"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)
Listening to this book got me hooked again. I do get tired of hearing of her past over and over again, but hearing how she became an assassin was better. Another thing that I got frustrated with was how she thought everything was about her and what she wanted and what was being done to her. I will be reading the next one, these characters are easy to get addicted too and the narrator voice of this book is so good! Even though Gin can frustrate me, these books obviously is doing its job of getting me hooked and involved with the characters.
The first one was surprising. This one got boring. After the first one I thought I would listen to all of them. Now I doubt I will continue. Maybe one more.
Book reviewer - PNR/UF Addict. Lover of make up and all things cute.
Gin Blanco returns in book two of the Elemental Assassin series, Web of Lies. Retired, she no longer is killing people for money, and is instead running the Pork Pit, a BBQ restaurant that her former handler owned. I wasn't sure what to expect this time around since book one left off where she went on vacation and was giving up her life of being an assassin. Though I should have known not to worry since trouble seems to follow Gin.
Two would be robbers attempt to steal the cash from her register one night and foolishly take one of her customers hostage. After that matter is resolved Gin is approached by a college girl that has someone attempting to kill her. Toss in some prostitutes, a new sexy love interest, and some crazy people with strong powers and you have a story that kept me wondering what the heck would happen next. I highly recommend this series if you're a fan of Urban Fantasy with a strong female main character.
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.
I love this series! The narrator is great also! I love that the narrator is the same for each book.
Jennifer Estep has a way of making it real!
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.
Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.
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.
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