Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?
It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in.
It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.
I've been looking forward to BITTER BITE since I read the excerpt in Spider's Bite. Next to Gin, Finn is my favorite character and I knew that this installment will rip him and me to shreds. And that it did and none of us are spared.
So Gin found out via Fletcher's files that Finn's mom, Dierdre Shaw, is still alive and she's not to be trusted because she's bad news. Diedre Shaw is also a powerful Ice elemental, an heiress, and was friends with Gin's mom at some point. BITTER BITE really throws the story wayyyy back and it let out a lot of worms from its silverstone can. I love all the flashbacks/nightmares that Gin have, it adds another nice piece of the puzzle of what Gin's life was like when Fletcher was still alive and how the dynamic was between the three of them.
I didn't hate Finn's mom as much as I thought I will. Maybe because I already know she's bad news from the get-go. I feel for Finn though, he's always been a happy-go-lucky dude, always dapper even when he's busting bad guys with Gin, even after Fletcher's death, he's still sunshiny. Deirdre, or having a mother after all these years, turns out to be Finn's Achilles heel. He knows that Dierdre is posing, but his longing for what she represents blinded him. Oh, it's so gut-wrenching!
And per usual JEstep ended BITTER BITE with another disturbing mystery that now shadows Gin's mother, Eira. From the beginning of the series, Eira's basically a martyr, but it seems she's not as saintly as Gin believes her to be. I also find Fletcher's little clues amusing, it's either he's helping Gin from the other side, or our beloved assassin and current boss of the underworld is very predictable like clockwork. Nevertheless, I'm curious to see how JEstep is going to unravel this part of Gin's past and if the results will be as devastating as Dierdre if not more.
ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN FREE READS