Welcome to the first ever Pack Review hosted by
A while ago I put out a call for help – I asked for your assistance in choosing a book from a list of series that I’ve been meaning to read for a very long time. The majority of responses recommended the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. Luckily, two blogging buddies wanted to read this one with me. So Opal, Braine and I joined forces and created the Pack Review!
Our first book is SPIDER’S BITE, book one in the Elemental Assassin series. We divided the review into three sections, one for each blog and today, I’m excited to host the PLOT & CONFLICT portion of the review.
Don’t forget to stop by each blog to get the full review from three different perspectives!
PACK REVIEW – PLOT & CONFLICT
SPIDER’S BITE pulled a sucker’s punch on me. I knew that Gin’s handler would get killed but I wasn’t prepared for the brutality of it. I wanted to find who had done it just as bad as Gin did once it all was said and done. The mystery of who the Air Elemental was tantalizing. I was teased into seeing if I could guess who it was. As the book wore on, I grew even more mystified as to who he or she could be.
The climax had everything I expected. The action built to a crescendo and exploded. The contrast between the antagonist and protagonist was stark. Good triumphed over evil and Gin reached new personal heights.
She made a great introduction to the series, Spider’s Bite is a great sampler of what Elemental Assassin is all about and it had the right amount of everything that made it a well balanced story. Some series introductions are slow because the author focuses too much on the world building and character introductions (like Darkfever) which slows down the pace. Spider’s Bite had an upbeat pace which (hopefully) sets the tone for the rest of the books.
The conflict to me was great. It’s emotional, vindictive, mysterious and suspenseful. Again everything I expect and want in an Urban Fantasy book. I especially like how Estep drew out the the identity of the villain slowly but surely. Everything that led up to the Gin & the Air Elemental’s face off was great especially that little quickie scene in the coat closet. And the ending! OMG! How can one NOT read the next book after that bombshell dropped?! Damn! Anyway it’s quite obvious that Estep has the story down pat. I can’t find anything wrong with it.
Lee, She-Wolf Reads:
The plot and conflict in SPIDER’S BITE is a real thrill ride. There are two plot lines going on – one that is specific to the book and one that seems it might be an overarching series storyline. Both of them are fantastic. The immediate plot is that assassin, Gin Blanco, is set-up and her handler murdered. Brutally murdered. She needs to find out who did it and fast. She has revenge on her mind and pursues it with single-minded determination. I loved the pacing of this story – fast – with a nice climatic peak that really had me on the edge of my seat.
The second narrative thread is Gin’s mysterious past and the brutal murder of her family. Bits of information are dropped throughout and it’s a big mystery as to who was involved in their deaths. This overarching storyline was a little less successful for me. I thought some of the references to the murder were a bit repetitive and, honestly, the bombshell that’s dropped at the end I saw coming chapters ahead of its revelation. But, and this is a significant BUT, it didn’t detract from the satisfaction of the ending, the resolution of one case and the exciting Pandora’s Box that’s opened at its conclusion. The conflict is compelling and the plotting is tight and fast. You won’t get bored with this one.
Please stop by and visit my fellow hosts to read our views on CHARACTERS, WORLD-BUILDING, and, of course, our FINAL VERDICTS!
with BRAINE, Talk Supe
with Opal, The Akamai Reader
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 a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction…especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.
**Source: Purchased Copy**