Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

Spider's Bite

Title: Spider’s Bite
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: AssassinsDark fantasy, Elements
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Pocket Books
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: In slowly flaying him alive.

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My name is Gin, and I kill people.

They call me the Spider. I’m the most feared assassin in the South – when I’m not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way – good or bad. I may look hot, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I’m battling magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction.. especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.


This story was so good! I always love stories with a kick ass lead. Especially in those cases where the female is completely independent and has a tragic past. It’s a trope, but it’s one that I absolutely adore. And can never quite seem to get enough of. And Gin is no different. She has a horrible, and slightly mysterious past. She has built herself up to take care of herself and runs around the entire time kicking ass and taking names.

Aside from the great characterisation of Gin, I also loved the world building in this. I actually found it almost completely unique. (Almost, because after you’ve read like a million books, there is always the sense of same same throughout what you read). Ashland combines the sense of Gotham with the magic and mayhem of mythology, folklore and paranormal elements. And with a mix like that, you really can’t go wrong. Although, considering the story starts in an insane asylum, it’s not really surprising that it has the Gotham vibe to it.

The sexual tension in this was amazing. And I really hope that the relationship develops over the next few books. It’s obvious that Gin and Donovan are probably meant for each other, but both have that many hang ups that I think it may be one of the most dysfunctional literary relationships I’ve read in a long while. Which, I, of course loved. And it had me smiling and laughing silently to myself throughout. Definitely the kind of book that I will be revisiting in the future and binge reading… time to order some more books!

<- Spider’s BargainWeb of Death ->

Image source: Simon & Schuster

9 thoughts on “Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

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