Loved this series, got all four audio books at once and was done in 3 days, I just couldn't stop listening. Lauren Fortgang was a wonderful narrater, I loved her voice, make the book easy to listen too.
Good storyline, lots of visual words, which some don't like, but I do, it adds to the story for me..
Hoping for book 5 sooooooon...
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
It is a decent addition to this genre: kick-butt heroine with a troubled past and a difficult "career". Gin doesn't even spend time whining about stuff, which is (pleasantly) out of the ordinary in this genre.
Are there problems? Sure... Gin is supposedly a high-calibre assassin and yet there are several scenes where she is nearly defeated because she behaved in ways an expert assassin wouldn't. The "angst" between her and Caine is based exclusively on a misunderstanding... we're given a reason as to why Gin doesn't clarify things with Caine, but this reason changes as the book progresses and neither of the reasons provided seem very believable.
But, of course, this angst is what allows them to have some quick sex but not get saddled in a relationship with each other. There are many more references to sex than actual sex scenes (only one) and I think there could have been a bit more sex, and maybe a bit less angst, but anyway, it was decently handled. The narration was excellent.
Overall, I liked the characters and the world they live in. And I'll be starting the next one immediately. Oh, and while the settings are quite different, Richelle Mead's Succubus series has a similar feel to this one.
The narrator speaks so slowly and with a southern accent that grates on my nerves. Didn't pass the "10 minute test". I don't know who the audience is - there's sex and violence (adult readers) but a childish tone and plot.
Slow southern accent with random pauses.
This book spent more time focusing on what someone wore, looked liked, drove, ate, and the eyes the eyes enough with the eyes. I can't believe this book got more than 2 stars.This story when no where.
This story really should have been wrapped up in one chapter. Just tell the guy aleady about his dirty partner.
The author creates caricatures, not characters
Nothing impressive in the narration
I'm guessing the author has quite a few friends who write reviews for her, as I can't imagine any other way a book as bad as this could get such a high rating.
First I live in TX, and I'm deeply annoyed by the accent the performer uses.
Second - "No means no!" Did anyone else feel that Gin came across as a male rapist at times. I mean the "MMmm!" she kept spouting out in reference to the detective was creepy enough, but I'm really talking about the scene where she was dry humping him in the bar and he clearly didn't want to even though he was attracted to her. Just because your attracted to someone does not mean you are giving your permission. And her determination that she was going to "have" him. I was a disgusted! Really, people gave this drivel 5 stars.
Third - Gin is not a strong character, she is a female character that thinks she is strong, and her supporting cast thinks so too. To be expected, but she comes across as insecure and stupid. I dislike her character so much I don't know where to start! I much preferred Illona Andrews strong character to this one. She had strengths and weaknesses that could be appreciated.
Fourth - An assassin...not so much!
I'm so upset I wasted a point on this book!
#1 a less annoying accent. I'm not sure if the narrator was asked to do the accent or how this usually works, but after about 30 seconds of listening to it I was ready to give up and find something else to listen to. Maybe it's just me, I can see a lot of people loved the narration in other reviews, but the constant souther drawl grated on my nerves.
#2 less repetition. A few other people have noted that the main character loved to announce the colour of her eyes ie "I looked at him with my grey eyes". I lost count of the times I swore to myself that if she said it one more time I'd take my headphones off and smash my ipod with a hammer. That was probably the most repeated thing she said, but other things, like scenes from her past, where she kept her weapons, or trivial things about how other characters looked kept being repeated as well. Very frustrating to listen to.
I really don't pick books to listen to based on the narrator. That said, if I notice Lauren will be the one narrating I'll be carefully reading reviews to see if she does it with a southern accent.
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series has been on my to-be-read list for what seems like forever. I FINALLY put my foot down and decided that enough is enough; the time for procrastination is over! It's time to see what all of the fuss is about. And I must say, it was love at first sight read. I instantly connected with Lauren Fortgang as the narrator and I absolutely LOVED Gin Blanco! This book has a lot going for it in that it's not your typical Urban Fantasy tale. The heroine isn't your run of the mill vampire slayer but an actual assassin for hire. She doesn't make distinctions between preternatural breeds; Gin is an equal opportunity killer, for the right price, of course. This was my first encounter with "elemental" magic and I really enjoyed the change of pace. Spider's Bite is a non-stop adrenaline rush with plenty of deep fried, macabre humour to keep you smiling.
I haven't enjoyed discovering an author's universe this much in a long, long time. I loved navigating Estep's world and uncovering its secrets. The focus of this series is obviously on the elementals but readers also get to meet tons of other paranormals along the way. It was interesting to see how the various supes interact with each other and with the regular human population. Jennifer does a good job of explaining the various types of elementals as well as their strengths and weaknesses. It was unfortunate that Estep didn't explore their origins a bit more. I would have liked to know where their powers originate from; are they hereditary? Why was Gin born a stone elemental instead of taking after her mother? Here's hoping that a few of these questions get answered in future installments!
I got a real kick out of Blanco; she has the assassin persona down pat. I loved her cockiness, confidence and snark. Gin knows that she's one of the best hired guns around and has the track record to back it up. She's not full of herself though, meaning she doesn't take unnecessary risks and she knows her limits. Her killing face is s-c-a-r-y! It's insane how quickly and easily she can switch from friendly to stone cold assassin. Blanco's also a seasoned pro at blending in; I really enjoyed watching her adopt different identities while working jobs. She's incredibly versatile. Her Southern charm cracks me up every time! Gin might be the Spider but that doesn't mean that she doesn't have weaknesses just like everyone else. Her past is beyond sad and I'm happy that Estep allowed readers to see that there's more to her than just a killer.
There's not a lot of romance in this book but I didn't expect there to be. Donovan Caine is an intriguing character and it'll be interesting to see whether his attraction to Gin evolves beyond the physical. JoJo and Sophia are too cute for words! The latter barely speaks other than the occasional grunt but who would have thought that such an insignificant sound effect could carry so much weight? I'm not exactly sure what to make of Finnegan Lane yet. He's sexy, no question about it but I have a hard time seeing him play a significant role in this series. I guess I'll just have to let Estep continue to work her magic and see where it leads!
Spider's Bite is well-written, addictive and original. If you're looking for quality Urban Fantasy, then look no further, book one of Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series more than delivers.
Disciple of the written word and Audible fanatic.I am an Urban and Epic Fantasy Fan.I also enjoy some Paranormal Romance.
I have been looking at this title for a few years. Finally I purchased it in a sale. I am hooked on the series now. The author has a good sense of humor. No time is wasted on tangent information. And the story moved right along. I will definitely be buying the rest the series. Thank you Audible for making titles like this available at a lower price. I would never have tried this series if it hadn't been on sale.
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.