Thursday, March 21, 2013

DEADLY STING by Jennifer Estep

Deadly Sting
Jennifer Estep

Rating: A-
Release Date: 03/26/13
Red is definitely my color. Good thing, because in my line of work, I end up wearing it a lot.

Most people shy away from blood, but for an assassin like me — Gin Blanco, aka the Spider — it’s just part of the job. Still, it would be nice to get a night off, especially when I’m attending the biggest gala event of the summer at Briartop, Ashland’s fanciest art museum. But it’s just not meant to be. For this exhibition of my late nemesis’ priceless possessions is not only the place to be seen, but the place to be robbed and taken hostage at gunpoint as well. No sooner did I get my champagne than a bunch of the unluckiest thieves ever burst into the museum and started looting the place.

Unlucky why? Because I brought along a couple of knives in addition to my killer dress. Add these to my Ice and Stone magic, and nothing makes me happier than showing the bad guys why red really is my color.

My thoughts on the book:
I enjoyed Deadly Sting much more than I did Widow's Web. This novel is a fast-paced and intense thrill ride. Every time you think the adventures are winding down, Estep throws another curve ball to keep Gin and the readers on their toes. There are no dull moments in this installment, and I cannot wait to see what Estep has planed for Gin and company next. 

The character development in Deadly Sting surprised me. I thought that after this many novels the character evolution would slow down, but Estep manages to make her characters even more complex with each addition to this series. Gin softens a bit, in my opinion, and shows that she is a better person than most catty women would be. Her reaction to the death of a certain character shocked me, and I really admire her for feeling guilty about it. Yes, she needs to let go of her guilt, but little things like this show that she's not some sociopath. It's these little hints at what lies beneath her cold exterior that make her a likable character who people can relate to. The rest of Gin's friends and family also show more of their true colors, and I couldn't help but love each of them even more. Bria and Finn's relationship is even growing on me. 

This story is executed a bit differently than the rest of the series. Most of the book takes place at Briartop in what feels like real time. There's an "action movie" feel to things as Gin works her way through the museum and figures out a way to save her friends. I liked this change, and the plot kept me fully engaged for the entire duration of the novel. Also, because the setting is the place of the crime, this book is action-packed. There isn't a dull moment from the first chapter until the last. I seriously couldn't put this book down. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to lovers of Urban Fantasy. If you like bad-ass heroines who save the day, then you'll love Gin Blanco and the Elemental Assassin series. If you haven't given this series a try yet, then you're missing out. For those of you who have already read and loved this series, you will adore the latest installment. It helps clarify things and will give you hope for Gin's future. This is one novel that can't be missed. 

Pre-order Deadly Sting!

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