Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
I’ve been barreling through this series like a woman on a mission. I know that I say this in every review that I write for Jennifer Estep’s books but it really is worth repeating: these books are the bomb! The writing is out-of-this-world outstanding, Lauren Fortgang’s narration is mesmerizing and the characters… Oh. My. God! I ♥ Gin, Owen, Finn, Sophia & Jo-Jo! In this installment we have the showdown to end all showdowns; I’m talking assassin vs. assassin. I mean no disrespect to the athletes I’m about to reference but the fight sequence between Gin and LaFleur puts MMA fighters to shame! In Tangled Threads emotions run sky high, the trademark action is kicked-up an extra notch and the secret that comes out about Flether Lane is just… wow. This book is a masterpiece, plain and simple!
I’m going to try my hardest to avoid spoilers but when you’re reviewing the fourth book in a series it becomes incredibly challenging so please excuse me if I goof. The build-up to the inevitable fight-to-the-death between Gin and LaFleur is incredible. If you’re not a nail bitter, you will be by the end of this novel. McAllister enlists Elektra to kill Blanco without realizing that she’s the Spider. As a result, the hired gun repeatedly pops in to case her mark which left me in a perpetual state of “is this it? The. Fight?” Of course not! You still have 150 pages left to read you silly girl (Yes, I talk to myself when I read)! Although, you never know with Estep; she’s good at keeping her readers guessing. To say that the plot of this novel is suspenseful would be an understatement.
Owen Grayson is the perfect match for Gin, he really is. His elemental power complements her own, he pushes her to succeed even though doing so means upping her body count and he’s just so darned thoughtful. I was thrilled to see Blanco finally take the plunge and embrace her feelings for him. She deserves to be happy and shouldn’t let a douchebag like Donovan stand in her way. Also (not that I’m taking notes or anything *wink-wink*) the sex between Owen and Gin is WAY hotter because it’s not just about physical attraction. I’m just a little fearful that their match made in heaven is too good to be true and that something (a.k.a. Cain) is going to rear its ugly head and mess it all up. I think that there’s enough action in this series to make romantic drama unnecessary but I’m not discounting the possibility just yet.
Gin is the shining center of the Elemental Assassin series’ universe; I absolutely adore her as a character. Blanco's patience and ability to take advantage of her nemesis' mistakes are remarkable and skillfully integrated. I like the way that she keeps track of time and of LaFleur’s blunders in her head. A number of new developments occur with regards to Bria Coolidge and her relationship with Gin. I understand that she’s a cop and follows a strict moral code as a result but this is her sister we’re talking about! At least Christmas has a way of bringing families together. All is not forgiven but at least they now have a starting point. Lauren Fortgang impressed me once again with her skills as a narrator and I particularly enjoyed her Russian accent.
Tangled Threads is better than chocolate and that’s not a claim I make lightly!
Excessive repeat background information.
I don't usually write review, almost never but this book frustrated me so much, I have to share my thoughts. The book is slightly shorter than the others in the series and half of it was repeat materials. I do appreciate author is trying to recap events giving readers a bit of background, from her last book(s) in the series but too much time spent explaining stuffs from before to the point of abusing the reader patience make me feel cheated. If a reader is that lost that need to be reminding of every single little detail about character and event, then he/she should move on to another series or go back to the previous books as after all, this is a book belong to a series. My other complaint is Gin, the main character was constantly talk about how tough and deadly she is pushing arrogant and when the actual fight happen, she is barely able to handle one or two supposedly just minions, bodyguard. How will she able to go up against the lethal assassin or the big boss when she's so weak? I feel as if the writer doesn't read her own work; either that or she doesn't know how to play up the character strength and weakness for us reader to make it clear that Gin is a strong, unique fighter but she is not quite in the big, bad guy league yet. An assassin with her status can't whine about how hard to take out a giant, for example. Her threats seemed empty when the fight sound too off balance, this has ruined the plot, the story and the book for me. The series has potential and I was enjoying my reads but I can say this is my last book. Patricia Briggs and Ilone Andrews are so much better at what Jennifer Estep is trying to do with her main character.
Nice continuation of the overall storyline however it basically follows the same basic outline as the previous books which might bore some readers/listeners.
Frankly, I was disappointed with the first fight in this book because Gin announces herself to her enemies before attacking them which seemed very unlikely given the situation and the fact that shes an assassin. Jennifer goes on and on about how Gin slips from shadow to shadow silently ... and then she gives up her chance for a surprise attack on purpose - not very likely or wise. But it sort of fits to the pattern. Gin seems to have a death wish and only succeeds with luck and the convenient late minute thought and action that saves her in the end.
And once more Jennifer Estep does not disappoints. I absolutely loved the book, Its nice to see a series that gets better with every book. Action , romance everything that I really like in a book ,and Lauren Gortgang did again a great job bringing Gin to life.
One of my favorite series and definitely recommended to everybody that likes action , a kick ass heroine that does not play around, and not forget about romance ...... perfect :)
I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!
Our gal from the Pork Pit is back with all of her friends. This book is action packed and some significant secrets are finally shared between characters. I think what is best about this book is that Gin is finally starting to understand that love isn???t conditional. Love is. All of the revelations exposed in this installment as well as the action packed plot make this book a joy to read. But Lauren Fortgang does such a great job with the Appalachian accent that it makes this book a sensational experience. So, brew some chicory coffee; make yourself a sandwich; grab a piece of pie; sit back and enjoy.
Great characters. Great plot. Great story line. Painful detailed ramblings in narration. Explanations of all past items from previous books in excess and without context. "Circle with eight thin rays. A spider ruin, my ruin...the symbol for patience."
If we like your books and read the series why must the authors tell the entire first book(s) in every new one? If reminders are needed make them subtle not weighed and heavy in long streams of consciousness mid action.
I want to love these. I hope this one was a fluke. I love the action and the characters.
Book reviewer - PNR/UF Addict. Lover of make up and all things cute.
Gin Blanco returns in book four of the Elemental Assassin series. This time around Gin is toying with Mab, the fire elemental that murdered her family when she was a child. Mab is a formidable opponent, she has all the corrupt people in Ashland under her thumb. In an attempt to get rid of the thorn in her side, Mab hires an assassin to get rid of The Spider (aka Gin Blanco).
Gin doesn't just have Mab and the assassin looking for her though, Gin's little sister Bria is on the case trying to figure out who The Spider is and why she's picking off Mab's men one by one. Bria has a suspicion that The Spider is her long lost sister, but she isn't sure who that person is. Gin knows who Bria is, but cannot tell her the truth without risking losing her little sister just like how she lost Donovan Caine. I feel like Bria and Donovan have a lot in common, they're both honest cops that are dedicated to their job. I'll be interested to see what happens in the next book.
My biggest and only real complaint is that there was a lot of repetition in this book. I've had this discussion with a few authors in the past to gauge what people (readers) prefer, but I tend to like only a bit of refresher. I'm probably noticing it more so than most due to listening to the books one after another.
Gin's character is growing, she's not just a cold blooded killer compared to the previous books. She's learning new things about herself and facing tough decisions. She's still dating Owen Grayson, and as in any relationship their feelings for one another are growing. My main concern is that Gin will eventually push Owen away due to trying to protect him. That isn't an issue in this book really, and I'm hoping it won't be an issue later on in the series. I love pretty much everything about the Elemental Assassin series so far, and highly suggest it to any Urban Fantasy lover out there.
Like the narration by Lauren Fortgang
I like coming into a series after a lot of the books have been written so I don't have to wait a year or longer for the next book. When it has been a year, one sometimes needs some review of the characters. However, by the 5th book, not so much. Few avid series readers would start in the middle of the series. I think Estepp could have easily copied and pasted a third of the book, in each of the last 3 books. Thank goodness audible has the 30 seconds forward feature. I have started listening to book 5, Spider's Revenge. I used the skip forward a lot.
I like the character of Gin. I understand that though she is a hardened assassin she has been emotionally stunted by her past and her guilt. But she seems too excessive in her lack of self-knowledge, way too hard on herself. I understand that the two honest, upright, cops who mean so much to her come into her life at a critical emotional turning point in her life. But really it's annoying.
The stupidity I found the most annoying however is her inability to reason out the actions of her enemies and lack of simple technological gadgets like ear pieces & mica too communicate with Phinn (sorry, not sure how his name is spelled since I'm listening to the books) who is stationed up high backing her up with his snipers gun. They have night vision googles, silverstone vests and lots of money. For some one spending lot of money on her knives, who doesn't want to rely on her magic out of fear, I'd think she also have a few more gadgets.
Along those lines, I would think for an assassin with patience who has been trained to plan and prepare, that when her she makes breakthroughs in magic usage she would make more effort to understand how she can control it. Especially, if she is going up against people who are really strong and your afraid of it failing you. Fear of it isn't a good enough reason to ignore it so completely. I mean she seems to lose her knives often enough. She's been told by JoJo, it's growing stronger that it can help her beat Electra. JoJo has insights into the future. Really, she couldn't have gotten where she is without training in her skills, looking for all her possible advantages. She is smarter than that. I would have liked seeing her train herself, or practice magic abilities a little. You've been told this newly strengthened ability saved your life and this brave tough person with family to protect doesn't spend a little more time trying to understand it. I feel like the author hasn't got a clear understanding to the possible science behind the elemental magic she has created for the series. We hear the same limited theory being repeated every book without any advancement.
Despite all my negative thoughts above I like the basic story line, like the characters. I like the suspense of what will go wrong what will go right. I get that little tingle of anxious suspense. I just want more new info and a lot less repetition. I've already heard those books.
Overall... 4.00 star
Performance.... 4.5 star
Story... 4.00 star
This series is a prime example of why I like to listen to Urban Fantasy on audio rather than reading the books. These books have a lot of mental dialogue within Gin's head. There is also a lot of repeated information from both the other books and within this single book. If I was reading the book, I think that would drive me nuts, but for me and listening to audio it works for me. This is a series that I can listen to an hour or two at a time and be okay leaving it for up to a week in between chores where I have the time to listen to audio.
And I liked where this particular book within the series took the series. OMG, I love Owen and how all-in he is with Gin. The scenes with him and his little sister, Eva, in this...LOVED!! I also like how things are developing with little sister Bria. And was completely and totally shocked about the revelations about Fletcher in this one....I did NOT see that coming.
The danger side of the story lacked a little bit on this one for me and looking back I'm not quite sure why because I liked the whole LeFleur/Mab dynamic. For me, it seemed like Gin just wasn't as smart with some of her choices in this one as normal. She only lived because LeFleur made mistakes, not because Gin was the better assassin....I'm used to Gin being the best, most kick butt assassin. I didn't like seeing that she truly could have died in this one and that she only lived because of LeFleur's mistakes. Also, I don't think she gave Bria the credit she was due for the fact that they both lived.
So overall, I rate the story lower for the action/adventure part of it, but I give it HUGE marks for the emotional/relationship part of the story. All in all, it was another great installment to the series. The question...will Mab go down in the next book? And Finn's new hook-up, I'm intrigued. hmm...