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...
Reviewing Romance & Urban Fantasy
It's getting harder and harder not to spoil during these reviews but here I go....
Gin has stepped up her game on the take down Mab Monroe front. She is taking out Mab's men left and right and now Mab has brought in Elektra, an out of town assassin, in hopes of taking out the Spider.
The assassin's name hints at her elemental power, electricity. And Gin gets a few shocks from Elektra. But have no fear, Gin is the still the baddest ass assassin in Ashland. With her ice magic becoming just as strong as her stone and she is learning that she just might have what it takes to finally take out old Mab.
Gin and her gang (Finn, Jo-Jo, Sophia, Rosalind and Xavier) work on helping free an innocent little girl that Mab's men have taken while trying not to get themselves or the little girl killed.
Gin and Bria work together again and secrets are found out.
On the romance side Owen is back. Mmmm... Owen. He could not be more perfect for Gin. He doesn't guide her by her past and is front and center to help her with her present.
Gin might be a "retired" assassin but the bad guys of Ashland better look out cuz the Spider is now doing her job for free and she is every as bit as dangerous if not more.
Still loving this series and now that I've gotten then review out of the way I can power through the next book, Spider's Revenge.
I really like these books. Gin is a good character and her friends are awesome. The only negative thing I can say is that Estep spends a lot of time repeating Gin's backstory. I guess it could be for people who just randomly pick the book up out of order but because of the long drawl, it feels long winded. Fortgang does a nice job. Her male voices aren't my favorite but she's growing on me.
When I discovered Audible it was like discovering love :-) I love receiving codes and in return I post reviews. Wife, and mom of two,
Tangled Threads is the fourth book in the Elemental Assassin series. In the fourth, installment Gin is close to telling her long lost baby sister that she's alive. She has kept the secret that shes. Broad long lost sister. She knew if she told it would put Bria in danger. That was only one reason though. She was afraid her sister wouldn't except her, after all she was the Spider, an assassin, while Bria is a cop. The story line gets better with each book and this one don't disappoint. Its everything, action, humor, and heated romance. These books are absolutely brilliant.
I understand this whole series takes place over just a few months in the characters lives but I wish she would stop with the references to the idiot ex-boyfriend who never accepted her for who she truly was, the relationship was mostly mental in the first place. The author is incredibly consistent with world continuity but some of that continuity needs to be dropped.
I actually like how the author has a sub-story running through the series about Gin's past. Every book you get a continuation dream telling you a little more about the tragic "Death of her Family" event.
I gave the story 4 stars because of the time she takes to catch you up on the world and previous books. This is not necessarily fair of me because I am currently on the 5th book in the series after 2 week marathon listening. But it is very repetitious and annoying.
There is also the formulaic obligatory sex scene.
Not a huge fan of those but it is telegraphed and very easy to fast forward over.
This book and series is good enough to suck me in and make me want to listen to the next to find out what is going to happen next. In my eyes it is kind of hard to give better praise than that.
I really enjoy this series. Gin Blanco is a loveable assasin. It's best to start at the beginning with Spider's Bite so you can really get into the book. Gin gets stronger with each book and this one does not disappoint. I highly recommend the series.