When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation. Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.
My thoughts on the book:
By a Thread is one of my favorite books in this series. Characters and relationships really grow in this installment, and I enjoyed reading how things were changing for Gin and company. The plot was action-packed and filled with suspense, as usual. Additionally, there was a bit more romance than I'm used to with these novels, and I liked that. This is a must read for fans of the Elemental Assassin series.
The more Gin changes and grows, the more I like her character. She started out being one of my favorite urban fantasy leads, and I think she is my absolute favorite now... tied with Elena Michaels from Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. The fact that she's strong enough and giving enough to be the bad guy for others who haven't been through what she's been through is oddly admirable. I think she's a better person than the supposed good people she protects, honestly. She's just a fantastic character.
Bria really surprised me in this book as well. I like how her character is developing. I'm still not the biggest fan of her and Finn, though. It just doesn't work for me. Owen blew me away as always. His jealousy over Donovan was adorable. Donovan is a bigger jerk than I remembered, and I decided that I absolutely loathe him.
The plot, as usual, was fast-paced and filled with action. Somehow Estep keeps coming up with different scenarios for Gin to get into, and even though the series continues, and I know it continues past this book, I still am afraid Gin won't make it out alive. It's kind of ridiculous on my part, I know, but I just get so pulled into these stories. Estep is definitely a master of suspense.
Overall, like the rest of the books in this series, I'd recommend this to anyone who loves urban fantasy and likes kick-ass heroines. You won't be able to get enough of Gin Blanco. I can promise you that.
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