Two Blogs and a Book – BY A THREAD by Jennifer Estep (+ Giveaway!)

March 21, 2014 4 Star Reviews, General, Giveaways, Reviews, Two Blogs and a Book 4 ★★★★½

Two Blogs and a Book – BY A THREAD by Jennifer Estep (+ Giveaway!)By a Thread by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #6
Published by Pocket Books on February 28, 2012
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Fiction, General, Romance, Urban, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

The sixth book in the USA TODAY bestselling Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series featuring Gin Blanco, who by day owns a Tennessee BBQ joint, and by night is a tough female assassin known as the Spider. 

I never thought I’d need a vacation from being an assassin….

My name is Gin Blanco, and I’m the assassin the Spider. All the Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning for me and trying to make a name for themselves by taking out the Spider. So I think it’s a good idea to get out of Ashland for a while until things cool down.

So I’m headed south to a swanky beach town, along with my baby sister, Bria, for a weekend of fun in the sun. But when an old friend of Bria’s is threatened by a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. But this time, not even my own Ice and Stone power may be enough to save me from coming home in a pine box…



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 don’t forget to visit TALK SUPE to see what fun questions Braine asked me about BY A THREAD, book six in the Elemental Assassin series. 


Note:  Though this interview is spoiler free for the current book, it does assume a knowledge of the previous books in the series.

SWR:  How do you think Estep handled the post-Mab storyline?  Do you think this installment is as thrilling as the past books have been even without Mab’s ever present menace?
BRAINE: I have to be honest, I loved BY A THREAD but it wasn’t as awesome as Mab’s arc. I think JEstep still gave us a great follow up but at the same time the storyline of the first 5 books are pretty hard to top. Killing Mab was Gin’s life purpose for so long so it won’t be anything less than epic. And what or how can you follow-up something epic without going over the top, right? 
SWR:  Right.  I agree with you.  The Mab storyline was definitely epic but I loved BY A THREAD.  Gin comes up against a great villain.  But I do wonder what’s next for her.  Though there was a pretty epic encounter in BY A THREAD!  What went through your mind when Caine showed up?  I really dislike this dude so I was praying for a swift exit for him.  What about you?
BRAINE: Dude I was thinking about you the whole time! I know you don’t dig him, he was OK in my book but now I realize what a dick Donovan Caine is! I mean I understand he’s conflicted but the stunt he pulled on Gin towards the end was primo D-Bag move! Gosh! I’m glad we have Owen now and apparently your taste in men is waaay better than mine. HOLLER TO THE HUBBY, HE-WOLF! WOOT!
SWR:  The He-Wolf is grinning ear to ear!  I was a little put off by Bria’s resentment towards Gin since most of it felt somewhat unfounded. How do you think their relationship shifted in BY A THREAD and what do you think of its future?
BRAINE: Well as Gin explained it, she understood where Bria’s resentment and judgment is coming from. I’m happy Gin finally laid it out and Bria took responsibility for her angst towards Gin. I’m sure they’ll still have hiccups but at least Bria’s getting to a place where she looks at Gin as a human being and not this evil, cold-blooded assassin.
SWR:  Why can’t people just love Gin for what she is?  Wait, Owen does.  So long Donovan!  Sorry for the tanget. Ok, Randall Dekes.  Creepy as a mo-fo and a pretty cool nemesis for this story.  Thoughts?
BRAINE: Yeah! I mean I’m not a big fan of vamps to begin with but Dekes is just Grade-A predator and I love JEstep’s vampires, it fits the world and doesn’t conform to the archetype. And I love the sisters too! I’m happy they get to exact their revenge on Dekes, the fire show was a nice touch LOL
SWR:  Girl power!  Ok, one last question.  One thing that tripped me up a little in the book was the summarizing of past stories and world-building information.  On the one hand, its great for readers picking up books in the middle of the series because Estep does a fantastic job of getting you up-to-date.  On the other hand, for those of us who’ve read all the past books, it slows down the pace.  At least for me.  I found myself skimming certain sections which I rarely do.  Did you have a similar experience or has this not been an issue for you?
BRAINE: I was just about to ask you about that!! I skim it too but I guess she did for her long-time readers in case they forget stuff. Give them a short summation or like what you said, for readers who picked it up mid-series. But it can get repetitive if one is binge-reading the series like us. I’ve read other readers say the same thing too but at this point, I just love her, I can tolerate the redundancy.
SWR: I love her, too so it’s hard to complain!  But you’ve pointed out something I never thought about…If I were waiting a year between releases, I would most likely have a different take on the summaries.  Binge reading is definitely a luxury.  Good point.




I was worried about BY A THREAD.  I wasn’t sure if the post-Mab world would live up to expectations. But it did.  Much like its predecessors, BY A THREAD was filled with emotion, drama, action, and some nice romance.  We’re taken out of the violent streets of Ashland and into the idyllic beach town of Bria’s childhood where a fantastically creepy and powerful villain is waiting for a taste of the Spider. Estep once again creates a thrilling read where the stakes are high and the emotions are strong.  We have a blast from the past – Donovan Caine in all his arrogant, self-righteous B.S. –  which forces Gin to think about her feelings for both Donovan and Owen.  She handles it brilliantly with a nice scene at the end that sets the record straight between her and Donovan.  Bria and Gin also reach new ground in their relationship which gives the reader the feeling of always moving forward with these two.  The villain of the story, Randall Dekes, presents Gin with a tough dilemma and, once again, you’re not sure if she can pull through which makes for an exciting showdown.  I also loved that he’s a vampire which is a nice change from the elementals and giants Gin normally faces off against.  BY A THREAD felt like a small break (though I wouldn’t call it a vacation, trouble seems to follow Gin) and now that Gin is heading back to Ashland, the real stuff is about to go down.  Though I loved this book, the question that came up after Mab’s demise, “what’s next?”, persists.  I’m looking forward to seeing where Gin and Co. go from here.  4 Howls! 




And don’t forget to visit Braine at Talk Supe to see what she asked me about BY A THREAD!



And now, it’s giveaway time.  Special thanks to Jennifer Estep for providing a signed print copy of BY A THREAD for a lucky reader! (US addresses only)

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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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