Elemental Assassin #11
by Jennifer Estep
Simon and Schuster/Imprint Pocket
Formats: E-book Mass Market Paperback Pages 416 & Audio
Bound galley provided, unsolicited, by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.
Gin Blanco is hard-nosed, sexy, and lethal. Nicknamed “The Spider,” she’s a stone elemental assassin who brings her unique mix of magic and tact to every assignment, no matter the target.
There’s a new drug on the streets of Ashland, and its name “Burn” sums up the potent effect it has on its users. When one of her restaurant employees is threatened by dealers of the drug, Gin steps in to set things straight…
Simon & Schuster
The first thing I thought closing this book was, “I am so glad I do not live in this alternate world!” Really, it can’t just be one town in the south that has all the nasty criminals in the country. The whole darn place must be a mess. People with magical powers, destructive powers, and other species sharing them, well, that just isn’t good, now, is it?
Jennifer does keep this world fresh. Gin does face a nasty person or cartel trying to kill her and anyone she loves in every book. But with each one, it is as if she is progressing up some ladder of realization, of learning about herself, humanity, and her powers. It’s as if she is spinning herself a chrysalis of what she learns and something fabulous will emerge.
The killing; the constant killing. people dying “with a bloody gurgle” an awful lot bugs me. There was a lot of use of “bloody gurgle” here. Giin doesn’t kill with remorse. It’s interesting to examine the psychology of this character and try to understand how she is a heroine. I’m not sure she gets it either. It’s as if she is an assassin in a white hat. Why is this person a good guy? She is a paid killer.
Gin spends a lot of time talking about people constantly trying to kill her, and she kills them instead. She has retired from being “The Spider,” an assassin. We know she only goes after bad guys who target her or her family/friends. It reminded me of that old poster that read, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” There are a lot of people who are after her.
Looking at the extent and circumstances of Gin’s behavior, this book is often about killing and when it is good or bad. It also looks at different ideas, like: overcoming obstacles; turning them into strengths. Gin is good at strategy, getting better at teamwork.
Another thing about all the books in the series. Gin owns The Pork Pit. I get so hungry for barbecue and home cooking when I read what she is making. For example, she makes sloppy joes at one point and my mouth watered. I found myself thinking how I could make them fat and gluten free. And, it adds a very weird layer of normalcy on a strange, almost dystopian alternate world.
As I said above, I found the killing tedious, cartoonish; I think the character is getting to feel the same way. I feel like she is preparing to move on to a new phase. I asked Jennifer how many books she has planned and whether she was winding up the series because I got that vibe. Here’s her response:
As of right now, I’m contracted for 13 books, so at least 2 more after POISON PROMISE. I hope to write a few more books beyond that, so I don’t have any plans to wrap up the series just yet. We’ll see what happens.
And we will, the killer with a heart of gold, or maybe silver, is hard to ignore. The idea of her being sympathetic, a heroine, even though she violates the law and takes life is too engrossing not to come back for each book. And her relationships are special: close, tight and supremely loyal. I feel these characters and relationship. When she has some fear in her gut, I get it in mine too.
And the books are extremely well and intricately plotted. She is very good with thos details you don’t see untill they aren’t right. I can’t think of anything she misses here. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE SERIES! Enter below to win a copy of this new book.At Amazon At B&N
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