Review: Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

Filed in Jennifer Estep , Review , The Latin Lover Posted on June 2, 2011 @ 3:00 pm 5 comments

Format read: eARC provided by author
Number of pages: 395 pages 
Publisher: Pocket Books
Formats available: paperback, ebook
Release Date: 26 January 2010
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, href=””>Author’s Website, Amazon, Kindle store, Book Depository


My name is Gin, and I kill people.

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.

My Thoughts: Ever since I saw the beautiful and thrilling covers of Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin UF series I have had Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies and Venom on my TBR list and couldn’t wait to finally read them. When I started reading Spider’s Bite one morning on my way to work I had no idea I would be sucked into such a thrilling and whirlwind story!

I have to start by a warning: don’t start reading any of the books of the Elemental Assassin series unless you have the day off and can spend it entirely reading, otherwise it will be either pure torture or you will blow off everything else. This is what happened to me… I read on the bus, read in the elevator, read during class (who needs notes for the exam? certainly not me when I’m right in the middle of a bloodchilling action scene of Spider’s Bite) and read again on the way home, read nonstop until I arrived at the end and could let out the breath I have been holding.

Wow! Jennifer Estep writes such a fast paced and explosive story, that you won’t catch a break until you finish the book. You constantly have to know what happens next. You will be possessed, as if in a trance. This series is addictive and irresistible.

Gin Blanco is a heroine unlike any other: she is a cold blooded assassin. I really liked Gin’s character, loved how Jennifer Estep didn’t shy away from making her really jaded and scarred. She has been through a lot and it has left its imprint (both literally and figuratively) on her. Despite being an assassin she is an amazing character: she lived through such loss and suffered unimaginable things and still she managed to get herself through it and survive. She became strong, independent and self-reliant. Besides her hard edge she has a very dry humour, spicing up her character which could have very well ended up as a one dimensional cold hearted murderer, but Gin is certainly not that. Despite her traumatic childhood and her current occupation she has a moral code and feelings.

Gin has a a close knit group of friends she can count on and who are all entertaining and unique secondary characters. There is dear Fletcher, who acted as a father figure to Gin; the dwarf sisters where one is a Goth-chick while the other the proper Southern lady; Finn, Gin’s charmer “half-brother” (who sounds yummy and whose charm is irresistible even across the pages! ;-p); and there is Donovan. *sighs* The only conscientious and honest cop in the whole city. The only one whose moral compass is too strong to overlook the fact of what Gin does for work. A threedimensional hero whose presence holds enough power, integrity and innocence that his charisma comes through the story.

The characters are all well developed and given enough quirks and unique traits to make them their own persons and characters the reader is interested to read about for their own sake.

Besides the great characterisation, the break neck actions and the witty and humourous writing I have to applaud the amazing and original universe Jennifer Estep created for her series. In her urban fantasy world magic is out in the open: people know of its existence as well as of all the supernatural species: there are gnomes, giants, vampires, dwarves roaming the streets and living among humans. The idea of elemental magic, runes and what special powers these grant to their owners is simply brilliant.

Verdict: Spider’s Bite was a fantastic urban fantasy story, I gobbled it up in one day and fell fast and hard for Jennifer Estep’s worldbuilding, characters and writing style! I instantly became a die hard Gin and Elemental Assassin fan and I can’t wait to read the sequel novels! (thankfully there are already 4 more books for me to read and Jennifer just announced there will be at least 2 more novels in the series! Can you say “yay”? :-D)

Spider’s Bite was such a thrilling and whirlwind start to another great new UF series, that it certainly deserves the 5 bookies!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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  • Angela M. June 2, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    This has to be next on my TBR. First I've heard of the series, but I think I'll love it, especially the use of elementals. Plus I love the kind of book you just can't put down when the house is on fire. Thanks for the review!

  • draconismoi June 2, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    This is just one of those UF series that I cannot get into. I tried….but reading Spider's Bite was an exercise in willpower and endurance. There just wasn't anything in there that got my attention.

    The world-building? Meh.

    Main character? Blah.

    Deep Dark Family Secret Tragedy Drama? Zzzzz.

    The Love-Interest/Antagonist Cop Guy? Patronizing and moralizing moron. No patience for him.

    Gin is up there with Rachel Morgan in the UF heroines I just can't be bothered to care about. I want too – because so many people love them. Guess I'm just missing something.

  • LSUReader June 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Congrats on beginning the series. It's one of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the books. Tangled Threads is next up on my TBR list. Thanks for the review.

  • Stella (Ex Libris) June 3, 2011 at 3:19 am

    @Angela: Yes, do read it, I'm sure you'll love it, such an exciting series! 🙂

    @draconismoi: Oh, interesting, so far I haven't seen anyone who didn't like this series 🙂

    I LOVED the worldbuilding, but can understand how xou found the the conflict and diffulties between and Gin and Donovan frustrating/irritating. Un Book #2 I was almost there too, so I'm curious to see how book #3 will fare.

    @LSUReader: Thank you, I've already devoured Web of Lies, and can't wait to read Venom! 🙂

  • Shannon@BooksDevoured June 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I love seeing reviews of this series! I love them so much!

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