Two Blogs and a Book – Braine and I discuss TANGLED THREADS by Jennifer Estep

January 15, 2014 4 Star Reviews, General, Reviews, Two Blogs and a Book 4 ★★★★½

Two Blogs and a Book – Braine and I discuss TANGLED THREADS by Jennifer EstepTangled Threads by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #4
Published by Pocket Books on April 26, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 357
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings.

But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead. 

Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur—or die trying—because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too. 

The only problem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sibling . . . or that I’m the murderer she’s been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead. . . .


My buddy, Braine of the spectacular blog Talk Supe, and I are doing a buddy read of the entire Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep.  Rather than follow our normal format, we decided this time around to ask each other questions about our different takes on the book.  Here is my interview with Braine and please visit TALK SUPE to see what fun questions Braine asked me about my take on TANGLED THREADS, book 4 in the Elemental Assassin series. 


SWR:  I’ve been waiting for Gin to meet her match in the form of another accomplished assassin.  Do you think Elektra LaFleur was a worthy opponent?
BRAINE:  Elektra LeFleur (love the name btw, very supervillain!) is a formidable opponent but her only “edge” on Gin is her mastery of her element. Gin knows how to wield her stone magic but she’s getting the feel of her ice magic so she was a little clumsy at first. She was very much on the defense and her instinct and quick thinking are the only thing that saved her on that first battle. So yes, Elektra was a great opponent and she gave Gin a much needed lesson on how to wield her ice magic and a great exercise on cunning. Their encounters were very tactical.
SWR:  True.  They were tactical.  I just wish Elektra has been a bit smarter.  Her arrogance got in her way which made her a dangerous but beatable opponent!  Now, one thing I’ve come to appreciate about this series is Estep’s ability to keep both the story arc of the individual book and the overall arc of the series equally as compelling and so well connected and well-paced.  How do feel about the pacing of the series and how do you think TANGLED THREADS holds up to what we’ve read in the series so far?
BRAINE: I’m probably going to say this with every book that we read moving forward by Tangled Threads is my favorite so far! So many things happened that impacts the overall plot of the series. The pacing is unbelievably great, at this point it’s not dragging but more like an exciting game of Chess. Even the romance is building steam, I love Owen and this flirty thing between Bria and Finn.
Since we met Bria, I’ve been itching to see how that confrontation is going to be like. I honestly don’t know what to expect and then it finally happened here. It’s not exactly what I imagined but what transpired isn’t out of character for Gin and Bria and I found it believable. As for the Mab arc, I am enjoying Gin’s taunts on the Fire elemental, I hope she gets Mab so angry the latter gets sloppy LOL. 
SWR:  The relationships are developing so nicely for Gin.  I loved the emotion and awkwardness of Gin having to address real emotions, particularly with Bria and Owen.  This book in particular really solidifies the family in Gin’s life.  Any thoughts on this supporting cast and predictions for their futures?
BRAINE: I hope Owen stays for a long time! I feel like Gin finally met her match on Owen. I hope that Bria and Finn take it to the next level, that playboy needs to settle and be tamed and it looks like Bria’s the best gal to do the job. As for Bria and Gin, I hope they get to a place of understanding but in some ways, I feel like Bria took the place of Donovan Caine. Like she’s the “conscience”, the good guy to balance Gin’s anti-hero persona. Let’s face it, the story might be exciting and Gin this badass vigilante but if we cut it straight and dry, she’s still a murderer. Bria is a reminder for me to keep that in perspective and that moral dilemma (maybe) will hit Gin later on. Gin feels a little remorse for her sins, that was evident in that powerful scene she had with Bria, but she’s got that locked tight so from her POV, it feels righteous at this point. Supporting cast, I’m happy that Gin’s circle is growing but it makes me nervous at the same time too. They’re her vulnerabilities.
SWR:  For the first time since starting this series, I kept imagining it on TV.  I think it would rock as a TV series but can’t think of an actress to play Gin.  Maybe the actress from Lost Girl on Syfy?  Do you have someone in mind to play Gin on TV?
BRAINE: I’ve never thought about that. Whoever plays her should be athletic and has serious fighting skills or at least can fake them. At this point I’m leaning towards a younger Kate Beckinsale or Angelina Jolie. As for the more age appropriate set, Gemma Arterton and Mila Kunis just because Mila’s got that naughty/mean look in her eyes. Wah!   Who do you see playing Owen and Finn? (SWR:  See my answer over at Talk Supe!)
SWR:  Gin is pretty kickass in terms of her powers. I think I’d want to be a fire elemental like Mab but use my power for good…and to grill some ribs fast.  If you could be an elemental, which element would you want to control and why?
BRAINE: Hahaha yup, fire up some ribs! Damn that just made me crave for some… I only have porkchops so I’ll probably do that instead. 
I’m with you, I’d go with Fire not only because it’ll be handy tool to use for a hungry cavewoman like me but also Fire is the only element (I think) that can really change and create new things. 
SWR:  For me, I loved the last scene in the book.  It bordered on corny but I loved it.  I feel like it’s the calm before the storm.  Estep is going to do something soon to yank all this happiness away.  What about you?  Do you have a favorite moment or line in the book?
BRAINE: Yeah that last scene made me sigh and I agree about the calm before the storm. And it also made me crave for holiday treats in the middle of the night when the only thing I have in the pantry is an old cookie. Damn you Gin!
For me it’s when Gin finally told Bria who she is and that entire scene in the yard. That was so powerful to me and held a lot of meaning. So many conflicting emotions, relief, pain, regret and hope. It’s an overwhelming 1-minute conversation. 
SWR:  Favorite line?
The fragile strings of my feelings for Owen joined together, all the tangled threads wrapping around and weaving their way through my heart. (Isn’t this squee worthy!)
That’s what minions do. Do whatever and whomever they’re told. (I love it when Gin taunts people with her words. It never fails) 


My final thoughts on TANGLED THREADS?  It’s good.  Very, very good.  Estep has created a world and a heroine I just can’t get enough of — the world is dark and violent, just like Gin Blanco, our intrepid kick ass heroine.  In this book, number four in the series, Gin faces off with assassin Elektra LaFleur, who is sent by Gin’s nemisis, Mab Monroe.  Elektra is very powerful and she proves to be a tough opponent.  The action is tense and so well-done, you’re never sure who’s going to make it out alive.  Estep also pushes the overall arc forward, bringing Gin closer to a death match with Mab.  I am dying for this to happen!  But in the end, where TANGLED THREADS really grabbed me, were in the relationships.  Gin is cementing her circle of trust;  she’s getting closer to the people around her and she’s depending on their support.  Estep raised the stakes for Gin and for the readers!  I feel like this is the calm before the storm.  I’m fairly certain Gin is going to get the happiness yanked from underneath her feet and which makes me sad, scared, and desperately wanting to read the next book.  4.5 howls!



  Have your read the Elemental Assassin series?  Tell us what you think!  

And don’t forget to visit Braine at Talk Supe to learn her take on TANGLED THREADS!



About Jennifer Estep

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series for Pocket. Books in the series are SPIDER’S BITE, WEB OF LIES, VENOM, TANGLED THREADS, SPIDER’S REVENGE, BY A THREAD, and WIDOW’S WEB. THREAD OF DEATH, an e-novella, is also available.

DEADLY STING, the eighth book, is set to be released on March 26, 2013.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington.

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