  Work has been kicking my butt and it hasn’t let up.  I probably won’t be on top of it until July!  But enough about me.  

On to DEADLY STING….This made me sad but I have to admit it -- this is my least favorite in the series. It was Gin’s version of Die Hard but a little less exciting.  And I am still so mad about Owen.  What did you think?

BRAINE: Yeah, Owen’s a dick & I’m with you. I can’t believe he’s carrying some sort of grudge over what happened in WIDOW’S WEB…. DEADLY STING felt like a filler volume.

LEE: I liked that the Giants took center stage here.  Clementine was a worthy villain but I kind of feel like it was all setup for what was really the ultimate issue here which was Mab’s will.  Convince me this book was necessary? (too harsh?)

BRAINE: I agree and hard truths are necessary at times. I’m with you, I didn’t see the whole point of this novel except for Gin finally out maneuvering the lawyer. Fluck! What’s his name?! MENTAL BLOCK!!!

LEE: Jonah McAllister!

BRAINE: LOL... This chat thing is fun… yes! Jonah McAllister! The walking Botoxed man or whatever he calls his facial treatment!

LEE: But how did you feel about how that was handled?  I felt like the book dragged on a bit and then the Jonah thing was tagged on.

BRAINE: It took me quite some time to finish DEADLY STING. Although the action and pace was great, like you, I didn’t see WHY this has to be a story arc. I know JEstep is trying to start up something here but again, the big production was a bit excessive!

LEE: Yes, I guess it was all about Jonah trying to hide the will essentially, but also unveiling a new potential threat - Mab’s heir. I can’t help but feel like this could have been handled in the first three chapters of another book.

I love this series but I have to get a bit critical for a moment -- I’m tired of the constant asides of Gin bragging about her prowess. I’m on book eight, I think at this point I know she is a bad ass.  She knows she is a bad ass.  No more, “He’d realize how wrong he was soon enough - when I killed him.”  On the one hand, I think the repetitiveness that I nitpicked about before has lessened, and now these constant asides have started to grate.

BRAINE: Funny, I follow a blog who’s also binge-reading Elemental Assassin and she more or less said the same thing…. and all this self-doubt IS getting old. Like girl, how many people do you have to kill before you realize you’re The Spider?! I’m all for humility but I’m also for taking credit where credit is due!

LEE: Yes but it’s also not only humility but she’s so bad ass she doesn’t have to say anything.  Nothing.  I know as well as everyone in the Ashland-verse, that Gin is going to kill somebody but good.  She doesn’t need to preface it or foreshadow it or shit-talk anymore; she can just do it, get on with it.  Her reputation is enough.

BRAINE: Yeah, she has a Reputation and there’s a reason why it’s there. Embrace it Gin! Stop dallying girl and embrace your Queen B status!! LOL… speaking of Queen B. What’s your theory about this Monroe person? Honestly I’m excited, Gin’s opponents post-Mab are so-so except for Salina, I’m hoping that this Monroe character is a super villain.

LEE: Yes!  This was the most worthy thing to come out of this story.  Is it a man or woman?  Are they as strong as Mab?  As vicious and unredeemable?  I’m super excited to see who the heck this person is and whether or not he/she is coming for Gin.   Did you read the synopsis for the next book?

BRAINE: I wonder if s/he is holding a grudge on Gin and I wonder if there’s more to Gin’s family’s murder than what was told. This Monroe person is certainly a wild card and the possibilities are endless for me at this point…

*reading the blurb for the next book* After book 5, I tried not to read anymore blurbs because some of them are “spoilery”... ok do you think Heart of Venom is filler-ish? I love Sophia but this feels like another “side story”... I do like the part about Gin & Owen. Hopefully Owen gets his shiznit together because at this point, Gin deserves so much better than what he’s giving her now.

LEE: You’re right.  I does sound kind of fillerish but honestly, I’ve been dying to know about Sophia’s past so this is one filler that I might embrace.  I hope it pushes the Mab connection forward, too.

BRAINE: You’re right, Sophia’s a mystery to me too and despite Jojo telling us what happened, I want to see Sophia in action and what she does with the bodies. I just hope that it’s not like DEADLY STING where it felt pointless.

LEE: Final Verdict?

BRAINE: Loved WIDOW’S WEB, I wasn’t expecting an assassin’s love life could be like daytime soap LOL… DEADLY STING not so much. Even if DEADLY STING opened a Monroe arc, I didn’t really care much for Clementine and her squad of giants. I feel like that could’ve been a side story and this Monroe person the main plot.

LEE: I think we’re in agreement.  WIDOW’S WEB was great but DEADLY STING was a disappointment.  I normally rip through these books but this one took me a while to finish.  I’m hoping the return of the Mab storyline continues to be developed because I think it has the most potential to match the greatness that was Mab Monroe as Gin’s nemesis.

BRAINE: Yeah, JEstep did so well with Mab’s arc that she’s probably having a hard time topping that LOL. Fingers cross all this build-up won’t be anti-climactic.

Lee and I doubled up this month, read our chat review 



  1. Fun discussion! I haven't started this series yet, so I have no clue what's going on. I'm sorry y'all didn't love this installment, hopefully the next will be better!

    1. After you're done and caught up with BDB, you should consider this, it's really good!

  2. Sadly I gave up on it :/ That is book 1

  3. Me and one of my new co-bloggers Ella actually did a review just like this one! It was so much fun!

    I have seen this series and I've always been drawn to it, I think it's the funky fonts of the title haha. I have not read it though, having that much books in the series can be so daunting but I think I'll check the library for book 1 and try it out! Awesome review Braine and Lee!

    1. Girl, you'll be surprised at how EASY it is to read and get caught up with the series. And yes, chat reviews are the best!

  4. I do enjoy a good chat review. I haven't embarked on this series yet. I did pick first couple up from library but ran out of time. So back they went. So this one was a bit of an ok read. Jonah , Mr Botox sounds interesting. HA! I have read a couple books in her YA Mythos Academy reads. They are ok, but I hope for them to get better. I am intrigued to read more in that series to see where she goes.

    Great chat!

    1. If you loved Mythos then I'm sure you'll love this series too!

  5. Love the chat, of course I own book one but have I read it? Negative. Now I want to know all about it.

  6. That was great guys! I haven't read this series yet, but its on the radar.

  7. I haven't started this series but I enjoyed the chat, I hope you guys do more of these! I need to read this series still.

    1. Will take note of that, Jeann! I'll look for another reading partner to do this with for a different series

  8. Oh wonderful review! I'm sorry to hear that this one was behind the others... It's difficult sometimes... And well I'm really late in this series I only read book 1 while I have book 2 and 3 but I don't remember the story so I'm not in a hurry because I'll surely have to reread book 1 too...

    1. The first 5 are the best IMO, I hope it picks up after this

  9. Definitely not the best book but I had fun. OMG Owen, he could kiss my ass in this book!

    1. Well said, I can't believe he turned out to be such a jerk!

  10. This is a series I've wanting to read. Sorry this volume wasn't as good though!

    1. It happens esp with long standing series

    2. I have the first 6 books but still haven't started. I did hear about the Owen thing and I'm pissed and I don't even know him yet lol

      Karen @ For What It's Worth

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