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Review: Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep

Review: Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep
Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #11
Published by Pocket
Published on: July 22, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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I specialize in making death wishes come true.

Pop quiz. Which do you think is deadlier: Burn, the nastiest drug ever to hit the mean streets of Ashland, or me, Gin Blanco, the assassin known as the Spider? Answer: Me—because I don’t kill you slowly.

Normally, drug dealers aren’t my department. But I’m turning up the heat on some relentless Burn-pushing thugs who won’t leave my friends alone. Pushers who have my cop sister beside herself with rage, so I’m stepping up to keep her from doing something stupid and getting herself killed. Once I’m in, I’m in, and these folks have picked their poison: the Spider’s venom. But even bad guys have their good days, and sometimes even my Ice and Stone magic isn’t enough. For behind the drug is a vicious vampire with a scientific eye for results. And behind him… trouble like I haven’t seen since I took down my legendary nemesis, Mab Monroe.

kickass Must-Read ReReadable

The ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series started in 2010, and I discovered it in 2012, so it seems crazy to me that although we’ve reached the eleventh installment, only one year has gone by for Gin Blanco since it all began in SPIDER’S BITE. She’s about to celebrate her 31st birthday, and in many ways this book felt like a new beginning. There were some seriously badass scenes in POISON PROMISE, mad scientist villains are always super creepy, and two additional paranormal elements are introduced which all added-up to one exhilarating read. However, there was also a lot of déjà vu in this novel (that annoying stick that was up Bria’s butt in the earlier days is once again firmly lodged in place) that was cause for some concern. Jennifer Estep hasn’t steered me wrong yet, so I’m going to wait and see what she has planned, but I do have my doubts.

It’s no secret that I’m an action junkie through and through, and this latest installment DEFINITELY delivered on this front. As an assassin, Gin typically does her best work in the shadows, but in POISON PROMISE she boldly shouts to the world that she is indeed The Spider. That was my #1 scene in this book; you’ll know it when you read it. My second favourite was when she uses her Aston Martin as a battering ram. OMG Pure awesomeness. Those two stellar sequences aside, the plot’s great; I always look forward to Estep’s villains, and she does not disappoint with Beauregard Benson. I also enjoyed the vivid descriptions of what a Burn trip is like from an Elemental’s POV, and the twist at the end was well-done.

This is probably going to turn into a paragraph long rant about Bria, but it couldn’t really be avoided because she is the main reason why I’m giving this novel four stars instead of five. I really hated her character in the earlier installments of this series, and now here she is back on her stupid high horse. I understand that she’s blinded by revenge and seeing red, but she’s still a cop, and has sworn to serve and protect. Now, all of a sudden she’s willing to sacrifice an innocent witness’ life, and quite possibly her sister’s as well? Bria needs wake-up, to stop judging Gin, and either arrest her or shut it. I wanted to slap her.

I love that this series continues to surprise me; Estep has added two new paranormal elements to her ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN world. I’m not sure revealing them in my review is overly spoiler-y, but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone so I’m just going to say that my interest is definitely piqued. A new character has also joined Gin’s crew, so it’ll be interesting to see how Silvio Sanchez fits in with this close knit group. I have a feeling that big things are in store for The Spider now that she’s gone public; I just hope that the déjà vu doesn’t take over the main story line. I’m extremely wary of Mab Monroe 2.0.

My mini Bria rant aside, POISON PROMISE is an action junkie’s dream, and another winning installment from Jennifer Estep.

Books in this series:

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My Review

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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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  1. That has to be some kind of record for author productivity doesn’t it? Eleven books in three and a half years is mind blowing.
    Nathan ( recently posted…Fantasy Review: ‘The Mirror Empire’ by Kameron Hurley

    • She has a YA series that just finished too. The woman is a writing MACHINE!

  2. Yay, great to hear that it delivered on the action front.

  3. Holy crap, are we already on book 11?! I’m so far behind in this series that Bria was actually kind of tolerable in the last book I read, LOL. One of the things that I’ve loved best about this series is the fact that Gin isn’t one of those “reluctant assassin” types. She’s damn good at her job and proud of it! Glad to hear that she’s still kicking major ass even in the eleventh book.
    Danya recently posted…Review: Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

    • YES! She kills people, and is totally ok with that. LOL I love it!

  4. “I always look forward to Estep’s villains, and she does not disappoint with Beauregard Benson.”

    ME TOO CARMEL!!! Jennifer writes the best villains, and each one is so unique and memorable, I honestly don’t know how she does it. And I agree on Bria – she tried my last nerve in this book but I was so proud of Gin for not sitting idly by this time while Bria judges her. She actually put her in her place and I could have hugged her for it. So ready for Black Widow!!!

    • I’m so happy that Estep releases 2-3 books a year. I NEED my EA fix!

  5. Yaaaaay! I love this series so hard. Yep. Jenny told me too that this one has a creepy villain and I love me some of those! The two villains in Heart of Venom were ew, so horrible, but I loved to hate them. YESSSS. She also told me about Bria and wtf?! I hate that she stirs up this olds stuff againg. 2 new elements? :O WOOOw. I need to see this. A new character? Oh gosh. Ok, not looking forward to Bria’s horrible actions, but the rest? BRING. IT.

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

    • The Bria parts suck, but at least they are few & far between, and the rest is pure awesomesauce!

  6. Between your review and Candace’s the other day I so need to pick this series back up I loved the first book I just need to get to the others. I WILL make time for them..soon!
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto

    • This series is incredibly addictive, especially in audio. I listen to ’em all even if I’ve already read ’em.

  7. I’m only two books away from this!

    Thanks for the warning about Bria, that girl is confused. And OH NOES on the Aston Martin?! Damn! What a waste of a handsome car!
    Braine recently posted…Broken Heroes & Desired by Stacey Kennedy

    • At least it wasn’t Finn’s Aston Martin, he would have been PISSED!

  8. It’s amazing how many books Jennirfer Estep has produced, yet they all sound amazing and have such wonderful reviews. I’m so glad the series continues to be an awesome one. Great review, Carmel 🙂
    kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Adult Book Review: The Winter King by C.L. Wilson

    • I know! It’s mind boggling. I met her at RT last year, and she’s a sweetie in person, so it’s kinda funny that she writes such bloody books. LOL

  9. arrrghhh book 11… Well first of all it’s nice to see it’s always that good but I’m soooooo late, it’s terrible. Late like I’m at book 2 and I read book 1 years ago and don’t remember it. But I have book 2 and 3, good start right?

    • Haha I guess that means that you’re just not as addicted to this series as I am! 😛

  10. I still have the first one of this series in my TBR pile. One of these days I really need to read it 🙂
    Lorna recently posted…Review: Jabril by D.B. Reynolds

  11. Man! You’ve just reminded me that I need to get back to this series. I listened to the first book like november of last year and really liked it. But for some reason I just haven’t managed to get back to it! Is Black Widow supposed to be the last book or are there more, just unscheduled so far?
    Berls recently posted…The Assassin and the Pirate Lord | #COYER Short Review

    • I don’t think that there’s an end in sight. Yet. But, I could be wrong, you never know! *fingers crossed for no*

  12. I’ll cry myself to sleep one of these days, because of all the sequels some amazing-sounding books have. This one sounds so good and something I’d love to discover but I cannot make myself to read it. I hope I’ll manage one day. But in the meantime I’m so glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Carmel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

    • This series wasn’t originally on my radar either, but once I started I just couldn’t stop!

  13. This is another series that I’ve seen around everywhere but have not read yet. I really want to get into Urban Fantasy though so I’m thinking maybe trying the audiobook version is the perfect way to get into the series. I’m all for kick-ass females 😀
    Amir recently posted…Review: One Kick by Chelsea Cain

    • The audios are perfect for this series’ writing style, plus the narrator is fantastic!

  14. Yeah. Bria. Not the biggest fan, though it has been good (mostly) for Gin to have her baby sister back. Still, I liked it better without Bria and with Gin a bit angstier. Loved this installment, though!
    Mary recently posted…Review: Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker

    • I’ve never really thought about what Gin’s life would be like without Bria, but you are right. Interesting!

  15. I hated Bria on this one. I don’t care that she was sorry at the end, she said so many hurtful things and if she said those things is because she really think that deep inside her.
    I’m afraid of the new storyline with M.M.M…. I think it’s going to be Mab Monroe all over again, only on steroids. I really hope I’m wrong.
    BookaholicCat recently posted…Review: Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep

    • We are in agreement on Bria & Mab. *sigh* I sincerely hope that we’re both wrong!

  16. I’ve only read (listened to) the first three books so I have a long ways to go but I have read other reviews where others had the same feelings about Bria. That’s really too bad. 🙁 But I don’t know everything that happens before this so I guess we’ll see how I feel when I finally get to it.
    Candace recently posted…Adult Review: Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley (Pictures Included!)

    • Bria can be an annoying character at times. Donovan was too, but at least he’s gone now. LOL

  17. There are soooo many!
    blodeuedd recently posted…Secrets of the Demon – Diana Rowland

  18. Review twinses! LOL

    Oh I felt the same about Bria in this book. Thank goodness it didn’t take her too long to get her head out her… well, you know. 🙂 I like the addition of Silvio.
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep

    • It’s a Jennifer Estep kind of day! 🙂 I will check out your review tomorrow when I make my rounds.

  19. What’s even more amazing is the short span of time it took you to catch up to this series! Wow.
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…Steelheart [Reckoners, #1] by Brandon Sanderson

    • Haha I know, right? Can you say ADDICTED? 😀

  20. I just saw another review for this one! While I’m glad to see this one still keeps you hooked 11 books in, I doubt I’ll ever read it myself. Great review, Carmel!
    Hafsah recently posted…Review: DISSONANCE by Erica O’Rourke

    • Yeah, I hear ya, but if ever there was a series worth making time for, it’s this one!

  21. Holy cow, I didn’t know there were so many books in the series! I just won the first audiobook and I’m excited (and intimidated) to get started 🙂
    Nereyda recently posted…Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook!

    • You’re going to LOVE Lauren Fortgang’s narration!

  22. Ugh Bria. I wish she was single.
    lorellepage recently posted…What makes you put a book down? Questions for beta readers.

    • Be honest, is it because you want Finn for yourself? 😉

  23. This is the third review for this one I have read today. I am still kicking myself for not starting this series sooner, I guess I will be doing some binge reading. I love that it is action packed and still going strong this far along!
    Heidi recently posted…Review: The Fault in the Stars by John Greene

    • I saw! Estep posted a bunch of them on her FB page. Gin Blanco has quite the fan club!

  24. I don’t even read this series and I feel the emanational upheaval you all do from all the reviews. lol

    I was going to wait and read it all at once because I can’t handle stress but I never thought it would be such a long series.

    • You’ll catch the EA fever soon enough, I bet. 🙂

  25. I’m about half way through the series right now and Bria is getting on my nerves. Glad to see she improves at least for a little bit lol

    • Yeah, she gets better, and then worse. Maybe just skim her parts. 😉

  26. Holy cannoli Batman! 11th installment…now that’s what I call being committed to a series! LOL 🙂 Clearly I need to binge read this one on a rainy day. And if this series continues to surprise you then you know it’s good. Like really good! 😉
    Cristina recently posted…On the Edge (The Edge, 1-4) by Ilona Andrews

    • This series is definitely on my list of ones I’ve stuck it out with the longest.

  27. I think that BB has been my favorite villain. The ones that miss with your head is more creepy than the ones that are just physical.
    Jennifer recently posted…Lisa Clark O’Neill asks “What Do I Know? I’m Just a Writer” & Giveaway

  28. Hmmm, another series that is already on its 11th installment?? Damn it! It sounds fantastic and the whole Aston Martin as battering ram sounds both amazing and cringe worthy (such a beauty of a car!!!).
    I’m not sure if I can commit myself to adding such an enourmous amount of books to the evergrowing TBR list, but I’ll keep it in mind if for the next time I’m in the mood to binge read UF!!
    Great review, Carmel!
    Pili recently posted…Mark This Book Monday: Shadows by Paula Weston!!!

    • Gin’s tendency to damage Aston Martin’s is an on-going theme in this series, but this is the first time she’s smashed one up to this extent.

  29. I want! I want! I WANT!!! I thought Bria was over all of that nonsense so I’m bound to be a bit annoyed at her but I can’t wait to get started.

    • Only a few more hours until you can one-click it!

  30. Hey sometimes you totally have to break out in a rant. jeez 11 books. YOu are really dedicated to review even the ones so far into a series.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…ARCs – What’s acceptable to do with them? – The feedback from Publicists

    • Everyone needs to rant every one in a while. Hehe And, I wouldn’t still be reviewing these if I didn’t love ’em to death.

  31. Eleventh installment since 2010?! Wow, Jennifer Esteep sure does write fast and I’m amazed that she still manages to surprise her readers with each installment.
    Dea S. recently posted…FEAR ME NOT Blog Tour: Guest Post by Sara Wolf + Giveaway!

    • This is why I stalk her relentlessly; she always has something on the go!

  32. I’m so glad this series is still going strong, Carmel. I have the first one but still haven’t read it. But I WILL. 🙂 You know, you may hate Bria but I have to applaud Estep for drawing so much emotion out of you. 😉 Great review!

  33. This looks so good! I can’t believe it’s the first I’ve heard of this. Why why why does it have to 11 books?!
    Mogsy recently posted…Book Review: Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn

  34. I really should get on with this series!! I don’t know what wrong with me, but I need something to bring the paranormal magic back into my listening life! I have lost it 🙁
    Lupdilup recently posted…How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back Audiobook {Review}

    • All of the EA books are available in audio too. I’m disappointed in you, Loupe!!