Spider’s Bite (Elemental Assassin #1) by Jennifer Estep

Released: January 26, 2010
Format: E-book (also available as Mass Market Paperback)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN-13: 978-1-439-14797-9 (Mass Market Paperback)

I purchased Spider’s Bite on a whim and couldn’t be more pleased with it.

Spider’s Bite is the first book in Jennifer Estep‘s Elemental Assassin series. The star of this series is Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider, who can control two of the four elements: Stone and Ice (though to a lesser extent). When not killing people, she works at a BBQ joint called the Pork Pit. Unfortunately for Gin, things go awry when her newest contract doesn’t go quite as planned, and Gin has to figure out what went wrong, and why everyone’s after her.

Gin is a great protagonist – strong, tough, tragic backstory, as-yet-untapped magical potential, penchant for knives. She’s got a wonderful romantic foil in Detective Caine, since he’s attracted to her despite her diametrically different morals, and the fact that she killed his partner. The secondary characters are all interesting and have distinct personalities. My favourites are Finn and Sophia. The plot is well-conceived and written and goes by very quickly. Plus the author’s created a really neat world. I mean, yeah, the elements thing has been done before, including in one of my favourite childhood cartoons Captain Planet, but Jennifer Estep has taken it in an interesting direction, partially because she changed the water element to ice.

As soon as I finished the book, I went looking for Web of Lies, the next novel in the series, but it’s not out until this summer. So I guess I’ll just have to wait till then, and maybe tide myself over with a short story from Jennifer Estep’s website, called Spider’s Bite, about Gin killing Detective Ingles, Caine’s partner.

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