"When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation. Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis, Mab Monroe, a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco.
"So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all.
"Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently."
©2012 Jennifer Estep (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"Gin Blanco is one of the most intriguing heroines on the scene.... If you have not gotten on the Gin bandwagon yet, do so today!” (RT Book Reviews)
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
After having voraciously devoured all of the previous Elemental Assassin books I was curious and a bit apprehensive to uncover Estep’s “post Mab Monroe” game plan. Gin’s quest for vengeance has all but consumed this series’ storyline up until now so I was anxious to see what the pacing of By a Thread would be like without this driving force. And I have to hand it to Jennifer; this installment was just as mesmerizing as its predecessors.
Up until this novel I was willing to give Bria the benefit of the doubt; like Gin, she had a tough start in life. But that’s where the similarities between the two sisters end. After the initial ugliness, Coolidge had a pretty typical upbringing with normal things like friends, a happy childhood and the chance to pick her own path in life. In the early chapters of this book she came across as a female version of Donovan Cain. I seriously wanted to reach into the pages and b*tch slap her. The way Bria handled the introductions between her best friend, Callie, and Gin was awful. I’m still reeling from the insult. She might as well have ripped Blanco’s heart right out of her chest and stomped on it. Her pretty little speech towards the end was a step in the right direction but Bria still has a long way to go in order to earn my forgiveness, let alone Gin’s.
The breakneck action that this series is renowned for was just as riveting as ever but for me, it was the emotional elements that really stood out. Estep demonstrated that not only can she entertain her readers but she can also provide an enriching experience as well. Between her sister’s catty behaviour, Donovan Cain rearing his ugly head and Owen’s jealousy, it’s a wonder that Gin even has the time to kill anyone in this book. I loved the one fingered salute Blanco gives her ex towards the end of the story. This novel is worth reading for this scene alone. Anyone and everyone who’s ever been scorned by a lover will appreciate the karma behind their encounter.
I was impressed with Estep’s ability to breathe new life into her Elemental Assassin mold by switching up the big bad, changing locals and adding new characters into the mix. The backbone that I have loved since day one is still there but change is good and Jennifer does a phenomenal job of revamping her series. As usual, Lauren Fortgang’s narration was flawless and remains a key ingredient in my overall enjoyment of these books.
I sincerely hope that there’s no end in sight to this series because I will keep on reading it for as long as Jennifer Estep keeps on writing it. By a Thread seamlessly blends the old with the new and steers the Elemental Assassin world in a promising new direction.
After six books in the Elemental Assassins series, I’m still enjoying these books. Although I will say I was annoyed several times in this book and I’ll tell you why in a minute, good before the bad. Thank you Jesus or Jennifer Estep really that this book had hardly any repetition in it. Hallelujah! There was minimal recap of roles, relationships of people, etc which was a MAJOR plus in my mind.
By a Thread starts with Gin heading on vacation. She drives down with Bria so they can hopefully spend some time together and bond. Bria droves me nuts. Right from the beginning she was being judgmental of Gin. Gin is by far an innocent, but she tries to do right. Bria still has issues with the fact that Gin is an assassin and it shows in every conversation that they have.
During an interesting (insert sarcasm) introduction to Bria’s childhood best friend, Gin’s hackles start raising when she’s threatened in her own restaurant. Then, surprise surprise! There is a surprise guest that I wasn’t expecting AT ALL. Many more mixes feelings about seeing this person again. My most prominent feeling was definitely annoyance though.
Even though Gin had a hard time in her final showdown with Mab, Mab never really out smarted Gin. Gin was out smarted and repeatedly tested in this installment. It wasn’t an easy win for her and honestly it was good to read about her getting out of a really sticky situation. She was in new territory, there was no one shaky in their boots at the thought of “The Spider”. She had to work for this one.
Owen was phenomenal in this book. So sweet and understanding of Gin and what she needed to do. When I think about him wielding his hammer, I always think of Thor! Yum! I’m nervous about reading the next book though. I’ve been hearing that Owen problems are on the horizon and I it figures that he was so perfect in this one. Have to enjoy this Gin and Owen bliss while it lasts.
At the end of this one Gin receives an interesting proposition and even though I completely agree with her final decision, it was real nice that she received the opportunity. When you get to the end, you’ll know what I mean.
I was very happy when Donovan Caine left Ashland. The fact that Gin had 2 encounters with him (one in a closet and another in a car) and is still so hung up on him, makes me grind my teeth. Especially, when she has such a wonderful relationship with Owen Gracin. I am currently having a difficult time getting through this story as it appears to be gang up on Gin, from the idiot cop to her "beloved" sister cop. Gin is such a strong character, except for these issues with Donovan, who is a giant pain in the a**.
I'll keep going to hopefully put this character to bed once and for all and will write a follow-up review when I finish.
I really enjoyed the last one and read that this book brought the return of Donovan Caine so I wasn't sure I'd like this book. So wrong! Good story. The return of Donovan wasn't as bad as I thought it would be- it was nice that he got punched in the end. Liked this one a lot and looking forward to the next (which I just bought!). I've said it before, Lauren Fortgang is not my favorite but she really does grow on you.
Kill Donovan Kane
Maybe not. the main character was showing some signs of growth however this mind not defend yourself crap is getting old for a "tough as nails" assassin
Lauren Fortgang is great.
ANGER and DISAPPOINTMENT
How do you save your sister, kill your nemesis and still come out acting like a pansy who can't speak up in the next book (this one). I am only halfway though this book and i don't think I can take it anymore. At some point characters should show growth. This is worst than watching TV, what makes books good is that characters can change. This book is about a supposedly tough assassin and yet she doesn't defend herself against those that a mock her for saving their lives or her own. I get that other characters can be stupid and not want to face the reality of the situations in the book, however the main character should not be sitting back and taking abuse for the other characters.
Often, I get bored with a series by the 5th or 6th book but I can't get enough of Jennifer Estep's characters in the Elemental Assassin Series! Jennifer captures your attention again in By A Thread.
Gin of course!
Gin's wit makes me smile.
I love the story of Gin aka the spider, the naration of this series is masterful. This is a series I can listen to over and over..
I hope to be hearing more from the spider
Say something about yourself!
Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 3.50
Character Rating: 4.50
Audio Rating: 4.50
First Thought When Finished: Entirely to much repetition early in the story was distracting but the story itself (once past the repetition) was really strong!
“You're mine," "Not his. Mine. Only mine. Always mine.”― Jennifer Estep Owen to Gin, By a Thread
By a Thread was all about relationships and tying up loose ends. For long time fans of the series, I feel like this is our payoff book. We get to see Gin getting right with the people in her life. I LOVED this part of the story and really felt like Gin (and us readers) deserved this story. I marked down the story part because the first 3 chapters felt like a book review of the story up to this point. Each book seems to add more repetition and character introduction. I just feel that it was entirely to distracting. If you are a new to the series though, I am guessing you can pick it up with this book and not miss a thing because it is told to you.
Character Thoughts: I love the characters in this series. They are strong, dependable, fun, and won't let you down. I could wax on for hours about them but I have done that in the past. Another remarkable entry where characters are concerned and most of my favorites made an appearance.
Narrated By Lauren Fortgang at a running time of 11 hrs and 1 min
Lauren did excellent again. I love this series in audio format. Her voice for Gin is perfect both in pacing and attitude. I highly suggest this series in audio. Her male voices are also pretty good, especially Finn. She is dead on with him.
Final Thought: I am about to start Widow's Web and I am hoping for a little less repetition in the beginning!
Words/phrases I would be happy to NEVER hear again...silverstone knives (by book SIX we know her knives are silverstone AND what silverstone is!), goth dwarf (yes, Sophia is "goth"...I don't need that beaten into my head repeatedly), little white pills (for the love of god this one is RIDUCULOUS...enough said), my lover (yep, we get it, you and Owen are lovers...thanks for the repeated reminder. Ugh.) ...I could go on and on...
Note to the author: Its safe to assume your readers have a memory! I found myself fast forwarding through much of the repetitive nonsense in this book and am really questioning whether or not I want to continue. If you plan to continue this series, there must be less filler and more substance. If I continue this series, its safe to say I've been turned off of trying another by the same author which is unfortunate because the plot is new and fresh and I would expect the same from another series, just can't handle the repetition.
And to give the author a little leeway...editing anyone?!?
I really enjoyed the first few books in this series and so was looking forward to this installment. Unfortunately, this book didn't live up to my expectations. I actually contemplated stopping listening a number of times but the story held my interest just enough for me to finish it.
I had three main problems with this book: 1) The narrator irritated me with some oddly placed emphases and unbecoming characterazations (especially of Finn). 2) The amount of time and energy spent inside Gin's head dealing with (and stressing out about) relational difficulties left me feeling annoyed rather than compassionate (too much "telling", not enough "showing"), 3) Gin's interactions with the villain were painful and distressing without being compelling.
Overall, I appreciate the way the characters were developed, the choices that Gin made regarding Owen, and the battles and struggles Gin faced, I just feel like the level of the writing wasn't as high as in the previous novels.
"This one's a dud!"
Strong female characters are always welcome for me.
The stupidity of her ex is classic and realistic for some men that think they can get away with that sort of treatment. But this was too heavily emphasised in the story. Raking over old ground.
Every male character either wants to rape her, kill her, or be her boy friend. Its just too much!
Not only is there nothing new in this story in the series but it is not even entertaining as a story in and of itself.
The story is too lurid! Too many sexually explicit scenes for my liking.
Poor prose style, there's little of technical merit here. Quite clunky writing.
Too slow and too nasal - which grates after a while.
I decided to revisit this series after quite some time and was disappointed with this particular book. I will download a previous book in the series and see if it is as bad as this one. It is possible that my taste has changed since I last listened to them or maybe this one is a dud.
"Not sure about this one"
Well gin goes on a little vacation and it soon turns out as bloody as the rest but by now you' think Jen would realise her readers knew all about all the previous books and who she has come up against and I find the constant reminders and flash back so irritating is she just padding. Anyway yeah yeah typical gin gets herself into a scrape gets hurt Jojo heals her and she gets revenge. Same old really just a different bad guy and a different local. Needs a bit of a change to the plot in my opinion. You could skip this book entirely but Lauren fortgang delivers her gin performance with ease.
Each book repeats part of previous stories which takes up too much of book. Would be fine if you only read the one but when reading series it gets annoying. Enjoy the overall story.
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