ARC Review: Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Posted March 21, 2013 by Carmel in Carmel, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 11 Comments
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ARC Review: Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep
Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #8
Published by Pocket
Published on: March 26, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Edelweiss
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The eighth hotly anticipated book in the Elemental Assassin series by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Estep: it’s Gin Blanco's party—and you’ll cry if she wants you to.

Against her better judgment, Gin is coerced into attending a high society gala with the rest of Ashland's elite underworld. On display: the priceless art collection of her deceased nemesis, Mab Monroe, and an excess of crime boss swagger. While not comfortable in her fancy attire, Gin gets vastly more interested in the evening’s events when a group of thieves bursts in and tries to seize the valuable, dangerous gems. Facing a Die Hard-esque scenario in which she must free hostage partygoers while herself trapped in the museum, things get a little bit messy when the bloodshed begins. Let's just say that Gin should have chosen the red gown…



All good things must come to an end and unfortunately, Deadly Sting brings Estep’s five star reign to a halt. After seven installments it comes as no surprise that Jennifer opted to try something new with her Elemental Assassin series but sadly this book fell short of its mark. I’ll still take this novel any day of the week over most Urban Fantasy reads out there even though it didn’t meet this author’s usual standards. This is also my first non-audiobook experience with Estep which makes me wonder whether the narrator really does make that big of a difference.

The scope of this novel’s plot was very narrow in my opinion; the story was severely limited because it unfolds over the course of one night in one location. The secondary characters’ roles were also quite small on account of them being locked-up for a good portion of this book which is a shame because I love them almost as much as Gin. As a result, readers get to spend some quality time with Blanco but even that couldn’t appease me because she wasn’t her usual introspective self. One of my favourite aspects of her character is her internal monologues which were all but absent in this story. Then add Owen channeling Donovan Cain’s douche-ry into the mix and I couldn’t help but wonder what the heck happened to my beloved Elemental Assassin series in this installment.

Even though Grayson’s character was all but massacred in Widow’s Web I still held out hope that he’d come to his senses and realize the error of his ways. I thought that the life-or-death adrenaline high he and Gin both experience would have at least resulted in one intense shagging session but alas all readers get is one measly kiss. I was disappointed by the lack of progress on the relationship front; Estep didn’t even give us a sliver of hope in the form of a cliffhanger. Instead we got a repeat of the diner conversation from the last installment. I’m an eternal optimist so I’m not prepared to write Owen off yet but their rift is approaching the point of no return. I don’t really see how Jennifer can redeem Grayson’s character without him looking like a pansy.

Once the audiobook version of Deadly Sting becomes available I will be giving this novel a second chance to see if Lauren Fortgang’s narration changes my opinion. In spite of my negative review I still enjoyed reconnecting with my favourite characters and the quality of the action in this installment is undeniable; I just wish that Jennifer Estep had stuck with her tried and true Elemental Assassin format. Maybe I’m just suffering from growing pains but sometimes change isn’t always good.

Books in this series:

My Review

My Review

My Review

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My Review



Recommendation: If you like snarky, deadly heroines and need a new addiction; the Elemental Assassin series is perfect for you.
Like this, like that: The Shaede Assassin series by Amanda Bonilla, the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost and the Unbound series by Rachel Vincent.



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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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11 responses to “ARC Review: Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

  1. I finally got to the series yesterday, I only have a few hours left on the audio book. I’m really, really enjoying it. The narrator is doing a great job with the novel; then again, she’s always good.
    I didn’t read your review since I’m way behind, but I’m definitely coming back.

  2. I understand your growing pains but I loved this one. I liked the change of the setting in one night and one place. I did miss the secondary characters. I’m on the fence about Owen and if I want them back together.

    I also missed the narration of Fortgang and will be purchasing the audio to go with my audio collection of the series and will listen to it before the next book comes out this fall.

    All in all I enjoyed this installment but it only got 4 stars from me as well.

  3. I liked this one. It’s not as good as previous books but the way I look at it is that it was a really good episode in one of my favorite TV series. Not the best but still really enjoyable 🙂

  4. It was a 4 star for me too. I didn’t like how it all took place in one evening. It was like a novella but DRAGGED out. And damn Owen! He makes me so mad. I want him back but I don’t see how he can come back without me always being mad at him. If by the next book he is not completely back, I am done with him. He can’t string us a long forever.