Gin Blanco is one of the best characters that I've come across. She is TOUGH, FUNNY AND VUNERABLE. At first glance, you may think she is just another assassin, but keep listening and you will find out what a complex character she is. She will fight to protect the people she loves, or will die trying. Finnegan Lane is pure heaven in the book. He adds a comedic balance to Gin's hard core edge. The characters are great - and you will be on the edge of your seat listening to what happens next.
Jennifer Estep has started an absolutely wonderful series.
I enjoy reading many books genres. But I love listening to fantasy books.
I am currently listening to book 3 in this series. It is a good series, dealing with some meaty personal issues from the perspective of the main character. I like the unique magic angle (elemental magic). And the narrator is good. I feel like there are parts which are repetitive. The author reminds the readers too much what has happened before or how the main character thinks/feels, even within the same book. Without the repetitiveness, this would be a five-star book.
Gin has confidence and is not in constant shame of herself.
Most books like this have a self loathing star. this one is blissfully okay with the work so whining about herself is absent.
Both in short bursts that are well timed
the first of a series and sets it up well
like a poor-mans True Blood - the story is mundane, the plot simplistic, the characters one dimensional, the sexual references like an adolescent's idea of shocking - just because there are supernatural elements does not mean this is anything other than mundane; Just because the writer tries shock us with her grrr-nasty-girl-dirty-talk does not make this remotely sexy.
I will read/listen to almost anything, but I had to really struggle to finish this - kept checking how much time was left! To quantify my opinion by talking about similar-ish titles: I like Charlaine Harris, love the True Blood TV series more, thought Twilight was silly.
Gave it a try because it was on special. Glad I didnt pay full price!
certainly nothing by this writer!
the reader did their best with a dreadful script
hmmm. less about removing scenes and more about adding an interesting plot, engaging and/or remotely likeable or believable characters - I just didnt care what happened to any of them.
After several hours I found the trick - set the narrator's speed to at least 1.25, then you can listen relatively comfortably without falling asleep.
Seriously, the story is good but the southern sleepy drawl drags the story down so that it's hard to really stay with it. My attention kept being pulled away, even when I was sitting still with no distractions, let alone driving or shopping. I've been in the south most of my life and...never... heard... anyone... t..a..l..k... t..h..a..t... s..l..o..w..l..y. While the accent is good, the pace is not.
Overall, the story is interesting. There are sex scenes and language that might concern some. Thankfully this is not a romance novel disguised as urban fantasy as many are but I really do like Patricia Briggs who can spin a great story without resorting to descriptive sex. I haven't been interested in reading that since I was a teen.
Fun, entertaining tale of fire, ice, stone and air elementals with some dwarves and vampires mixed in. Set in a kind of rednecksville south where there seems to be an overabundance of violent sexual predators, pedofiles and wife beating husbands. Gin, the 'hero' in our story is an assassin who apparently only kills the bad guys (REALLY BAD guys). She tends to go on about the color of her eyes, how she got the scars on her hands, how her family was killed, how she ended up on the street with nothing and is now pulling in millions of dollars in fees for assassinations...over and over. Once I know how she got the scars, is it important to hear it more than once? It's not like she was ever describing it to another character, but literally describing it to the 'reader' several times. Need to make a page or word count?
It's a mindless listen on a lazy afternoon - not bad, not great either...just meh...
AKA The Geeky Blogger
Bought on Audible
Read for Group: BBA on Goodreads
What I Loved: Gin! What a fantastic leading lady. She is tough yet vulnerable, has hobbies (cooking, taking classes), has friends (Fin, JoJo, Sophia), and has a kick ass ability that she does not overuse. I think that last thing was the most surprising but delightfully refreshing trait of all. I really loved her from the get-go and that is unusual for me in UF! She was just very well rounded and you could relate to her.
What I Liked: I really liked that I didn't quite parse out the whole story in advance. It is always fun when you can follow a case along and piece together things as the character does. I saw a few things coming but most of it was a mystery. The story played out in a very well paced way.
Audio Specific Review: The story was narrated by Lauren Fortgang and she does an excellent job. There were only a few voices that I thought were a little off but overall it was a fantastic job.
Why I gave it a 3.75: This was a fantastic beginning to an Urban Fantasy novel. I usually don't get sucked in so quickly in UF but I am really looking forward to listening to the rest of the series.
Who I would recommend this too: Urban Fantasy Fans
alot less F words and the spider should be less brash.
the story or idea of the spider and elementals is great. But she needs to be softer with a quiet intelligence. No need for her to be abrasive, cheap and shocking, since she's so much smarter than that.
Slow narrative, cliched dialogue, one-dimensional characters, vague notions of how to kill people and random ejaculations of sexuality, generally out of place, or pace. This book reads like someone's high school english assignment: write a noir piece set in an alternate universe with a tough, female, protagonist. Unfortunately, the author apparently hasn't read much noir herself, or simply watched movies labeled noir, and didn't do much research in assassins, because this was such a laughable attempt that I found myself repeating, out loud, some of the more ridiculous tough-guy lines. You know, the ones that make us roll our eyes because no one, ever, in the history of mankind, would say that and sound tough. Things like "they were going to pay...big time" were sprinkled throughout, with little variation.
Often, a good narrator can rescue a book this poorly written with enhanced characterization. Unfortunately, this narrator does a southern accent so slowly, with such exaggerated pauses, and a honest-to-goodness lisp, that it only highlights the more ridiculous dialogue and actually pulls you further out of the story because you are searching for your fast-forward button.
This book is saved from being a single star because the elemental angle is interesting. Enough so, that I may borrow the next book from the library and give it a whirl with my internal narrator. However, my unsolicited advice for the author is to work on better characters and dialogue to go with her world-building.
OK, started out really really slow, got better about 1/2 way thru, but still not understanding all the great reviews...guess it just depends on ones tastes in books.
Middle of the pack. Nothing to set it apart either among the best or worst.
The beginning. Really, that was a fabulous hook. What followed, however, was also memorable in the opposite sense -- it bored me to the point that I wished it would be over already. About 5-6 hours in it picked up again for me.
The main character. She can do raspy very well, and some nice drawls, but there wasn't a lot of character distinction for me. Still though, she has a lovely voice and the audio portion was pleasant.
The author has an issue with repetition. Yes, I know Gin's eyes are grey. I know the detective's eyes are hazel/gold/amber/other colorful and descriptive synonyms. I know Fletcher's son (what's-his-name) has green eyes. You do not need to tell me this every single time you mention someone's eyes. It went from irritating to frustrating to making me feel apathetic every time it was mentioned.
Also, the chemistry between the detective and Gin felt flat and uninspired at parts. I understand this is likely categorized as romance, but if you can't fit in a developing relationship within a book in such a way as to fittingly lead to sex, DON'T TRY. Leave it for the next book.
Overall it was decent enough that I might pick up the next one if nothing better catches my attention, but nothing special to me.