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I Belong

Review: Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

TitleDeadly Sting 

Author: Jennifer Estep

GenreUrban Fantasy

Series: Elemental Assassin (Book 8 )

Publication Date: March 26, 2013

Format: Paperback, 369 Pages

ISBN-10: 1451688997 (Pocket After Dark)

ISBN-13: 978-1451688993 (Pocket After Dark)

Reviewed by: Stephanie


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’s 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.

Quick & Dirty: If you’re planning a big heist at an art museum, make sure the most famous assassin in the city isn’t in attendance. It won’t end well for you.

Opening Sentence: “That would look fabulous on you.”


The Review:

It’s been a few weeks since the end events of Widow’s Web. Gin Blanco hasn’t heard from Owen and is trying to keep herself busy at The Pork Pit so she doesn’t think about him too much. Enter Finn, who needs a plus one to join him at a gala where Mab Monroe’s possessions will be on display. Little do they know that a large group of thieves has planned a heist. Unluckily for the thieves, Ashland’s most notorious assassin is in attendance and ready to take her frustrations out on them.

Jennifer Estep certainly knows how to pack a book full of action. From the moment Gin enters the party, there is something interesting going on, whether it be trading glares with Jonah MacAllister, finding artifacts Mab possessed that have special significance to Gin, or coming face to face with Owen and his date for the evening. As the bullets (and knives of course) start flying, the tension doesn’t let up until the very last page. This isn’t a book for people who are new to the series, but for those who are familiar with the events of previous books, this installment is definitely not a disappointment!

What’s interesting to me in this installment is that it’s pretty much entirely focused on Gin. We get a little bit of Finn at the beginning, but the meat of the book is just Gin on her own. One might think that would be boring, but it’s certainly not the case here. Even though she was raised to be a loner, Gin has found herself surrounded by people who love her and who she loves, and it’s very interesting to see that play out in her thoughts as she finds herself on her own this time around.

The times that Gin does have interactions with others in this book are great as well. There are some moments between her and Owen that just made my heart ache (and if I’m being honest, there were also some moments where I just wanted to reach into the book and shake Owen). Finn is amusing, as always, and we even get a little bit of Bria and Xavier as well.

Something that tends to always be brought up in reviews of the Elemental Assassin series is Estep’s use of repetition. In past books, I have found myself occasionally annoyed at the repetition of facts. Luckily, I really didn’t notice much, if any, repetition in this installment.

All in all, this was an action-packed, fast read that made me want to pick up the next book right away. I’m eagerly looking forward to my next visit to Ashland and the world of The Spider!

Notable Scene:

A sad smile curved Fletcher’s lips. “I don’t blame you, Gin, and you shouldn’t blame yourself either. It’s just the nature of what we do—of what you do now. But no matter what, remember this: all that really matters in the end is protecting the people you care about, even if they don’t like how you do it, even if they hate you for it. Because I’d rather have somebody alive and hating me than dead and buried, with me knowing that I failed them.”

Elemental Assassin Series:

1. Spider’s Bite

2. Web of Lies

3. Venom

4. Tangled Threads

5. Spider’s Revenge

5.5 Thread of Death

6. By A Thread

7. Widow’s Web

8. Deadly Sting 

8.5 Kiss of Venom

9. Heart of Venom

10. The Spider (December 24, 2013)

FTC Advisory: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Deadly Sting. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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