Title: Spider’s Bite
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: January 26, 2010
Format: Paperback, 432 Pages
ISBN-10: 1439147973 (Pocket)
ISBN-13: 978-1439147979 (Pocket)
Synopsis (Product Description):
“My name is Gin, and I kill people.”
My name is Gin Blanco. They call me the Spider — the most feared assassin in the South (and a part-time cook at the Pork Pit BBQ joint.) As a Stone elemental, I can hear the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet and feel the vibrations of the soaring mountains above me, though I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.
After a ruthless Air elemental double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way. I may look hot in a miniskirt, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble when irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine agrees to help. The last thing a coldhearted killer needs when she’s battling a magic more powerful than her own is a sexy distraction … especially when he wants her dead just as much as the enemy.
Quick & Dirty: Highly entertaining and flawlessly plotted, this intense thrill-ride will have you hooked.
Opening Sentence: “My name is Gin, and I kill people.”
Excerpt: Chapter 1
Spider’s Bite is a dark, gritty urban fantasy. Corruption and greed rule the day in the city of Ashland. The seedy and violent under belly of the city has dangers lurking in every corner. Gin Blanco, a.k.a. “The Spider,” is like many of us, holding down two jobs. She spends part of her time working at the Pork Pit and the other half killing. Gin is a deadly assassin that takes pride in her work. On the heels of finishing an assignment, Gin is thrust into another one without time to do her customary planning. It isn’t long before Gin discovers that she’s been double-crossed. The double-cross is bad enough, but things get a whole lot more personal when her handler is brutally murdered. Gin won’t stop until she’s delivered her own brand of justice to his killer.
Without a doubt, Gin kicks major butt and brings new meaning to the word “hardcore”. Even though she can be rough around the edges, she’s very likable – a killer with some ethics. Her confidence and skill make her a deadly adversary. She has a pretty tragic past, which is the catalyst for why she ended up becoming an assassin. Gin is pragmatic and doesn’t let herself get bogged down with undue introspection. The relationship that develops between Donovan and Gin is intense and complex. He clings to everything that’s righteous and moral, while Gin lives her life in shades of gray.
Some of the elementals in Spider’s Bite are big bads worthy of special mention. Their magic is derived from one of the four elements: ice, fire, air and stone. Mab Monroe is a deadly fire elemental and runs the underworld of Ashland. Think Michael Corleone with magical powers. The elemental magic is well developed, and the vampire mythos a refreshing change of pace.
Overall, Spider’s Bite is a MUST read. Ms. Estep certainly has a gift for crafting a compelling story. With breakneck pacing, a strong plot, action-packed scenes, and intriguing characters, this urban fantasy debut is top notch. I’m really looking forward to visiting this grim and hard-hitting world again in Web of Lies.
The glass dug into his flesh, instead of slicing deep and clean the way my knife would have. The edges caught and snagged on his stubbled skin. Nothing easy and painless about it. The man shrieked an ear-splitting sound of keening pain. He tried to jerk away, move away. I thought of Fletcher and followed him. I pulled the glass out, taking chunks of flesh with it, then shoved it right back in. Hard. What had been a trickle of blood increased to a crimson torrent, spattering down my torso and onto my T-shirt, jacket, and jeans.
FTC Advisory: The author provided me with a copy of Spider’s Bite. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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