why do you have to make her so dumb to advance the story I do love the story I just wish you wouldn't make her stupid and let her use her dam magic instead of some stupid reason she can't use it.
I absolutely enjoyed this book. So many earlier situations are finally resolved. The narration is excellent and the story kept me amused, surprised and not able to put it down until the story was over.
Booked & Loaded
By a Thread is Jennifer Estep’s sixth installment in her Elemental Assassin Series and she is not letting up. With a main plot point solved in the last book I couldn’t help but wonder what was going to come next and By a Thread did not disappoint.
By a Thread gives a bigger insight into some of Gin’s insecurities. Jealously, anyone? Some of her past inner fears surface and it was kind of a nice touch. Gin is still Gin and proud of who she is, but we all have the little things we are deeply afraid of. Estep does a great job of not sacrificing the characters true nature, but allowing some of these fears to surface.
In the previous book the main plot line was wrapped up and I wondered how she was going to continue. Although she did a good job with By a Thread I am not sure that another full story line emerged. I am hopeful that this book was just a lead into another major conflict. The story by its self was still a great story with some fantastically unexpected events. Anther great addition to this series and world Estep has pulled us into.
Audiobook Thoughts: Well, I am sure this is getting repetitive, but seriously Lauren Fortgang just rocks. I am extremely happy that I am listening to this series. I think the narration adds a kick to an already great story.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
Stop here if you’re planning to read Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series and haven’t read books one through five yet. This review is for book six, By a Thread, and will contain spoilers for the earlier books.
In the previous book, Spider’s Revenge, Gin Blanco (as the title implies) took care of Mab Monroe, her nemesis and the crime boss of Ashland Tennessee. At this point, Estep’s fans have got to be wondering “now what’s Gin gonna do?” It seems like her life is set; she’s got an awesome boyfriend, she’s reunited with her sister, business is booming, and her enemy is dead. But life still isn’t easy for Gin. With Mab gone, all sorts of bad people have been trying to take Gin out and she just can’t get a break. So Gin, Bria, Owen, and Finn pack up and go on vacation to the town were Bria grew up in a foster family.
When Gin and Bria go to a restaurant owned by Bria’s best friend Callie, they discover that the local crime boss (a vampire) wants Callie to sell her restaurant to him so he can build a casino on her property. When he sends a couple of goons to rough Callie up, Gin gets involved. Then the local police detective shows up and guess who it is? You’re right! It’s Donovan Caine, the guy who dumped Gin! And he’s engaged to Callie! So now Gin and her friends have two problems: they need to get rid of the bad vampire and Gin needs to deal with her past issues with Donovan.
OK, I pretty much lost all respect I had for this series at this point. I see that By a Thread has very high ratings at GoodReads, so I know that my opinion is the minority one. I suspect that fans are enjoying the romance and particularly the love square (or rectangle, or rhombus) of this story. Donovan is casting longing looks at Gin while Owen is clenching his jaw. Great stuff for the right kind of reader.
But this book has the same problems that I mentioned in my reviews of the last few books. The plot of By a Thread is especially sloppy with characters acting in ways we just can’t believe. As just one example, two thugs are talking about their plans out loud while trying to break into Gin and Bria’s hotel room in the middle of the night. After Gin and Bria kill them, they decide to dump the bodies in the pool (a few stories down, which takes a couple of trips in an elevator), clean up the bloody hotel room with cleaning supplies that just happened to be in the room, get the car key from the valet and give him a $100 tip (they are still in bloody clothes), walk to the parking garage themselves, then cruise around town in a bashed up Aston Martin (still in bloody clothes) before going to the house that Gin had rented and stocked without telling anyone, just in case they had to leave the hotel. Not only does this sound like a really good way to get caught, but it is totally out of character for Bria, the detective of the Ashland police department. Wouldn’t Bria insist on calling the local cops? The women were only defending themselves, anyway. It seems like it’s much better to call the cops than to try cover up what was an act of self-defense by two well-respected women. There are many other examples of sloppy plotting, too.
But the worst problem with By a Thread is its lacks originality. The vampire who borrows elemental powers by drinking the blood of Elementals is really cool (except that we don’t see him do much with it), but other than that, this plot feels like a combination of the previous plots. Even the new character, Callie, runs a restaurant just like Gin. (There’s a reason given for this, but it still feels stale.) A crime boss wants someone’s land, sends his goons to threaten the woman who owns it, is willing to kidnap and torture people to get what he wants, the corrupt police can’t stop him even though they have a good detective (Donovan Caine), etc. We’ve seen all this before, just in a different city.
Gin’s personality has changed a bit in By a Thread. Lauren Fortgang’s narration puzzled me at the beginning. She makes Gin sound angry, cynical and disgruntled which surprised me, especially after Gin’s triumph at the end of Spider’s Revenge. But soon we discover that her relationship with Bria is rocky (a little hard to believe after what happened in the previous book) and then she gets jealous of Bria’s friendship with Callie. She has an all-out pity party, which I thought was immature and unlike Gin. There are some touching moments, though, and by the end Gin learns to open up and let others in. Readers who are enjoying Gin’s relationships will probably be pleased with how that part turns out in By a Thread.
When I started reading this series I really liked the character of Gin Blanco, she was smart and tough, she thought things through like a chess match (always 3 steps ahead). In spite of the annoying repetition in the books I had high hops for the series.
Over the course of the series Gin has gone from the smart, savvy assassin to just plain stupid. Between the issues with her past "love interest" whom she only slept with a couple of times anyway and the endless mistakes she makes...she has lost all credibility. "Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy!!" (to quote an overused phrase)
easy to follow
Nice to see strong female characters, but could do without the graphic sex (not a prude, just does not add to the story and actually distracts from it). also why does author need to constantly tell us "that she can cure anything but death" or "puts on condom even though i always take my little white pill" or "smell of chicory always reminds me of"
Easy to hear and a nice voice
its not a good thing that I do, books are short for the price
I am a registered nurse and a father of four great kids. I live in a rural part of Oregon and love it. I enjoy books, but Sci-Fi Fantasy has allows been the ones I reach for more than others.
As a whole this series has been a great group of books to listen to, not to serious, but yet not to fluffy either. This chapter begins with Gin going on vacation because on the up comers in Ashland want to make their name by killing The Spider, but instead they just keep dying. Gin takes Bria with her and they meet up with Callie (Bria's BFF) and found out a local power player is pushing in on her and in fact is putting Callie in danger. As Bria and Gin watch a few of the power player (who happens to be a powerful vampire) threaten Callie. Gin is going to help with her "Spider" skills as only The Spider can but in walks Det. Donavan Caine with his looks and smell but also with his accusing gaze and words. Thus, begins the story and action of By a Thread. By a Thread, for me, was a quick enjoyable listen in which Jennifer Estep was able to tie up loose ends in the relationship between Gin and Donavan. Gin's shutting down of Donavan at the end of the story allows Estep the ability to progress the relationship between not only Gin and Owen but Gin and Bria because Gin lays it all out in the open when she talks with both Donavan and Bria at the end of the story. I did find a sense "WHAT" when listening to the first encounter Gin has with the vampire and how she just walks in to a trap that had to be shocking her "spidey" sense. But as always she quickly uses her wits and comes out beaten and weak but ready for revenge. If you enjoy easy listening or reading books and enjoy urban fantasy with a little to no romance sex scenes then you should enjoy listening/reading By a Thread.
I loved every minute of this book, just as I loved the entire series. I have to admit, I miss the whole "Mab Monroe" story line, but this story wasn't too bad either.
I have just finished listening to this series for a second time. Despite being on the shady side of the law, Gin and her friends are very likable characters. Who hasn't wanted to despense a little justice and to hell with the consequences. I'd sure like her on my side should I find myself in trouble with the wrong sort. Each book develops the story line a bit more and adds to our understanding of the past. I'll be saving a credit for the next installment.
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!
Gin (a.k.a. the Spider) and all her pals are back and on vacation. I know it is hard to believe that the workaholic assassin know as the Spider would carved out some down time, but she did. Or at least, she tried to. Over the books in this series, we have seen the Spider grow emotionally and start living and interacting with the world around her. She has let down internal barriers and this book marks the final removal of those barriers. It has been a joy to listen to Gin grow and heal. As always, Lauren Fortgang nails the Appalachian accent. Unfortunately, one of the best characters in this series is missing from this installment. That character is the Pork Pit. I hope we get to see more of the Pork Pit in the future.