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review 2017-08-24 19:18
By a Thread / Jennifer Estep
By a Thread - Jennifer Estep

***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List***


Can it be?  Can Ms. Estep have written an installment of the Elemental Assassin series without repeating herself ad nauseam?  It would seem that she can or that an editor finally stepped into the breach.  I have raised my star rating by a whole star in appreciation!


I met Ms. Estep at a literary conference this summer and I like her.  But I think I know what’s going on with all the repetition in her books—she writes at a frantic pace!  I think that repeating things filled out those pages in a satisfying way (and there is a belief out there that readers are distractable and need these frequent reminders to keep us on track).  Plus, I think repetition is one of her methods of dealing with the world.  She was on several panel discussions that I attended, and she said virtually identical things on each and every one of them.  She had interesting things to say when someone could get her stirred up a bit, but she didn’t allow that to happen very often.  Very self-contained, she had obviously scripted some responses and wasn’t easily shaken from her script.


This was a satisfying offering in the Gin Blanco saga, as Gin realizes that getting rid of Mab Monroe didn’t solve all of her problems.  In fact, she has been outed as The Spider and now has to deal with a lot of gossip and regular murder attempts.  But Gin can’t catch a break even when she goes on vacation—there’s an evil vampire making a friend’s life difficult and despite how tough Gin thinks she is, she always stands up for the underdog.  The villain is a good one (i.e. evil & powerful).  Wouldn’t you know that Donovan Caine shows his nose again in this book—Gin gets some satisfying closure and Owen gets to strut a bit.  I appreciate Gin’s circle of friends and comrades—she’s no longer the cold loner. 


I had thought to quit reading the series after this book, but I may have to amend that plan.  This book was such an improvement that I think I will forge onward and see if this non-repetitive thing continues!

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review 2017-07-31 19:38
Spider's Revenge / Jennifer Estep
Spider’s Revenge - Jennifer Estep

Old habits die hard. And I plan on mur­der­ing some­one before the night is through.

Killing used to be my reg­u­lar gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spi­der, assassin-for-hire. And I was very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly mat­ters: Mab Mon­roe, the dan­ger­ous Fire ele­men­tal who mur­dered my fam­ily when I was thir­teen.

Oh, I don’t think the mis­sion will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more prob­lem­atic than expected. The bitch knows I’m com­ing for her. So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters she hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keep­ing Bria safe is my first pri­or­ity. Tak­ing Mab out is a close sec­ond.

Good thing I’ve got my pow­er­ful Stone and Ice magic — and my irre­sistible lover Owen Grayson — to watch my back. This bat­tle has been years in the mak­ing, and there’s a chance I won’t sur­vive. But if I’m going down, then Mab’s com­ing with me...no mat­ter what I have to do to make that happen.


***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List***

I’m glad this installment actually made some plot progress. The revenge plot actually went somewhere finally in this 5th (!) installment. And the romantic sub-plot seems to have firmed up nicely as well. I like the magic system, I’ve grown accustomed to the environs of Ashland, I like the secondary characters.

I’m so tired of hearing about Gin being an assassin (retired or otherwise), where she keeps her knives (seriously, if you’ve made it this far in the series, you have read that hundreds of times), how Mab Munroe hurt her, what the inside of the Pork Pit looks like, what everybody’s various runes look like, or about Finn & his chicory coffee, just like dear old dad. The obsession with eye colour is also a bit tiring. Does it really matter?

I liked that Gin actually made some realistic mistakes, early in the novel, and has to deal with the fallout. I also appreciated that we finally got some back-story on the Devereau sisters and we now know why they help Gin. I’m a little less gung-ho about Finn & Bria’s new attraction to each other.

The big negative that I can see ahead? There’s going to be no end of the repetition reminding us of what went down with Mab. This will last for at least 4 more books by my reckoning, if not more.  Sigh! I like Gin, I like her friends, I like the setting. This could be such an awesome series if an editor was willing to be ruthless.

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text 2017-07-28 15:59
A Plethora of Titles to choose from for my Summer Lovin' Reading list
Thunder Heights - Phyllis A. Whitney
No Rest for the Wicked - Kresley Cole
Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
The Shivering Sands (Casablanca Classics) - Victoria Holt
The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf - Molly Harper
A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses - Molly Harper
The Shifting Price of Prey - Suzanne McLeod
Spider's Revenge - Jennifer Estep
The Laughing Corpse - Laurell K. Hamilton

So I think I know what I will be doing this weekend!  I've been fighting with a nasty cold ever since I got home from Seattle, so I'm hoping to catch up on my sleep as well as get the necessary laundry, cooking, and housekeeping done.


But, I have Thunder Heights on interlibrary loan, so it can't be renewed.  Also, No Rest for the Wicked and Darkfever have holds on them, so I'll have to return them soon, too.


After those three, I'll be able to pick & choose.


Have a great weekend, everyone!

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review 2017-07-10 01:34
Review of "Spider's Revenge" (Elemental Assassin, #5) by Jennifer Estep
Spider's Revenge - Jennifer Estep

Ooh...a very satisfying book.  Not much more I care to review or say about it.  Well, honestly, not much I can say without spoilers.  Great book.  


Oversimplifying but appropriate is the ending line as Gin takes a new direction with it:


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text 2017-07-09 22:50
Reading progress: 47%.
Spider's Revenge - Jennifer Estep

Me, too.  I'm hoping this book is the one where Mab is ended.


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