Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep
Elemental Assassin, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback, 432pages
Published: January 26, 2010 by Pocket
Received From: Purchased
"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.
Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep was one of my most anticipated books for 2010. So when the book finally arrived I dug into it right away, hoping I hadn't put too much anticipation into reading it. Well, I didn't because I ended up loving every bit of this book. I swear there isn't a lot things as satisfying as wanting a book and it turns out as good as you hoped.
Basically Spider's Bite had it all for me. The setting based in Ashland, a fictional city in the Appalachian Mountains was perfect. Ashland reminds me of a southern Sin City, full of corruption on every level of society. I liked that the humans are aware of the elementals, people who possess the ability to manipulate one or two (which is uncommon) of the four elements: Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone, along with vampires, giants, and dwarfs. So as you can see with the supernaturals there comes power and where is power there is bound to be corruption. Yeah, the bad guys here are very much worth fearing.
Gin was an imperfect heroine who blurred the lines between right and wrong. She never seems over the top but actually grounded to reality. And she likes to cook, loved that! But when it came to her job as an assassin, she's tough, efficient and good at it. And she knows she's the best. Gin's assets as an assassin is more then being an expert with knifes, she uses brains over brawn, in other words she fights smart. As for as the relationship between Donovan Caine and Gin went, I thought it was tense, full of want and need.
There are a few notable side characters as well. I enjoyed the teasing banter between Gin and Finn, who was Gin's handler's son. Jo-Jo and Sophia, dwarven sisters as different as night and day. One's a goth and the other is a true southern lady. These two were interesting additions to the story.
The mystery build up around the plot was superb, clues appearing in the right places, making me wish I could read faster. I know a lot of Urban Fantasy novels are described as dark, raw and gritty but I have to say that Spider's Bite is the epitome of that description. I can't recommend reading Spider's Bite enough.
Elemental Assassin Series: