"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)
Booked & Loaded
Web of Lies is the second installment in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. You can check out my review of the first book in the series, Spider’s Bite HERE. Web of Lies continues the story of Gin Blanco aka The Spider. She might have just retired, but will she lay down while others get hurt?
Estep weaved not only a great story, but an ongoing fantastic back story for this series. The Elemental Assassin series is one that I cannot put down! No joke, the MINUTE I finished Web of Lies I went right to Audible.com and purchased the next installment, Venom. And because I believe in 100% full disclosure I will admit that I am already on chapter 20 something.
Web of Lies lets us view deeper into who the person Gin is and how she got to where she is now. I really enjoyed learning more of her back story and history. It is a dark and beautiful background to a dark and beautiful character. That being said, the overall feel Spider’s Bite and Web of Lies has not been dark. Instead it feels like a spectacular story of good vs evil. Even if the good is disguised as a sarcastic retired assassin. I fucking love it.
The sarcasm Gin emits has a slightly different tone than many strong lead female characters. I feel this has something to do with her absolute acceptance of who she is. She does not want to be a little cream puff. She is proud of who she is and what she has. Gin’s acceptance of herself is a huge defining difference between this Alpha female and many others. She truly is kick-ass and proud.
Not everything for Gin always works out (this is a huge bonus for me – it keeps me on my toes!) and if you are looking for a traditional HEA you won’t find it here. If you are looking for some adventure, action, and a great story – you will not be disappointed. I believe any Urban Fantasy lover will enjoy this series with gusto!
Audiobook Thoughts: Epic. Captivating. Fucking Awesome. ;) OK – that would be cheating if I left it at that! Lauren Fortgang just blows me away. Her pace is steady and the slight variations she forks over for each character is amazingly consistent. The combination of a great story and great narrator make this a complete masterpiece.
I rate Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin #2) 5 out of 5 Bullets!
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
Web of Lies is the second book in Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series about Gin Blanco, a young woman with elemental powers who was orphaned when she was a girl and was found and raised by an assassin who taught her the tricks of the trade. She’s known as The Spider — the best assassin in the city — and is now wealthy enough to retire, which she is trying to do. She spends her days running a barbeque restaurant, but trouble keeps finding her and she can’t turn her back on people who need her help… or people who need to be killed.
This time trouble is in the form of a college girl named Violet Fox whose family owns some property coveted by a man who’s trying to coerce them into selling it to him. He owns coalmines and wants to add their land to his domain. Now he’s getting ruthless and he will use any amount of force needed to get that land. It’s up to Gin to stop him but her methods are not always ethical, much to the chagrin of police detective Donovan Caine, who has the hots for her. And vice versa.
Readers who enjoyed the first ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN book, Spider’s Bite, will probably be pleased with Web of Lies, too. It’s got plenty of action, some appealing characters (especially Donovan Caine), and lots of romantic tension. A new intriguing romance and perhaps a love triangle is on the horizon, too.
The plot of Web of Lies is kind of clichéd — a greedy evil capitalist becomes murderous — and it proceeds in a rather obvious ways with several scenes that are too similar to scenes in the previous novel, making me wonder if Estep is already running out of creative ideas for this series. A similar issue is the repetitive prose — certain information and even actual phrases are repeated many times throughout the novel. If you’re a reader who gets annoyed by this, you’re certain to be pulling out your hair by the end of Web of Lies.
Despite my complaints, which should be enough to make me drop this series, I’m still interested in Gin’s personal life. I’m not sure why, but I want to see what happens between her and Donovan Caine and her new love interest. I also want to know what happened to her family. It helps that I’m enjoying the audio versions of these books, which were narrated by the wonderful Lauren Fortgang. I’m not going to rush out to buy the third audiobook, Venom, but I’ll give it a try if it happens to come my way.
The book flowed and left me wanted more from Gin Blanco.
It was an exciting continuance to the Gin Blanco Saga. The story flowed and kept me occupied. I have whispersync with tthe Kindle version and once I stopped listening, more than once I picked up my Kindle and continued reading. Very good. Can't wait to see what happens in book 3.
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.
Gin is enjoying her retirement when her BBQ joint had two guys try and rob it. Well, them dummies picked the wrong place because this BBQ joint is own and run by no other than the Spider, the South's most lethal assassin-recently retired. But then meets a young girl looking for her recently deceased mentor, and foster father. After Gin and her foster brother save the girl Gin finds out the girl is related to her mentor's former childhood best friend and their in trouble. So after talking with Warren Gin decides to help by coming out of retirement for one last kill, but her on/off lover Det. Caine may not let her. But during an encounter with the problem and seeing he's not going to back down and a recon finding millions of dollars are the cause Det. Caine relents but won't help. So the adventure begins.
This book is a fast paced supernatural adventure thriller with great characters who the readers can know and continue to route for the anti-hero. So if you like urban fantasy like Briggs you should enjoy this book and its series.
Naturally Gin couldn't stay totally in retirement, although this time she doesn't do it for the money. Violet and her grandfather are being harassed by a dwarf mine owner who wants their property. Gin helps them out by going after him There's a couple side stories, lots of action and, of course, violence. A little sad when she loses her love interest but probably for the best since they were too different, but there's a new one on the horizon that would be a lot better fit. It will be interesting to see how that storyline develops.
The narrator was a good fit and pretty good on the male voices.
74 y o avid reader using either my eyes or ears. I make earrings that I donate to shelters and while I work, I listen to wonderful books
Fun stuff with a consistency that's important to such books - the characters don't suddenly jump in with bizarre powers you never suspected before as has happened with other books I've read.
I liked the characterizations performed by the narrator. She did a great job with the voices. That was about all I did like about it.
The writer's use and re-use and re-re-use of certain phrases was extremely annoying. For example the phrase "got dead" was funny once, maybe twice. But the author used it probably fifty times in the story. The basic plot of the story was too predictable too...by about chapter three I had predicted exactly how the book would end. I was right on all counts. She gave away too much too soon. She has a bad habit of having her main character repeat herself. She also has the main character speaking other characters' thoughts as if she's telepathic (which I don't believe she is). It all added up to a book that I forced myself to finish because I'd paid for it. I was relieved when it finally ended.
There wasn't one.
No. Save your credits for something else.
I wanted to shut off this recording so often, but it was a good story and a good reader (performance), so I continued on. I couldn't get over how bad the writing is in this book, probably made worse by listening to it rather than reading it. Apparently this author never met an adjective she didn't like and never let a description go unrepeated.....again and again, every time it comes up. Every time she mentioned her eyes, she never failed to mention their colour. Every. Single. Time. And that goes for mentioning other character's eye colour, hair colour, favourite drink, or style of clothing. Every. Single. Time. Did she think we've forgotten, or maybe that we were too dense to understand it the first time around. And she never failed to repeat what type of knives she had (apparently, she couldn't mention having a knife without labeling it as a "silverstone knife", in case we thought she'd changed them since the last time she mentioned them), what type of tragedy had befallen her family, what type of torture she'd gone through, or what the meaning of a spider rune is. Every. Single. Time. We get it! We read it (or listened to) the description the first time! And we're smart enough to remember without being bashed over the head with it another dozen times in the novel. I think if she mentioned that her family died, she didn't have to (again) mention how, when, and who was involved.
Grrrr.....it makes me angry, and I'm kind of embarrassed I wasted time listening to this and supporting such bad writing.
Favorite Genres: Urban/Preternatural Fantasy, Science Fiction, Knitting Favorite Story Components: character development, under-dog success stories
up there :) maybe not the best, but I'm finding the series worth the cover price.
Slow, with character
"Slow" is because there was a time or two when her drawling-take-forever-to-get-a-sentence-out pace acted like nails on chalkboard.
"With Character" because when she was in a more natural pacing, the drawling tone worked, and, especially with the first person narrative, she managed to make it sound like it was written to be performed, not just read.
I loved Gin Blanco in the first book, and this one continues to expand her character. As she battles the land of Ashland, NC and it's power players to help the little guy, our retired assassin continues to struggle with her personal life. Although she has always done "what she had to", Gin questions her worthiness for love and life beyond retirement as an assassin. At 35, she is finally ready for love, but will anyone accept her after all the things she's done. obviously not the great Detective Donovan Cain.
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