Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jennifer Estep: Spider's Bite

In Jennifer Estep's first novel in her elemental assassin series, she introduces the reader to an assassin who you never want to double cross.

The Spider is an assassin shrouded in mystery but not to those close to her. Many think that that the Spider could only be a man but Gin is the one to prove them all wrong. After her family was murdered, Gin sought refuge on the streets and just tried to survive when she was taken in by an assassin to train her as his protege. Gin excelled with his teaching and found herself with a new family. But when someone murders her handler and double crosses her, Gin has no qualms in doing anything to get to the the people responsible, even if it puts herself and those around her in danger. More than one person needs to pay with their life.

I have had this book on my TBR shelf for a very long time, I'm thinking close to when it came out in 2010, so a very very long time. I'm unsure as to why I never picked it up, maybe I was seeing so many reviews for this book coming out one after another that I decided to hold off, though now I wish I had not. This book was fantastic. It had me hooked from the first line "My name is Gin and I kill people." I mean how do you put a book down after that. I was a little worried about making such an impression right off that I thought it might fail, but it kept me interested and entertained right to the end. It was everything that I wanted it to be and more.

Estep introduces some fresh new ideas that were great. I especially liked that the paranormal "creatures" within the book were not invincible, were they harder to kill sure, did they have powers yes, but two bullets in the back or one head was going to kill them too. I liked this vulnerable aspect to creatures where the normal focus is how invincible they are. The introduction of the elemental powers was interesting, one each for; air, fire, earth and water. I have not read a book that has taken the aspect of the elements and power this specifically and I am very interested in reading more about the powers that Gin and others have. The world building was okay in this novel, it was not as well developed as other areas, but there is definitely room to have the world grow more, but I think this can be achieved as Estep takes the readers through her other novels.

I know I have read some reviews that stated that the mystery within the book was not really there and I would have to agree with them. But this is not your typical good vs evil  or private detective or police officer trying to solve a crime. This book is about an assassin (who most people would consider on the side of evil) who has been double crossed, therefore, it is more about the hunting, stalking and well torturing their prey in order to get the information that they need and these are the aspects that Estep focuses on her book.

Overall I really liked Gin as a character, she is smart, deadly and efficient at what she is able to do as an assassin. I really like that Gin has learned to be a deadly assassin without using her powers. I like that she does not have to rely on them and only really using them for scouting reasons. I think that this makes her even more deadly as if she can kill you with a knife imagine what she could do if she started to use her powers. I look forward to seeing how Estep develops Gin as a character.

The one aspect I could have lived without in the book was Gin's side thoughts about sex and Dominic, I could have lived without the comments, they are not too too often and they did not diminish how much I liked the book, just more of a personal preference than anything else. This was especially true when they decide to get it on when they should be working and it happens at a pretty important moment in the book. This type of act seemed out of character for Gin as she is always about getting the job done first and foremost, especially when it involves following a lead that could lead her to her handler's killer. I wish that Estep would have held off Gin and Dominic getting together as the sex scene almost seemed forced as if she felt she "had to" put it in.

Are you looking for your next really good paranormal read, with action, assassins, things that go bump in the night and even a little bit of romance mixed in, then check out Jennifer Estep's debut novel Spider Bite, I do not think that you will be disappointed. With memorable characters, a well thought out plot, Estep will entwine you into the web that is Spider's Bite. I look forward to reading the next book (good thing I had already bought it before I read the first one, I should have taken that to be a sign and read it earlier).

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