Friday, February 1, 2013

SPIDER'S BITE by Jennifer Estep

Spider's Bite
Jennifer Estep

Rating: A
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 cold-hearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.
My thoughts on the book:
Spider's Bite offers a unique take on urban fantasy. I'm a huge fan of Estep's Mythos Academy YA series, so I figured I'd give her adult series a try as well. I was not disappointed! The characters are likable and decently developed for the first book in a series, the writing is top notch, the world-building is fantastic, and the plot is intense and suspenseful. I couldn't put this book down! My only regret about this series is that I waited so long to start it. Oh well, at least now I won't have to wait on the next book to come out!
Gin is an assassin, yes, but she is also someone you can sympathize with and relate to. She mostly kills people who do awful things, so in my mind she's doing the world a favor anyway. Gin's a strong and tough character, but underneath it all, she has a good heart. I know that sounds weird, but it seems to be true. I really liked reading from her perspective, and I can't wait to learn more about her. 
Finn is an amazing secondary character. I completely fell in love with him. I know he's Gin's friend and they're like siblings (even though they've slept together, so I'm going to go with there's just a lot of denial there or something), but I really wish they'd get together... back together... whatever. They just care about each other so much. It's sweet. 
Speaking of relationships, Detective Caine is a pretty good love interest if Gin refuses to make a go of it with Finn. See their names even rhyme! Ahem. Anyway, I liked Donovan, and I really liked how he balanced Gin out some. He is extremely good and moral, and in a way, I think that might be good for her short-term. However, his constant judging of who she is and what she does would get old after awhile, I would think. We'll see where that goes. 
The plot is intense and action-packed. I couldn't put this book down! This novel has everything I love in a book. A mystery, action, romance, and suspense. While the story is light on the romance, there is enough to at least keep me interested in the characters' personal lives. The mystery kept me hooked as well. Even though I know the series continues, I still was so lost in the story that I didn't know whether or not Gin would make it out alive. 
The world-building is top-notch as well. I feel that I understand the world of the elementals and what kind of town Ashland is. Estep uses terrific descriptions and she explains things without being redundant or boring. The pace is fluid, and the information is intertwined with the story, so it doesn't mess with the pacing. No info dumps, thankfully. Also, Estep doesn't use dialogue to relay information, which is good. That really irks me when there are pages and pages of dialogue explaining things. It just doesn't seem natural, and I feel like I'm being lectured at in a classroom instead of reading a book. Also, Estep is a master of showing instead of telling. 
Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves a good urban fantasy read. It's a bit dark and gritty, but not to the extreme. If you love Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, and/or Laurell K. Hamilton, then you're sure to adore this series. Give it a try, you won't be sorry!
Order Spider's Bite!


  1. This is one of my favorite UF series ! Though I can't agree with you on Donovan.
    Glad you enjoyed it though. :)
    -Jelly @jellys insider

    1. How did you feel about him? I assume you dislike him? I may after this second book. I'll let you know what I think once I finish book 2.

  2. This sounds like a pretty unique take on the Urban Fantasy genre. I don't read a lot of UF, but I might have to give it a try :)


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