"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)
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.
I'm a Canadian book blogger who loves audiobooks. My favourite genres are sci-fi and fantasy, especially anything paranormal.
I enjoyed Gin’s character and her antics. She’s sassy and straight forward and knows her mind. She’s a fun UF heroine who is a pleasant to watch work. The narration is a great voice for Gin, and is very easy to listen to.
I have only listed to Lauren Fortgang narrate this series, but I like her style. It really fits this series.
One thing I did notice about this book that I didn’t enjoy was the amount of repetition in it. There seemed like a lot of things were repeated over and over until I just wanted to scream. I’m not stupid, I don’t need the same details spelled out for me repeatedly.
Not having her chase a guy (with whom she has spent NO time with). Who is disgusted by everything she has done (so no matter how much she changes for him it won't change her past). And we know how well a relationship works when you change your very nature for someone else. And once again, not repeating what has happened to her family in detail four or five times.
I think I have groused enough
Depending on the book, yes. She does womens voices well. She has warmed to her character in this book and has improved her performance.
A bit better than the first one, not much. Her writing has settled down a bit. However, there I still have no emotional attachment to any of the characters, and while there is a mild interest in how the story turns out, it's just mild.
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
When I read "Spiders's Bite", the first book in this series. last September I thought the series showed promise because, Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin of the title, was refreshingly amoral and because Lauren Fortgang's narration brought the book alive.
"Web of Lies" has some good things going for it - if it hadn't I would never have made it to the end of the book because it also has a lot of things wrong with it.
There is a basis for a really good series here. The characters continue to develop. We learn more about them through well-handled back-story and by seeing how they behave under physical and moral pressure. Estep makes sure that Gina Blanco is not one-dimensional, giving us just enough reasons to care about her to want her to win and to explain the loyalty others show her, while making her just broken enough to do the violent things that are asked of her.
The cast of characters continues from the previous novel and new ones are introduced that you know you will enjoy learning more about. The goody-two-shoes Detective male interest of the first novel gets what he deserves.
There is clearly a book-spanning story arc and it's intriguing enough for me to want to see how it plays out.
The plot for the novel, a basic "Magnificent Seven" set up, is well handled and has enough sub-plots to keep me interested and it's set in spectacular places that are well described.
The dialogue works well. The actions scenes and the violence are convincing and engaging without being pornographic and the magic has enough constraints and consistency to make it convincing.
So what could possibly go wrong?
Estep's editor seems to have been asleep at the wheel. There are number of times when passages giving back story are repeated, sometimes word for word, a few chapters apart. It was like listening again and again to a "Previously, on Elemental Assassin" segment designed for readers who either haven't been paying attention or suffer from short-term memory loss. I can tell you without any reference to the text that Gin was with Fletcher for seventeen years, that's she's been an assassin for seventeen years, that she has a rune on her hand: "a small circle with eight radiating lines, a spider rune, the symbol for patience." because they are repeated so often they are almost a chorus.
It's natural for authors to repeat themselves from one scene to another, including use the same words. Its the editors job to find and eliminate these repetitions.
A good editor would also have prevented Estep from over-using phrases like "I looked at him with my grey eyes" After the third time I was wondering if Gin either had eyes of another colour that she could have used instead or was able to use something other than her eyes to look at people.
A good editor would have corrected the grammar, at least to the point of getting endings and tenses right.
A good editor would have prevented Gin Blanco from going "Mmmmm" EVERY time she sees Detective Doright.
I was left wondering if this book had an editor at all.
My experience of the book was then worsened by the audiobook production standards.
I know Lauren Fortgang can be a good narrator. I enjoyed her reading "Shadow and Bone" and she made "Spider's Bite" come alive but this time I felt that I was listening to a sight-reading in a rehearsal rather than the finished product: stresses where in the wrong places, she ran out of breath and there were inappropriate, pointless pauses. This all adds up to poor production in my view.
Then there's the sex scene. It's not really a sex scene. It's a "Romance Writer's of America", guaranteed -not-to-offend, scene with all the erotic impact of a cold shower. Lauren Fortgang's decision to read this passage slowly, in what I assume was an effort to inject some passion into the dull prose, had me reaching for the "play at twice normal speed" button on my iPod.
I'm going to stick with the series to find out what happens. I just Jennifer Estep got an editor who can help her make her books as good as I think they could be and a producer who gives the narrator an opportunity to do more than phone in their performance.
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