"I'd rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings. But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson's front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesnt shy away from my past - or my present. And right now I have a bulls-eye on my forehead.
"Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there's a 50-50 chance one of us won't survive this battle.
"I intend to kill LaFleur - or die trying - because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too. The only problem is, Bria has no idea I'm her long-lost sibling... or that I'm the murderer she's been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn't know just might get us both dead."
Listen to more in the Elemental Assassin series.
©2011 Jennifer Estep (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Estep has truly hit the jackpot with this outstanding series!" (Romantic Times)
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"So, let's recap... yet again"
I think Lauren Fortgang did a great job with some really tough material. Some of her inflections and delivery helped to diversify the complete and total repetition of every story line in the series to date at least three times in the book. I will not be getting another book by Jennifer Estep, that's for sure.
It repeats. It repeats. And then it repeats. This is true throughout the series but by this book it seemed longer, more frequently used and completely detracted from the story. We get recaps of previous books, previous situations, previous characters who aren't even related to the current story, sometimes up to three times in the same book. This is especially treacherous in an audiobook because you can't easily skip the parts and have to suffer through them. It was so distracting to the story! I can see a writer making this mistake, but where in the world are the editors?
I dislike her repetitious use of various phrases. "Silverstone knife", "the fire elemental", "my foster brother", "the Goth dwarf". It goes on and on. She substitutes these phrases for pronouns, and then will continually refer to major characters by their first AND last names throughout the book, as though we were too dense to remember them. Finnegan Lane? Yep, we know him! Call him Finn and get on with it!
There are inconsistencies galore. For example, she wears a vest stuffed full of silverstone and can use her magic just fine, but then someone puts a pair of silverstone handcuffs on her and she can't make an ice pick. It makes no sense.
The sad thing is, the plot overall isn't bad, the characters and premise are interesting and the book has a chance of being good. The world building is great, the idea of the elements and power are fine. This terrible writing prevents that from happening and I feel kind of robbed. This really could have been good but it missed the mark by a wide margin.
She really does a fine job. The accent is great and like I said, she adds some variety to the constant repetition to take away the sting. Am I repeating myself? It must be contagious.
I like the recipes Gin talks about and even used a couple. Yum! I think the dynamic between Mab and Gin is great and I like how Gin torments her. I like the character dynamics, the balance between Gin and Finn and the tension between Gin and Bria. Their reunion came in this book, but too late to save the story.
I think if I were to read any further in the series I'd do it with paper or e-books because I could skip all the things that irritate me so.
"Disappointed but hopeful"
I have really enjoyed this series, so far. However, this book includes to much background information from previous books and the plot is incredibly predictable. One of the reasons I continued to read this series is because I was looking forward to seeing the characters grow and develop through their relationships and actions. Gin started the series as a distinct, layered and complicated character. In this book she is none of these things. In fact she loses almost any credibility as a character that she had. She is this mysterious shadowy assassin with magical powers, but is seems that by the end of the book the only person who doesn't know that is her nemesis Mab Monroe. For a shadowy assassin she doesn't do overly much to protect her secret. That being said, the one redeeming factor of the book was the whole situation with Bria and Owen. This book is about her Gin's tangled emotional threads. About her love for Grayson, love she finally accepts and about her estranged sister and the difficult but hopeful reunion between the two siblings. Unfortunately, Estep ended up getting tangled in her own writing. While the reunion was nicely done as a whole it happened 200 pages too late to save the book. Despite all that I can't say that I hated the book. I didn't find it terribly interesting or exciting and I skipped a lot of pages. In my opinion it is the weakest in an otherwise solid and intriguing series. I will read the next book in hopes that it is much better. Although it deserves one star, I'm giving it 2 based on the strength of the series and my hope for its future.
"If I heard "Get Dead" again..."
The first and second books were a fun listen however by the third and fourth book I wanted to scream because half of those books were the first two relived in her memory or thoughts.
It started to also become very irritating to hear the phrase "Get Dead" in every other sentence also where her knives were located... Legs, arms, back OKAY we get it.
She is suppose to be this fantastic assassin but she can't seem to assassinate anyone without being horrible hurt. I could keep going on, I was very disappointed how the book was written or rather how it was pretty much the first two books revamped a little.
Needless to say this is my last listen to this series, If you want a fun read that the characters grow try: Darynda Jones both of her book series are amazing, one for teens the other for adults. Karen Marie Moning " The fever series" and one of my all time favorite " The poison Study" from Maria Snyder.
In general the basic story is fine. Not great but able to keep my attention. BUT I don't think the author reads her work because she repeats herself over and over and over AND over. One tends to roll their eyes and want to fast forward though a third of the dialogue.
"My green eyes rolled back again."
An okay series but the author repeats description and the narrator is very monotone so sometimes I find myself nodding off. Gin is a very inept assassin, she barely manages to scrape out of the situations she gets herself into, all without any preplanning at all on her part. She is just lucky she has an air element to patch her back up, otherwise she would have been dead long before now. On a positive note the love interest is much more interesting and likable than the first. Anyway I bought the whole series with a sale, on a whim that I would like it and as to date it is touch in go. Good enough to continue since I paid good money, but one I am more reluctant to listen to. I know that I may get negative reviews for my opinion but then again I might save someone from making the same mistake I did by buying the whole thing. Always listen to the first book before buying the whole series, even if they are on sale.
"Meet Gin Blanco, world's worst assassin."
Best thing about these books are that they are fast-paced and set in an interesting world. There is a lot of repetition between the books, same descriptions, same jokes, and the author seems to think that you can have a detailed conversation with everyone just by looking into their eyes since that's all people seem to do.
Gin is a terrible Assassin. Jennifer goes on and on about how awesome she is and what a pro she is, citing all her perfect training... Which she consistently ignores "just this once". She certainly gave Gin all the skills and resources that she should need to take care of business, but she is always screwing up each hit over and over again, steadfastly refusing to use her magic until she's been beaten into a bloody pulp. She always manages to survive through pure luck, which she is constantly cursing. With all the possibilities surrounding elemental magic she sticks to her knives, rather than exploring ice shards or flinging 100 pound rocks at her enemies. Except for some very minor uses of a crossbow (so far, I'm partly through the next book) she invariably passes up great opportunities to pop targets anonymously and from a distance with a rifle or crossbow in favour of getting her butt kicked again. Also, do explosives not exist in this world? A small shape charge could have offed half her targets that are so tough. Don't worry though Gin will always survive because every single enemy will try and talk her to death rather than offing her with a bullet to the head.
Fin is by far the best character, he actually carries a gun.
I guess, I bought the next one, so it was good enough. Really wish the series would get some variation going though.
"Stepping stone for the series."
This is the fourth book in the series and I would consider this book a stepping stone in the series. This book is used to move characters into alignment for the last installment of the series - the big battle. There are changes and specific events that needed to occur before the battle and this book does those things. That's not to say the story isn't good and there are important things and changes not only for Gin, but those around her. This book is like the big training scene for any Rocky movie with a serious dash of trouble with the assassin Elektra LaFleur added in. I enjoyed the story and would not recommend it as a stand alone book, but as a continuation of a great series.
"Probably a Good Read but Not a Great Listen"
Narrator was too low key and didn't excite me when she should have. Accent was poor. Book was meant for readers not listeners. There was a lot of repetitiveness that I would have skipped in a book but actually dragged the story down as a listener. Overall, it irritated me. Plot kept me going.
"Please let there be more....."
Loved this series, got all four audio books at once and was done in 3 days, I just couldn't stop listening. Lauren Fortgang was a wonderful narrater, I loved her voice, make the book easy to listen too.
Good storyline, lots of visual words, which some don't like, but I do, it adds to the story for me.. As Gin, the main girl in the 4th book gets deeper into her work, shocking stories arise for her to figure out, should she love or should she not???? Will loving endanger thoses she loves??? This is a must listen, but get all four or you'll be lost..
Hoping for book 5 soon...
"Author forgot we already read books 1-3"
There is not much new to be found in here. At least 40% of the novel is spent recapping Gin's history, skills, relationships, and the plots of the last couple books too. Since I read the first three books in the series, this was annoying. ( But if you're picking up a series at book 4 - who does that?? - maybe you would like this kind of recap?? )
There are way too many 'flashbacks' - we've already read all this stuff, Ms. Estep - in books one, two and three. Why do I have to learn, AGAIN, how Gin got the scars on her hands, or how she got the Pork Pit, etc... oh, REALLY?? Mab killed Gin's family?? What!? That, and Gin goes through the same emotional 'growth' 3-4 times in the book. Yes, that's what I meant to say: there's a scene where she realizes her feelings for Owen (big emotional moment), then another, then another. The same thing happens with her sister. Either you have an epiphany regarding your feelings for someone, or you don't - but either way you don't then, 25 pages later, have the same one again. It's almost like Estep wrote the book in segments and in each one Gin had to go through the same emotional turmoil (oh, and also had to recap how she got to where she is, and how much she needed revenge vs Mab, etc).
Now that that's out of my system... once Estep is sure we're completely familiar with everything about her prior novels, Gin, and Gin's past, the book tries to pick up a plot (I'll say this happens just after the halfway mark). It had just enough plot that I finished this novel (albeit with a bit of struggle) but I won't be reading any more in this series. There just isn't enough story.
If you're looking for better read-alikes, you could try Caine's Weather Warden books, Vaugn's Kitty Norville series, or even Harrison's Rachel Morgan series. Similar settings and tone, not a bunch of recap and emotional whininess.
Yes - although for the first half I was not so sure.
Definitely - but I need to read reviews for the next book in the series to make sure there has been some improvement regarding the continual repetition of information.
She certainly brings some of the humour to the lines that I would not necessarily pick up when reading the hard copy.
Yes - despite this being the weakest of the three. I would have no idea who would be ideal to play the leads but hopefully the casting would not be out of line with the descriptions in the book.
this was the weakest of the books so far. The first half of the book really irritated me with the continuing reminders and repetition. I know that I often bemoan the fact that there are no reminders whatsoever in follow up books - but I think that means that it is indeed a fine line. But the second half returned to normal - with a great plot, further development of the main character and a lovely Christmassy ending but...... Would still recommend to those of the normal crew that have read the earlier books.
I listened to this in one day, even using all my breaks at work to listen to a little bit more. This is the fourth book in the Elemental Assassin series, and things are really starting to heat up. There is a fair amount of repetition/rehashing of previous events and characters to bring people up to speed and this can get slightly distracting if you are listening to them back to back. However, there is plenty of action and lots of plot twists to keep you interested. I loved that we get to meet another assassin, and the developments in Bria and Gins's relationship in this book. There is lots of development of the overall story arc with Mab and we even get more insight into Fletcher Lane. My favourite so far.
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