"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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
Excellent continuation in the Elemental Assassin series, and wonderfully performed by Lauren Fortang. Plenty of action and romance, and all the favorite characters are back. Gin's relationships with her sister and Owen continue to develop nicely and an old love finally gets what he deserves. Very satisfying.
Even on vacation Gin can't relax! Jennifer Estep never fails to deliver an excellent, interesting tale with this series, and this is no exception. The story pulls you in from the start. Lauren Fortgang is an EXCELLENT narrator for this series! Can't wait for the next one!
I love to read and listen to books. I teach and share my love with my teenager and I'd like to share that love with you.
I left the climatic end of SPIDER'S REVENGE in kind of meh mood. For whatever reason though glad to see Mab go, I wasn't feeling it. But BY A THREAD revived my love for the series. Gin is BACK! Now with Mab out-of-the-way, she can get back to doing what she does best...some people just need killing.
Gin and Bria head out on a much-needed vacation and a chance to connect as sisters. I was really saddened by this. Gin took it on the chin and with a heavy heart, but let Bria go on and on about how much she loved her old life. I was actually kind of happy that trouble comes lurking to distract me and Gin from where they stood.
Now the vampire that needs killing in BY A THREAD is probably one of the most ruthless, evil villains we've seen in the series. ESTEP really pushed Gin and me as a reader. I felt every bit of the horrors. I wished I'd had a silverstone knife to stick in his heart myself.
But the Spider isn't the only one struggling for survival, Gin comes face-to-face with Donovan. ESTEP manages to have the sexual tension and longing leap off the page, just as you are also feeling all the hurt and mistrust. Hold on tight to your heart, because mine smiled at how this all wrapped up.
BY A THREAD has all that we've come to love in this series, while also being fresh and new.
This was my first time to do the series on audio. I really wasn't sure in the beginning how much I liked LAUREN FORTGANG as Gin. Even though I know that Ashland is in the South, I just never heard the drawl in my mind. LAUREN's Gin is southern, but with a street edge and not a mint julep. And by the end of the book, LAUREN's version was mine too. She also has a good handle on all the secondary characters. Her men are full on sex-filled or rough and tumbled. Finn and Owen drip a simmering, husky sexiness that feels like they are kissing their way up your neck. GIVE ME MORE!
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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