Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin Series #1)

Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin Series #1)

by Jennifer Estep

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Follow Gin Blanco, a kick-butt female assassin who moonlights at a BBQ joint in Tennessee, as she searches for the person who double-crossed her in this heart-pounding and fresh paranormal romance series.

After Gin’s family was murdered by a Fire elemental when she was thirteen, she lived on the streets and eventually became an assassin to survive. Now, Gin is assigned to rub out an Ashland businessman, but it turns out to be a trap. After Gin’s handler is brutally murdered, she teams up with the sexy detective investigating the case to figure out who double-crossed her and why. Only one thing is for sure—Gin has no qualms about killing her way to the top of the conspiracy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439155431
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 01/26/2010
Series: Elemental Assassin Series , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 20,346
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, Tangled Threads, Spider’s Revenge, By a Thread, Widow’s Web, Deadly Sting, Heart of Venom, The Spider, Poison Promise, Black Widow, Spider’s Trap, Bitter Bite, Unraveled, and Snared, along with the e-shorts Thread of Death, Parlor Tricks, Kiss of Venom, Unwanted, and Nice Guys Bite are the other works in her red-hot Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Jennifer is also the author of the Black Blade and Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series and the Bigtime paranormal romance series. For more on Jennifer and her books, visit her at JenniferEstep.com and @Jennifer_Estep.

Read an Excerpt


"My name is Gin, and I kill people."

Normally, my confession would have elicited gasps of surprise. Pale faces. Nervous sweat. Stifled screams. An overturned chair or two as people scrambled to get away before I buried a knife in their heart -- or back. A sucking wound was a sucking wound. I wasn't picky about where I caused it.

"Hi, Gin," four people chorused back to me in perfect, dull, monotone unison.

But not in this place. Within the walled confines of Ashland Asylum, my confession, true though it might be, didn't even merit a raised eyebrow, much less shock and frightened awe. I was relatively normal compared to the freaks of nature and magic who populated the grounds. Like Jackson, the seven-foot-tall albino giant seated to my left who drooled worse than a mastiff and gurgled like a three-month-old child.

A long string of clear, glistening spittle dripped out of his oversize lips, but Jackson was too busy cooing nonsense to the crude daisy tattooed on the back of his hand to pay attention. Or do something sane and hygienic, like wipe his mouth. I shifted away from him so I wouldn't come in contact with the oozing mucus.

Disgusting. But Jackson was typical of the sorts of folks in the asylum. Asylum. The word always made me smile. Such a pretty name for a hellhole.

It was bad enough I'd been stuck here for almost a week. But what really set me on edge was the noise -- and having to listen to the building around me. The screams of the damned and deranged had long ago sunk into the granite walls and floors of the asylum, the way all emotions and actions do over time. Being a Stone elemental, I could feel the vibrations in the rock and hear the constant, insane chatter even through the industrial carpet and my white, cotton socks.

When I'd first gotten here, I'd tried to reach out to the stone, to use my own magic to bring it a bit of comfort. Or at least quiet the screams so I could get some sleep at night. But it had been no use. The stones were too far gone to listen or respond to my magic. Just like the poor souls who shuffled along on top of them.

Now, I just blocked out the damn noise -- the way I did so many other things.

A woman at the head of the circle of plastic chairs leaned forward. She was directly across from me, so it was easy for her light eyes to find mine. "Now, Gin, you've made this claim before. We've discussed this. You only think you're an assassin. You are most certainly not one."

Evelyn Edwards. The shrink who was supposed to cure all the crazies in this magical nuthouse. She radiated professional cool and confidence in her tight black pantsuit, ivory blouse, and kitten heels. Square black glasses hung on the end of her pointed nose, highlighting her greenish eyes, and her sandy hair was cropped into a short, tousled bob. Evelyn was pretty enough, but a hungry look pinched her pasty face -- a look I recognized. The hard gaze of a sly predator.

The reason I was here today.

"I most certainly am not a mere assassin," I countered. "I'm the Spider. Surely, you've heard of me."

Evelyn rolled her eyes and looked at the tall orderly standing just beyond the ring of chairs. He snickered, then raised his finger to his temple and made a circle.

"Of course I've heard of the Spider," Evelyn said, attempting to be patient. "Everybody's heard of the Spider. But you are certainly not him."

"Her," I corrected.

The orderly snickered again. I raised an eyebrow in displeasure. The joke was on him because that laugh had just cost him his life. I didn't care to be mocked, even if I'd spent the last few days masquerading as a loon.

In order to kill people, you have to get close to them. Put yourself in their world. Make their likes your likes. Their habits your habits. Their thoughts your thoughts.

For this job, putting myself in Evelyn Edwards's world had meant getting tossed into Ashland Asylum. To Evelyn and her orderly underlings, I was just another schizo dragged off the streets, driven crazy by elemental magic, drugs, or a combination of the two. Another poor, lost ward of the state who wasn't worth their time, attention, consideration, or sympathy.

I'd spent the last few days locked up in the asylum convincing Evelyn and the others I was just as Junebug crazy as the rest of the babbling psychos. Spouting nonsense about being an assassin. Drooling. Fingerpainting with the moldy peas they served for lunch. I'd even hacked off gobs of my long, bleached blond hair during craft time to keep up the pretense. The orderlies on call had taken the scissors away from me, but not before I'd used them to pry a screw loose from the rec room table. The same screw I'd sharpened to a two-inch-long, dartlike point. The same screw I had palmed in my hand.

The same screw I was going to shove into Evelyn's throat. The weapon rested on my palm, and the steel felt rough against my scarred skin. Hard. Substantial. Cold. Comforting.

Of course, I didn't really need a weapon to kill the shrink. I could have offed Evelyn with my Stone magic. Could have reached for the elemental power flowing through my veins. Could have tapped into the acres of granite the asylum was constructed out of and made the whole building come crashing down on her head. Using my Stone magic was easier than breathing.

Call it professional pride, but I didn't use my elemental power to kill unless I absolutely had to, unless there was no other way to get the job done. Just too easy otherwise. But even more important, magic got you noticed in these parts. Especially elemental magic. If I started collapsing buildings on people or braining them with bricks, the police and other, more unsavory characters would be sure to take note -- and an unhealthy interest in me. I'd made more than my share of enemies over the years, and the only reason I'd stayed alive this long was by keeping to the shadows. By creeping in and out of places completely unnoticed, just the way my namesake did.

Besides, there were plenty of ways to make someone quit breathing. I didn't need my magic to help me with that.

"The Spider." Evelyn's scarlet lips twitched, and she allowed herself a small titter. "As if someone like you could be someone like that. The most feared assassin in the South."

"East of the Mississippi," I corrected her again. "And I most certainly am the Spider. In fact, I'm going to kill you, Evelyn. T-minus three minutes and counting."

Maybe it was the calm way I stared at her, my gray eyes steady and level. Or perhaps it was the complete lack of emotion in my tone. But the laughter caught and died in Evelyn's throat like an animal in a trap. She wouldn't be too far behind.

I got to my feet and stretched my arms over my head, moving the screw into a better position in my hand. The long-sleeved, white T-shirt I wore rode up over my matching pajama pants, exposing my flat stomach. The tall orderly licked his lips, his eyes locked on my crotch. Dead man walking.

"But enough about me," I said, dropping into my chair once more. "Let's talk about you, Evelyn."

She shook her head. "Now, Gin, you know that's against the rules. Therapists aren't allowed to talk to patients about themselves."

"Why not? You've been asking me questions for days now. Trying to get me to open up about my past. To talk about my feelings. To come to grips with the fact I'm cold and emotionally unavailable. Turnabout, you know. Besides, you did plenty of talking to Ricky Jordan."

Her eyes widened behind her glasses. "Where -- where did you hear that name?"

I ignored her question. "Ricky Robert Jordan. Age seventeen. An Air elemental with a serious bipolar disorder. A sweet but confused kid, from all accounts. You really shouldn't have gotten involved with him, Evelyn."

The shrink's hand tightened around her long, gold pen until her knuckles cracked from the pressure. The orderly frowned, and his eyes flicked back and forth between us, as though Evelyn and I were playing a game of verbal tennis. Jackson and the three other patients sitting around me kept drooling, gurgling, and murmuring nonsense, locked in their own twisted worlds.

"Correction," I continued. "You shouldn't have used him as your psycho ward boy toy. Did you panic when he realized you weren't really leaving your husband for him? Did he threaten to tell his parents how you seduced him the way you do all the handsome young men put into your care? Is that why you pumped him full of hallucinogens and sent him home to his family?"

Evelyn's breath puffed out of her mouth in short gasps. The pulse in her throat fluttered like a hummingbird's delicate wings.

I leaned forward, capturing her panicked gaze. "Mommy and Daddy Jordan didn't appreciate it when Ricky had a psychotic break and hung himself in his own closet, Evelyn. But before he died, he wrote them a letter, telling them how he just couldn't go on without you."

Normally, I wouldn't have bothered with the whole assassin's exposition. Such a cliché. I would have infiltrated the asylum, killed Evelyn, and escaped before anyone knew she was dead. But letting Evelyn Edwards know exactly why she was dying had been part of the job requirement. And was netting me an extra half million dollars.

"That's why I'm here, Evelyn. That's why you're going to die. You fucked with the wrong boy."

"Guard!" Evelyn screamed.

Last word she ever said. I flicked my wrist, and the sharp point of the screw zipped across the room and sank into her throat, puncturing her windpipe. Ace. Evelyn's scream turned into a whistling wheeze. She slid from her plastic chair and hit the floor. Her hand wrapped around the screw, and she pulled it free. Blood spattered onto the carpet, looking like an abstract Rorschach pattern. Stupid of her. She might have lived another minute if she'd left it in her throat.

The orderly cursed and raced forward, but I was faster. I snatched the shrink's gold pen from the floor where it had fallen, stood up, and rammed it into his heart.

"And you," I murmured in his ear as he jerked and flailed against me, "I'm not getting paid for you. But considering how you get your kicks by raping female patients, I'll consider it a public service. Pro-fucking-bono."

I yanked the pen out of his chest and stabbed him twice more. Once in the stomach, and once in the balls. The flickering, lecherous light in the orderly's eyes dimmed and died. I let go, and he thumped to the floor.

In less than thirty seconds, it was over. Game, set, match. Too easy. I wasn't even winded.

My gray eyes flicked to the four other people in the room. Jackson still drooled at nothing. The other two men stared at the floor as if something was wrong, but they weren't sure what it was. The fourth person, a woman, had already gotten down on her hands and knees. She dipped her fingers into Evelyn's blackening blood, then licked it off like it was the sweetest honey. Vampires. They really would eat anything.

The granite floor's insane murmurs intensified, fueled by the fresh coat of blood seeping through the loose weave in the carpet and dripping onto the stone. The harsh discord made me grind my teeth together. I would be glad to leave this place and that noise behind. Far, far behind.

I yanked the pen out of the orderly's groin and picked up my screw. Witnesses were bad, especially in my line of work, and I considered killing Jackson and the others. But I wasn't here for them. And I didn't slaughter innocents, not even these pathetic souls who would be better off dead and free of their cracked mortal shells.

So I pocketed my still bloody weapons and headed toward the door. Before I stepped out into the hallway, I glanced over my shoulder at Evelyn Edwards's lifeless body. Her face and eyes were wide open in a look of shocked surprise. An expression I'd seen more than once over the years. No matter how bad people were, no matter what evil they committed, or who they fucked over, nobody ever really believed death was coming for them, courtesy of an assassin like me.

Until it was too late.

Copyright © 2010 by Jennifer Estep

Customer Reviews

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Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 449 reviews.
vampyre666 More than 1 year ago
Spider's Bite was a story I could not take seriously. The main character, Gin, was just not believeable. She describes herself as a cold blooded assasin. She "gets people dead". Gin just does not come across as a killer. The character development is so shallow, I could not either love or hate her, or develope any feeling for her. The book seems to be thrown together. Much of the detail is overdone. Describing how she makes a sandwich, down to the type of cheeze, bread and pickles is like reading Martha Stewart. And, detracts from the story. There are nonhuman characters thrown in, vampires, giants and dwarves. But they do not have any superhuman powers. Sunlight does not bother the vampires. They are as vulnerable to knives, bullets and fists as any human. The vampires are not stronger or faster than humans. All the female prostitute are vampires. And they enjoy liquor. The only difference is the vampires have fangs and drink blood. It is as if vampires and the others were thrown into the story just to get on the paranormal bandwagon. The story also has some very steamy explicit sex scenes. Not that I am opposed to explicit sex, but it adds nothing to the story and seems out of place. Agin, like these scenes are added just to be adding sex. There are redundant phrases way overused. When Gin is describing something she likes, like sex or good food, the paragraph always ends with "Mmm". Over and over again. Her favorite phrases, "get dead" and "sloppy sloppy sloppy" get a little annoying. The fictional city of Ashland, where the story takes place, is a typical urban setting with malls, a college, parks and stores. Not the dark and seedy back drop that would have been appropriate for this type of story. The writing style and phrasing seems disjointed. There was never a point in the book where I really cared about reading further. I finished the book for no other reason than I paid for it.
jgmme More than 1 year ago
This book had me from page one. This book had great characters that you cant help but like and a fast-paced and action packed plot. And best of all, it wasn't dripping with to much sex. If her next books are just as good I can see putting her on my top 10 favorite authors. Anyone who likes Butcher, Kim Harrison, or Patrica Briggs would like this one as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first two books in the Elemental Assassin series had it all - humor, creativity, action, heart, sizzle. The author clearly knows how to develop characters and stories. Unfortunately, I bought the next four books in the series together, thinking they'd be the same. The author apparently went on vacation from writing for the remaining books. She spends about 60-70% of books #3 and #4 re-telling the story from #1 and #2. So you read pages and pages of re-told plot, a few pages of new plot, and back to re-told plot. Sometimes she even puts the re-told plot into boring and unnecessary dream sequences. I’m not going to suffer through #5 and #6. The author of this series obviously has the intelligence and creativity to write great books, she just chose not to exercise it after Book #2. If there's one thing I'd like to see changed about eBooks, it's the ability to get refunds for bad novels.
SeeMichelleRead More than 1 year ago
As a teenager, Gin Blanco lost her family to a brutal attack which left her homeless, friendless, and running scared. All that changed after she met Fletcher, the kind own of a local BBQ joint. Fletcher got Gin back on her feet while wiping away her fear with the knowledge of how to protect herself and those she loves. Years later, she's become a tough assassin, known as the Spider, with a killer record. And if her sharp knives don't do the trick, Gin's ace in the hole happens to be an affinity for stone, making her a rare elemental. After agreeing to a risky contract which ends up going south, Gin quickly finds herself fighting tooth and nail to protect those she loves while trying to stay alive herself. But the only way she's going to make it out alive in the corrupt and brutal city of Ashland is by aligning herself with by-the-book Detective Donovan Caine. Which can only complicate matters since said easy-on-the-eyes Detective happens to loathe every single aspect of Gin's chosen profession. Figures. Jennifer Estep has created an intriguing new world in her newest series Elemental Assassins. As a dangerous and corrupt city with dirty cops ready to look the other way, Ashland reminds me of a southern Gotham City with an added bonus of powerful magic. Though equipped with an appealing world-building concept, I struggled to connect to Gin as a character. Even in the face of tragedy, I never really felt that her grief was genuine. Sad to say, her narrative often seemed forced and quite repetitive. I often found myself hearing Gin describe the same types of scenes over and over again. Her enemies were always "sloppy, sloppy, sloppy" and every description of the attractive Detective Caine ended with "Mmm." While I'll give you that a good lookin' man can be mouth watering, I don't need the blatant reminder every time he pops up. Though I did catch a glimmer of chemistry between Gin and Caine, their awkward exchanges tended to leave me surprisingly uncomfortable and a little squeamish more often than not. How unfortunate. Gin's story really had the potential for becoming a honest and hard-hitting UF series but Spider's Bite ultimately failed to deliver on the entertainment front. On a side note, I am actually totally digging this cover. In a Urban Fantasy market awash of books that have no relation whatsoever to their story, the cover art for Spider's Bite is refreshingly accurate, and really eye-catching.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read Spider's Bite a few years ago; I remember it as 'fast-paced' and 'exciting' (and I do not understand the need by some to 'denegrate' a novel so ruthlessly in these 'reviews'... It has everything you could ask for; mystery, suspense, fantasy, eroticism (and eventually, love), betrayal, violence, and revenge. The first novel is relatively 'inexpenive' (better word choice than 'cheap') and if you like 'Spider's Bite', there are many more in the serie... If you find yourself agreeing with those who don't like Ms. Estep's novel, go read something else! But before you decide whether or not to 'try' a novel, read at least one of her books and decide for yourself based on your OWN Judgment!
ANARCHIST More than 1 year ago
This book was very entertaining. Plot was good but pretty evident how the book would play out. There were times when details would be repeated but over all the story played out quickly and left you wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Caught my interest enough to keep me reading more of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series! Just wish it was in a boxed set so I can continuosly read it to the very end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast pace and interesting characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this series several times now. It is an enjoyable read and you lose track of time when reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
JayKaiAA More than 1 year ago
i really enjoyed this book. it was a fun story to read. and the story line was very interesting. the book starts off with a bang that totally catches your attention which was fantastic. i definately fell in love with the main character, gin. shes portrayed as a strong and independent women. people might think that its unrealistic or watevers because shes an assassin that is supposed to be a cold hearted killer yet she struggles with her inner demons of caring for love ones. i dont understand how that would be unrealistic? shes still human so of course she has human emotions. its just she hides it well because shes an assassin and the fact that her family was murdered. overall i loved the book. the whole entire series i found very entertaining and i enjoyed it very much however, the one thing i did have a problem was with this book is that throughout the whole entire series there is too much repetition. the author kept talking about gins past even though it was established in the previous books. i found it a waste of time to reread. i like a reminder of what had happened in the previous books and her past but i after the third book i think the reader should know what is going on by the third and fourth and fifth book. it was just so bad that it felt like the author just copied and paste it over to all the books. big big flaw. but i still loved it and i highly recommend it
2mc More than 1 year ago
Not too bad once you got into it. Would read more from this series.
holdernessg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The start of an amazing series! I love this writer, her style, characters, and plot are always awesome.
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is a decent addition to this genre: kick-butt heroines with a troubled past and a difficult "career". Gin doesn't even spend time whining about stuff, which is slightly out of the ordinary.Are there problems? Sure... Gin is supposedly a high-calibre assassin and yet there are several scenes where she is nearly defeated because she behaved in ways an expert assassin wouldn't. The "angst" between her and Caine is based exclusively on a misunderstanding... we're given a reason as to why Gin doesn't clarify things with Caine, but this reason changes as the book progresses and neither of the reasons provided seem very believable.But, of course, this angst is what allows them to have some quick sex but not get saddled in a relationship with each other. There are many more references to sex than actual sex scenes (only one) and I think there could have been a bit more sex, and maybe a bit less angst, but anyway, it was decently handled.Overall, I liked the characters and the world they live in. And I'll be starting the next one immediately. Oh, and while the settings are quite different, Richelle Mead's Succubus series has a similar feel to this one.
chicamimi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I discovered this writer through the blog Bitten by Words and I'm so glad that I did. This was a great read from beginning to end. I really enjoyed the characters and that almost every character lived in a world of neither good nor bad, but a large bit of both. Except the romantic interest, and even he seems to battle with his own issues as he realizes living in the town of Ashland and doing the right thing aren't quite so simple.I enjoyed the main character. I really liked how her back story was slowly interwoven into the plot of the book, no expositional dumps to take the reader out of the moment. And I'm always a fan of strong, kick-ass female characters.The romantic part of the book was okay, but I'm hoping that we will see more development in that area as the series continues. It does have potential, but in book one, it is the love/hate trope.I enjoyed the first person POV. I loved the main character and her cohorts and I'm intrigued by the world the writer created.In fact, I just picked up book two
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was eager to read this book because it sounded like some of the other series I really like (Kate Daniels, Jane Yellowrock, Dorina Basarab). It was a great read and I strongly suggest it to people who are fans of kick-butt women in an urban fantasy setting.Gin is the Spider, an assassin with a reputation for getting the job done. When Gin takes on a new assignment things go horribly wrong. Someone tries to pull a hit on Gin while she is trying to take out a target. That same someone kills her handler and beats up her best friend and suddenly the whole thing has become personal. Gin has to figure out who double-crossed her and why that someone wants her dead. Helping her out is best friend and bank tycoon Finn; as well as the unlikely ally Donovan Caine, a policeman who is out for Gin's blood because of one of her old hits, whose life is in as much danger as hers.This was a great read. There is a ton of action here and it is all well done. There is blood galore and Gin's sassy, kick-butt attitude makes this a perfect assassin book. Add into that the nifty world that Estep has created and you have a winner. Gin is an Elemental and uses Stone and Ice magic to help her through tight spots. Having the Elementals is creative and interesting; their magic is fascinating. There are also a number of other interesting creatures in the world Estep has created; giants, dwarves, and vampires to name a few. All of this is set in the scenic setting of current day Ashland.This book is very fast paced and hard to put down. I read the whole thing in a day and was sad when it was over. I liked that Estep didn't run Gin completely ragged; it made the story more realistic. Gin needs to sleep, takes time to eat, and time to heal when she's injured. Estep must really love food, because she gets pretty detailed in describing the prep of some of Gin's meals. This worked fine with the story but made me really hungry at times :-)Gin herself has a deep history and it is dark and tortured. She was tortured as a young girl and literally brought down her family's home. She lived on the streets for a while. In this book we don't learn a lot but what we do learn makes you want to know more. Gin deals with her job and history with a sharp sense of humor that keeps her job kind of fun...if being an assassin can be called fun.All of the side characters were interesting too, they have interesting histories and intricate personalities. The heat and hate between Gin and Donovan was interesting and I hope that plays out more in the next book. This book did a good job at wrapping up the main storyline and throwing out a little tidbit at the end that will keep readers wondering what Gin will do next.All in all this book was a winner. I really have no complaints. The world was creative, the characters engaging, the plot was tight. Estep's writing style is kind of no-nonsense, not much description...it really worked for this character and this book. Overall I loved this book and am really looking forward to reading more books in this series. Everything here is spot on. If you like any of the following series I think you would love this book: Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews, Dorina Basarab by Karen Chance, Jaz Parks by Jennifer Rardin, or Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter. Check it out you won't be disappointed!
Readingfanatic1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The main character in this book is one of my new favorites. She is tough, gritty, strong, and at the same time, she is loving, compassionate, and most of all, loyal. The other reviews gives you a good breakdown of the book so I'm not going to repeat. My only complaint is the ending. It felt like a let-down. It was okay but considering how strong the writing, and story telling was in the beginning, I expected so much more at the end. Regardless, if you like characters like Cat in Halfway to the Grave, you'll love Gin!
MsMelinda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book has some really greart parts, such as lots of fast-paced action and unique characters, however it has some flaws as well. I am a frequent reader of steampunk and urban fantasy and have read books with better craftmanship of the alternate world setting. For instance,the book is set in the modern US with references to modern movies, etc. yet with the addition of non-human characters, and makes no allowances for these types of characters' historical development and influence in society. The reader does not discover the world through the eyes of the main character, but instead the author bluntly explains the rules of her alternate world in the main character's voice. She just describes what an elemental is, their powers, etc. without letting the reader live in this universe and discover that for themselves. Too bad, because the paragraphs of this type of description take the reader out of the exciting action and mystery of the interesting plot.
C.Ibarra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gin Blanco was left to fend for herself after her family was brutally murdered by a fire wielding elemental. Living on her own on the rough streets of Ashland, and eating out of dumpsters to survive all while still a child. Then Fletcher Lane took her in, served as a father figure, and eventually introduced her to the life of an assassin. Now Gin is all grown up, and has quite a reputation as the paid killer known as "The Spider". Her most recent assignment is supposed to be a quick and straightforward kill. After Gin planned to take a much needed vacation. Imagine her surprise when the person who ordered the hit decides to double cross The Spider by hiring another assassin to take her out, murdering her handler, and torturing a man close to her. Gin puts the vacation on hold while she seeks revenge for those she loves. This was an exciting start to a new series. I never thought I¿d sympathize with an assassin until I met Gin. The poor girl has had a rough life, and now focuses on taking the law into her own hands. Most of the people she is hired to kill are pretty sleazy folk so that makes the whole hitman thing a little easier to forgive. She is very skilled in hand to hand combat as well as the use of knives. As an elemental she also has the power of stone and ice to fall back on. She is the epitome of badass chick, and a great addition to the Urban Fantasy genre!I enjoyed the world the author created, but I wish she would have given a little more background on the elementals and how it all worked. I also wasn¿t feeling the chemistry between Gin and Detective Caine. I was secretly rooting for Finn to sweep her off of her feet, but the references to him being like family dashed most of my hopes of a Gin and Finn hookup. Still a really strong start to the series. I¿m currently devouring the second book, Web of Lies.
Ziaria on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How many books do you read where the main character is technically a bad guy but you can't help but love them? Gin an assassin plain and simple yet I found myself completely enjoying the character. She's strong and independent but I see a much softer person hidden behind her rough exterior. She's got scars buried deep down, maybe that's why I find her so like able.Then there's Donovan Caine the exact opposite of Gin. A detective and a good one at that. She killed his partner and he hates her but is forced to work for her to help find the murderer. I loved the chemistry between these two characters. I can't wait to see if it goes somewhere in the next book.What a great kick off to a new series! I look forward to the future books.(received from Pocketbooks for blog tour)
kcaroth1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There were many things that I liked about this book--I'm a sucker for assassins. There were some good action scenes, the main characters were well defined and generally believable and there was some hot sex. My main issue is that I would have liked it much more if there had been more judicious editing. The first time that Gin, the main character, described what had happened to her family, it was heart-wrenching. The second and third times, it was clear that this was something Gin though about frequently and shaped her reactions and trajectory of her life. The next time she reviewed it, I thought "again?", and after that, it just annoyed me. The same thing happened with her thoughts surrounding her mentor--same thoughts, same reactions, over and over. And again with the love interest.Still, I'll likely pick up the sequel.
DarkFaerieTales on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quick & Dirty: Highly entertaining and flawlessly plotted, this intense thrill-ride will have you hooked.Opening Sentence: ¿My name is Gin, and I kill people.¿The Review:Spider¿s Bite is a dark, gritty urban fantasy. Corruption and greed rule the day in the city of Ashland. The seedy and violent under belly of the city has dangers lurking in every corner. Gin Blanco, a.k.a. ¿The Spider,¿ is like many of us, holding down two jobs. She spends part of her time working at the Pork Pit and the other half killing. Gin is a deadly assassin that takes pride in her work. On the heels of finishing an assignment, Gin is thrust into another one without time to do her customary planning. It isn¿t long before Gin discovers that she¿s been double-crossed. The double-cross is bad enough, but things get a whole lot more personal when her handler is brutally murdered. Gin won¿t stop until she¿s delivered her own brand of justice to his killer.Without a doubt, Gin kicks major butt and brings new meaning to the word ¿hardcore¿. Even though she can be rough around the edges, she¿s very likable ¿ a killer with some ethics. Her confidence and skill make her a deadly adversary. She has a pretty tragic past, which is the catalyst for why she ended up becoming an assassin. Gin is pragmatic and doesn¿t let herself get bogged down with undue introspection. The relationship that develops between Donovan and Gin is intense and complex. He clings to everything that¿s righteous and moral, while Gin lives her life in shades of gray.Some of the elementals in Spider¿s Bite are big bads worthy of special mention. Their magic is derived from one of the four elements: ice, fire, air and stone. Mab Monroe is a deadly fire elemental and runs the underworld of Ashland. Think Michael Corleone with magical powers. The elemental magic is well developed, and the vampire mythos a refreshing change of pace.Overall, Spider¿s Bite is a MUST read. Ms. Estep certainly has a gift for crafting a compelling story. With breakneck pacing, a strong plot, action-packed scenes, and intriguing characters, this urban fantasy debut is top notch. I¿m really looking forward to visiting this grim and hard-hitting world again in Web of Lies.Notable Scene:The glass dug into his flesh, instead of slicing deep and clean the way my knife would have. The edges caught and snagged on his stubbled skin. Nothing easy and painless about it. The man shrieked an ear-splitting sound of keening pain. He tried to jerk away, move away. I thought of Fletcher and followed him. I pulled the glass out, taking chunks of flesh with it, then shoved it right back in. Hard. What had been a trickle of blood increased to a crimson torrent, spattering down my torso and onto my T-shirt, jacket, and jeans.FTC Advisory: The author provided me with a copy of Spider¿s Bite. No goody bags, sponsorships, ¿material connections,¿ or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don¿t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
kmartin802 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is urban fantasy with an over-the-top, tough-as-nails heroine. Gin is an assassin and is inapologetic about it. She is good at it. The money is good. She has her standards -- no kids, no pets. Her mentor and handler who took her in off the streets when she was thirteen is encouraging her to retire -- but there is always one more job. Only this one goes badly wrong. Gin escapes the double-cross and returns to find that her mentor has been brutally killed by an air elemental. She must team with the only honest police detective in Ashland (who wants to bring her to justice for killing his partner) to try to figure out what is going on and get revenge for the death of her mentor.I liked the character of Gin. I found her backstory interesting and moving. The flashbacks to her childhood and the murder of her mother and sisters illuminate her character. I like the mythology of the elementals and other paranormals in this world. The violent scenes were graphic and the sex scenes were very hot. After all, what would be more likely than being hot for the cop who is trying to bring you to justice for the murder of his partner and for him to be hot for you despite his better judgment.
mountie9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good Stuff * Witty Dialogue - We know how important that is to me * Fresh and interesting storyline * Loved the idea of Elementals * Heroine is awesome. Strong, Compassionate, and well just plain Kick Ass! * Loved the relationship between Gin, Fletcher and Finn * Hot steamy sex scene * Great introduction really gets you into the story right away * Fantastic story, looking forward to reading the rest of the series - when it comes out that isNot So Good Stuff * Mentioned the past about her sisters so many times I really wasn't surprised by the revelation at the end * Her descriptions of food made me extremely hungry and I think I gained 10 pounds just by readingWhat I learned * The author must love to cook! * That a Peanut Butter, Pumpkin puree and banana sandwich sounds really yummy and I am soooo going to try and make itFavorite Quotes/Passages"My name is Gin, and I kill people" - Come on how can you not like a book that starts that way!"Normally, I wouldn't have bothered with the whole assassin's exposition. Such a cliche""You should have just shot me. Not talked yourself to death""It's the principle of the thing, you don't puke on a Mercedes."Who Should Read * Fans of Julie Kenner, Marta Acosta, Laurell K Hamilton, Jeaniene Frost * Lovers of paranormal fiction * Those who enjoy snappy dialogue * Not for the squeamish or prudish