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Spider's Bite Audiobook

Spider's Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 1

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Audible Editor Reviews

The first installment in Jennifer Estep's new Elemental Assassin series, Spider's Bite introduces us to Ashland, a southern city in the Appalachians where you're as likely to run across a good barbeque joint as you are a vampire hooker on the corner. It's a gritty film noir-ish world with lots of back alleys, hit squads, and corrupt cops behind most every badge. The main character is Gin Blanco, or Gin to her friends, but in some circles she's known only as Spider the assassin. However, in the secretive world of Ashland, she and her cohorts seem to be just as trustworthy and honorable as the next guy — but are they? Everyone in this town has an angle, a history — and it seems most have blood on their hands.

Actress Lauren Fortgang does a fascinating balancing act voicing Gin. There's ample southern lilt and sly naughty charm to bring the material to life, and there is considerable music and imagery to be mined here in the writing. Yet her voice has enough bite and gravel to ground our no-nonsense morally ambiguous anti-heroine. The challenge for any good book in the urban fantasy genre is the paradox of making wildly fantastical worlds believable. Estep manages to take Ashland — this world of troubled souls, dwarfs, giants, and vampires, as well as human elementals who can tap into the very forces of nature — and make it all seem part of the everyday grind. With Spider's Bite you feel as if you could really walk these streets, but you'd also immediately feel the dirt on your skin and the hairs rising on the back of your neck as you hear noises in the shadows. Fortgang completes the task, making Gin a very believable character, somehow part embittered hard-ass, part loyal friend, and vulnerable lost soul on occasion.

The book takes a cue from its main character. It is patient, carefully spinning a web of atmospheric settings and carefully observed characters — then like a spider it jumps into action from the dark. Ashland is a tricky place and you can never judge anyone by appearances, especially Gin, and it seems there's a long line of those who have died underestimating her. One should be wary, though, of any sexy southern charmer who can not only summon razor-sharp ice daggers from thin air, but also control the very bricks in walls, rocks, and stones, and the very ground beneath her. —Cleo Creech

Publisher's Summary

They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South -- when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way -- good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction... especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

©2010 Jennifer Estep (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Fortgang’s captivating drawl sketches Finn’s flirty, genteel arrogance and Caine’s horrified disapproval of her. Fortgang portrays Gin’s well-hidden emotions as well as her habitual analysis of combat probabilities. The capable narration ensures that Gin comes across as an intriguing mix of battle-weary assassin, sorceress, and affectionate homebody. Fortgang also delivers the book’s wry humor with subtle elegance." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Jessie 07-26-13
    Jessie 07-26-13
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    "Fun series"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Spider's Bite to be better than the print version?

    Narration is good, Story line is great. I like Series that expand over several books, so this is a favorite of mine. Suspense and mystery, funny and entertaining. Very much a "girl-power" feel. If you like Badass chicks that kick ass, then you'll love it. Its a fun series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori @ Romancing the Dark Side New York, NY 07-22-13
    Lori @ Romancing the Dark Side New York, NY 07-22-13 Member Since 2015

    Lip gloss wearing, coffee and tea drinking, book lover and blogger with a love for alpha males and feisty heroines!

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    "Gin Blanco is a bad ass heroine!"

    Damn this chick is bad ass! She’s all kinds of dangerous with sass, don’t mess with Gin she’ll stab you, literally.

    Lauren Fortgang’s narration is exceptional. She immediately pulls you into the story and makes each character, male and female, shine with her interpretation and knack for southern accents! I can honestly say I think I’ve been spoiled by the awesome team of Lauren Fortgang and Jennifer Estep. I never thought I’d enjoy listening to a book this much!

    Spider’s Bite introduces us to a paranormal world of elementals, vampires, dwarfs and magic. Born an elemental (beings who have the ability to manipulate the elements of air, fire, stone or ice), Gin Blanco spends her days as a part-time cook at the Pork Pit and moonlights as the infamous assassin known as the Spider. When her latest assignment ends in betrayal and the death of her mentor and handler Fletcher, Gin vows to seek revenge by finding the elemental responsible, at any cost. To get to the bottom of things Gin enlists the help of Fletcher’s son Finn, but soon finds an unlikely ally in the form of Detective Donovan Caine. Although her attraction to the handsome and brooding detective is undeniable, Gin knows getting involved with the sexy cop could have disastrous consequences for the both of them but she’s not one to play by the rules, especially when it comes to Caine.

    Gin instantly became one of my top five urban fantasy heroines while reading SPIDER'S BITE. She’s smart, sassy and totally bad ass. I love her determination and non apologetic attitude, what you see is what you get with this feisty heroine and I wouldn’t want it any other way! Gin make come off as a heartless mercenary, but when it comes to family there’s nothing she wouldn’t do to protect her own. She’s far from your perfect heroine I’d definitely put her in the tortured heroine category but there are many facets to her character I can’t wait to see.

    SPIDER'S BITE is filled with some fabulous supporting characters. Finnegan Lane, Gin’s “adoptive brother” is a smart mouth and super sexy ladies man with plenty of charm and connections, I love the familiar banter between them. Gin’s friends and clean up crew, dwarven sisters Jojo and Sophia Devereaux add a touch of humor to the story.

    And last but not least we have Gin’s love interest, Dectective Donovan Caine. I loved the mystery surrounding Donovan when we first meet him. He’s a little dark, tortured and brooding but I knew if anyone could break him it would be Gin. There is some scorching sexual tension between Gin and the detective that gets stronger as the story develops. I applaud Ms. Estep for turning the tables when it comes to gender roles in this story…Gin is the “bad girl” and Donovan is the good cop which is unconventional and works perfectly. When these two finally get together sparks fly and you see a softer side to their personalities. I see a long and difficult road ahead for these two, but I do have high hopes.

    I’ve stepped into Gin Blanco’s fascinating supernatural world and there’s no going back. With stellar characters and a fast paced, action packed plot SPIDER'S BITE is sure to be a fan favorite among UF readers. I can go on ranting and raving about how much I enjoyed this book but I’ll let you decide for yourself. I’ve found a new feisty heroine I can’t wait to read more about…thank you Ms. Estep!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley Charlotte, NC, United States 07-01-13
    Ashley Charlotte, NC, United States 07-01-13

    I'm a 30-something paranormal, mystery, and humor enthusiast. For me, the main character is the most important part of a book.

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    "MORE GIN"

    A strong main character is important to me. I want someone who doesn't whine to much, has a great sense of humor, and a real kick ass attitude. Gin fits that to the nth degree. I love her southern charm, her matter of fact attitude, her intuition and passion.

    I will DEFINITELY continue this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina D. Vickers Fort Smith, AR 05-29-13
    Christina D. Vickers Fort Smith, AR 05-29-13 Member Since 2016

    "reading junkie" I read or listen to almost anything except for non-fiction or history, unless I find it interesting.

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    "Can take it or leave it."

    The first book is actually ok. I have a hard time telling people this awful. For one thing it wasn't and everyone has different tastes. I have a problem with the way Gin ( the main character) whines through half of the books about a guy. A guy that she wasn't in a real relationship with just sex. The story line is interesting and the characters help carry the story along.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 04-22-13
    Lisa 04-22-13 Member Since 2014
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    "I'm in love with this series"

    Gin our witting heroine is a tough no nonsense woman. She is stubborn,, bullheaded and just enough of a smartass to make you laugh, I was sucked in from the start and read the entire book in 2 days. Great southern narrator, beautiful descriptions. You go J Estep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Summer Nagoya, Japan 04-09-13
    Summer Nagoya, Japan 04-09-13 Member Since 2014

    Summertyme

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    "Well, that was surprising..."

    ...surprisingly good that is! I have been putting this book off for months. One day, when I had no other book to read/listen, I decided it was finally time; I pressed 'play'.
    SURPRISE! I was quickly transported to the seedy world of Ashland and I didn't want to come back. Gin, Finn, and yes, even the brooding Donovan Caine kept me locked in this universe of vampire hookers, giant cops, dwarfs and elementals. I can't wait to start the next book in the series!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Bradford C Rowland 03-27-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Quick diversion with different take on magic"

    The Narrator has a very sexy southern accent (IMO). The elemental magic is cool and looked at in a new way. The characters are larger then life and its a fast exciting read. This is the exact book I like to take me out of my history or other 40+ hour audible books. There isn't a deep dive into how the magic works or complex relationships. Its direct, action packed, and diverting as I do house work. I recommend it as long as this is your genera because you get exactly what you'd expect in a 10 hour magic assassin book. Plus there are 7 books so you can intersperse them between your other reads to mix things up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Scott Enterprise, OR, United States 03-17-13
    Scott Enterprise, OR, United States 03-17-13 Member Since 2010

    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.

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    "Science Fiction Cajun Style"
    If you could sum up Spider's Bite in three words, what would they be?

    Mouth and Eye Opening


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting part of this story was the way Estep mixes fantasy genre characters to a romance or sort of romance setting. The action begins quickly and really doesn't stop with these introduce into this series.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Lauren Fortgang?

    Yes, I really enjoyed the character of Fortgang's voice along with the clarity it brought to the storyline.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a surprising good listen for a randomly picked book. I will be listening to the rest of the series and hope it measures up to the introductory book

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mosselyn Campbell, CA USA 03-08-13
    mosselyn Campbell, CA USA 03-08-13 Member Since 2009

    colemanka

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    "good narration cannot overcome bad writing"

    The narrator does a great job, but there's just no getting around the poor writing. There is too much description, most of which is dripping with analogies, and the author finds it necessary to constantly remind you of the heroine's tragic past, crushing grief, etc. I get it. I got it 10 repetitions ago. The pacing is also pretty slow for this kind of book. Only the narrator made it possible for me to listen to the whole thing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candi sunman, in, United States 02-13-13
    Candi sunman, in, United States 02-13-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Good story. Bad Narrator"
    What made the experience of listening to Spider's Bite the most enjoyable?

    The story is good and I plan to buy the physical book. The narrator would stop in the middle of a sentence. Also, she had way too big of a silence gap in between sentences. I could not get past chapter one.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lauren Fortgang?

    Katherine Kellgren


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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