Review: Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin (# 8)
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher:   Pocket Books
Pages: 400
Source:   Edelweiss

Red is definitely my color. Good thing, because in my line of work, I end up wearing it a lot.

Most people shy away from blood, but for an assassin like me— Gin Blanco, aka the Spider—it’s just part of the job. Still, it would be nice to get a night off, especially when I’m attending the biggest gala event of the summer at Briartop, Ashland’s fanciest art museum. But it’s just not meant to be. For this exhibition of my late nemesis’s priceless possessions is not only the place to be seen, but the place to be robbed and taken hostage at gunpoint as well. No sooner did I get my champagne than a bunch of the unluckiest thieves ever burst into the museum and started looting the place.

Unlucky why? Because I brought along a couple of knives in addition to my killer dress. Add these to my Ice and Stone magic, and nothing makes me happier than showing the bad guys why red really is my color.


Review: I’ve been reading this series since the beginning and while it has some flaws (mostly repetition that grates on my nerves), I feel that there as been some new life pumped into the series with recent installments. While this book wasn’t perfect, I did enjoy it and once I got started, I couldn’t put it down.

To start off, this is the eighth book in this series. It mostly stands alone… although I would strongly recommend reading at least book seven, Widow’s Web, as much of what happens in that story is alluded to and directly effects events in this series. Also, if you’re looking for a romance, it’s not here. And if you’re squeamish when it comes to blood and gore… well, you’re forewarned as it’s in abundance in this series.

Now that I’m done with the warnings on to my actual review.  I really enjoy this series. It’s a little out of my normal read as there isn’t much romance, but I am almost always guaranteed a fun ride when reading about Gin Blanco. It’s always interesting to follow Gin on her adventures as an ex-assassin who just can’t seem to have a moments peace.

In past books in the series, Gin has gotten up close and personal with vampires, dwarves and other elementals. In Deadly Sting, it’s time for the giants to take center stage. It’s not that we haven’t seen them before, but it was usually on a one-on-one basis. But this time around she’s dealing with an army of them. And here’s my one big problem with this story. Yes, as an elemental, Gin is going to be tougher than the normal human… especially with her stone magic that allows her to harden her skin. But how realistic (and yes, I know it’s fantasy) is it for her to go up against an army of giants and survive (and yes, that might be giving away the ending, but do you really think the heroine is going to die knowing there is another book coming out soon)? Not to say Gin doesn’t come out unscathed, but I just kept shaking my head as she kept getting out of jams.

My other irritation was Gin’s relationship with Owen. In the last book, Owen did a crazy 180 on Gin and now they’re on a break even though it’s obvious they still have feelings for one another. Gin is waiting Owen out while he works through some issues. But I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I can’t figure out why Owen is so conflicted. I’m just not a big fan of this storyline and hope it gets resolved sooner rather than later since those scenes were almost painful to read.

But the rest of the story is just so well painted that I often felt like I was actually watching it unfold. The bad guys are deliciously evil and the good guys aren’t perfect or saints. With such a wide cast of characters, there is something for everyone. All-in-all, I enjoyed the story and do look forward to the next installment.