Friday 1 August 2014

#CBR6 Book 78: "Spider's Bite" by Jennifer Estep

Page count: 432 pages
Rating: 2 stars

Gin Blanco is an assassin. She goes under the name The Spider. Her weapon of choice is knives and she's very good at her job, something she will rarely shut up about, even in times when people are trying to kill her. Gin lives in a world where there are a number of elementals, controlling fire, ice, earth, air, water, stone, even electricity and the like. Gin is a stone elemental and can also control ice. If you forget, she'll remind you every third chapter or so.

Gin is hired to take out a business man at the opera, but is double-crossed. Someone tries to kill her, and they succeed in killing her handler, Fletcher Lane, who raised her and trained her to be an assassin after her family was killed. She manages to rescue his son, Finn, before they manage to torture him to death too. Together with Donovan Caine, the only honest cop in the city, Gin and Finn (see, it rhymes) try to get to the bottom of who hired Gin and killed Fletcher.

I'd heard a lot of good things about the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. Most of the books have a higher than 4.0 rating on Goodreads. I like paranormal fantasy, I like assassins, I like unusual female protagonists. This book started out intriguingly, with Gin having had herself committed to an asylum to take out a dodgy psychiatrist, but went downhill so fast. When the book is narrated in first person, and you find said narrator hella annoying, it's going to be difficult to get into the book.

There's some promising world building, but because I was so annoyed with the "tell, don't show" narration, and the frequent repetition (really, most pertinent points are mentioned again and again - Gin's tragic backstory, her choice of weapons, her "no kids or pets" policy, her attraction to Donovan Caine and all the smexy things she'd like to do to him if she got the chance, but oh, he hates her because she murdered his corrupt partner). None of the characters appeared to have much depth or were all that interesting to me, again probably because Estep keeps telling me about them instead of showing through their actions why I should care about them.

I bought this on sale a while back, and am glad I didn't pay full price. Unless people can convince me that the other books get a LOT better (I know a lot of paranormal fantasy series have rough starts, and take a while to get going), this is not going to be a series I continue with.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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