Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

Gin is an assassin. She makes that clear from the beginning of this book. She doesn’t apologize, make excuses, she is who she is. She’s a tough woman, strong mentally and physically, but like most flawed heroines, has a soft side, the side that is devastated when her handler and father-figure is killed. She is determined to find who did it and she will kill them and anyone who gets in her way.

Gin took a while for me to warm up to. She’s so determined to be emotionless, cold as ice, that she’s hard to like at first. But she’s a more complicated character than she first appears. She’s a survivor, but one who believes in protecting her friends, one who keeps her word when she gives it. She’s a Stone elemental, able to hear the vibrations in the rocks around her and manipulate the stones themselves, and has a touch of Ice magic that comes in handy. She refuses to rely on her magic alone though.

I think it’s the magic aspect that made this a particularly enjoyable read for me, Gin’s connection with Stone. Not many people know that I love rocks, have since I was a kid. Shiny, dull, soft, hard, small, large. I had shoe boxes full. Now, I limit myself, jewelry, bookends, candle holders, but Amber’s got a bag full of ones she’s picked up along the way. So, now you know where my daughter’s name comes from, too.

Some of the writing was repetitious, certain phrases or descriptions, but then there were passages that I just loved.

The wind howled and thrashed against my body even louder than before. But I concentrated on my own magic, listening to the murmurs of the rocks underneath my body, drawing my strength from them. They were still here, despite being mined and blasted and dug into. Despite the passage of time and the harshness of the elements. Despite everything. They’d survived, and so could I. (pg. 349)

This is a gritty, dark book. Lots of bodies and blood, sex, and language. Once I got about a third of the way through, though, I couldn’t put it down.

Published January 2010 by Pocket
#1 in the Elemental Assassin series
395 pages

Challenges: 100+, A to Z, Speculative Fiction, Thriller and Suspense

My copy was received from the publisher for review and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.


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