"Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon. I'm Gin Blanco. You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I'm retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day, when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren't aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox.
"Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, Im beginning to wonder if Im really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I'm a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn't made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man...dead or alive."
©2010 Jennifer Estep (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
“The second chapter of the first-person ‘Elemental Assassin’ series is just as hard-edged and compelling as the first. Gin Blanco is a fascinatingly pragmatic character, whose intricate layers are just beginning to unravel. Estep has truly hit the jackpot with this outstanding series!” (Romantic Times)
I read the first book in this series. I bought this one on sale. I liked the story. Lauren Fortgang is nice as Gin. Her male voices aren't that great, but her skills are great enough that you can hear the difference between each character. The story is interesting, and entertaining.
Great narration. I like to list this first as it can make or break a story.
Loved this story. Easy listerning and very entertaining. Will be impatiently waiting for any new books in audio from this author.
I really enjoy it when readers with similar reading interests list their favourite authors and series. It really helps me find new authors too follow. Mine are Charlaine Harris, Jeaniene Frost, Jennifer Estep, Faith Hunter, Molly Harper, Ilona Andrews, Kresley Cole, Deborah Harkness, Nalini Singh, Coreene Callahan and Sherrilyn Kenyon.
The dialogue between the characters was maddening at times. The things they would talk about or comments that they would make were out of place and unrealistic. This book seemed incredibly cheesy, and very predictable. I wont write specific examples as to not spoil it for others.
I felt the she stated the obvious much too often, as if she was writing to a child. Also the book is very repetitive.
I didn't like the males voices, and feel she stressed words incorrectly in places. Everyone had a whiny teenager vibe to them.
The story line is good but could be better written. Everything is just too obvious! For example in the first book there was a ruin of a triangle tooth- it took her the entire book to realize it was a shark tooth!
The story of Gin Blanco continues. She's a real likable assassin. I love this series and can't wait to listen to the next book. The narrator does a great job too!
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)
I didn't like it as much as the first one. It is very similar in some ways, but had a lot more "angst" between Gin and her completely unexpected, out-of-character and out-of-the-blue "love" for Caine. To the point that her continual harping on about him became annoying. At one point she decides she's had enough of his cold shoulder and yet, a bit later in the story, she's upset over his neglect again. They were never a couple, he never indicated he wanted to be one - sure he shagged her a couple times, but so what? - and yet she spends way too much effort being "upset" because, gasp, he doesn't want to be in a relationship with her? I think that much was clear from book one sweetheart.
There was also a long "trapped in the mine" scene that went on and on and on with nothing much happening... like it was a page quota filler. Oh, and I thought the whole drama with Jake thing was a bit weak too - an unexpected problem pops up and is cleared up as unexpectedly. It wasn't even very believable: if someone kicks your butt once, chances are she's going to be able to do it again next time, so don't go following her around and expect to live.
Overall, I was disappointed in the story. I will read the next one and hope Gin stops being so sad-sack and gets on with her life. That, and if she's supposed to be an assassin, ex-or-otherwise, she should really be more competent than she was in this story - all her "successes" here were due to luck, not skill.
The narration was very good.
I gave the story 4 starts 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 repetitious.
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.
This series is one of the best I have ever read. I love the story lines...each character draws me in...and while I love Gin...Finegan is hilarious. I hope audible gets other books by Jennifer Esteep, because I am sure I will finish this series in no time. :) Keep up the good work.
Note: This review will have some spoilers for those who haven't read the first book
What happens when an assassin retires? They get bored. And what happens when a former assassin gets bored? They find trouble. Or it finds them. At least that's how it worked out for Gin in Web of Lies. Surprised? Me either. What fun would it be if Gin's retirement were quiet and peaceful?
As soon as I started listening to Web of Lies I started kicking myself for taking so long to pick it up. I read Spider's Bite in September 2013 and didn't pick up Web of Lies until October 2014. Well that was dumb, because Web of Lies was great!
I just love Gin's personality - she's a smart aleck and likes to pretend she's hard as stone. And, while she can use her elemental stone magic to make her physically HARD AS STONE, she's a softie deep down. And she's still feeling a bit hurt from the events of Spider's Bite. She feels a little bit betrayed, because she feels like maybe she didn't know Fletcher after all. Why does he have the folder about her past and why hadn't he told her he knew that her sister was alive? What does he want her to do with this information?
Gin's frustration, though, became mine. Ok, you're feeling a bit lost. But golly gee whiz, can you stop moping about the folder Fletcher left you and do something about it? If, like me, you were hoping this book would have a lot to do with the contents of that folder, you're in for a disappointment. For all but maybe the last 10% NO progress is made on that front. Gin just wonders about it the whole book.
Ultimately that was okay, because Web of Lies had plenty of action to keep me happy. Fletcher's life before Gin and Fin (his son) comes to light and sends Gin down a very different, and yet somehow familiar, path. The good detective Donovan Kane is back for the fun - once again trying to figure out the balance between what's legal and what's right - not to mention how his feelings for Gin factor in. A new potential love interest and big player also shows up - Owen Grayson - and I'm VERY interested. He may just be better for Gin than Donovan. Or he may be trouble - I'm not quite sure.
For me, the highlight was once again the magic/world that Jennifer Estep has created. It's so intricate and even after leaving it for more than a year, I easily slid back in and had no trouble remembering how things work. In fact, it was so easy to reorient myself, I found myself saying things with the narrator - Lauren Fortgang. I think this was mainly that there was a bit of predictability - not boring in the least, but takes away some of the potential wow factor. It could also be that Lauren's narration is so slow paced. I love her voices for the characters and for me, she's the perfect Gin, so I'll definitely be continuing in audio. She just has slightly longer than I would like pauses - sometimes I would think I accidentally hit pause or something, they would be so long. Not a deal breaker, especially if you can speed up your playback (I can't on my Audible app).
If you're a fan of action, snarky main characters, and well developed worlds, I recommend this series. I'm eager to see if the next book will dig further into the mystery of Gin's past than Web of Lies did!
If you thought the first book liked to reiterate plot points (like what happened to Gin's family, or who characters are or where Gin stashes her knives), then buckle yourself in because you're likely to fall asleep at the wheel and crash your car listening to this monotonous repetition of everything. Don't worry if you didn't read the first book, this one tells you what happened. Several times. Then, in case you got lost on the current 'plot' it will remind you of that too. Forgot that Gin's family is dead? Don't worry, she'll remind you. Forgot who Mab Monroe is? Don't fret! Another long winded description is only a page or two away! The book was better than half over before anything like plot started happening. I have to wonder if the entire plot line with the lawyer's son wasn't added in to make the thing actual novel length.
As though that was't bad enough, we have the continuation of the forced 'relationship' between Gin and the detective ("His eyes met mine. Grey on gold." gag). I don't understand why Gin is so determined that the fact she's a (retired) murderer shouldn't matter to the only non-corrupt cop in the city. Are we really supposed to take her side on this? She goes on and on about how he should overcome his morals because he's physically attracted to her. What? It makes no sense to me.
Anyway, moral of the story, I won't be buying any more of this series.
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