Audio Review: Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

Posted September 28, 2012 by Carmel in Audiobook Reviews, Carmel, Urban Fantasy / 16 Comments

Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep
Title: Spider’s Bite
Series: Elemental Assassin #1
Author: Jennifer Estep
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Format: MP3, 11 hrs 58 mins
Published: September 28, 2010
ASIN #: B0044X2RQO
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: bought
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They call me the Spider. I’m the most feared assassin in the South — when I’m not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I’m battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction… especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series has been on my to-be-read list for what seems like forever. I FINALLY put my foot down and decided that enough is enough; the time for procrastination is over! It’s time to see what all of the fuss is about. And I must say, it was love at first sight read. I instantly connected with Lauren Fortgang as the narrator and I absolutely LOVED Gin Blanco! This book has a lot going for it in that it’s not your typical Urban Fantasy tale. The heroine isn’t your run of the mill vampire slayer but an actual assassin for hire. She doesn’t make distinctions between preternatural breeds; Gin is an equal opportunity killer, for the right price, of course. This was my first encounter with “elemental” magic and I really enjoyed the change of pace. Spider’s Bite is a non-stop adrenaline rush with plenty of deep fried, macabre humour to keep you smiling.

I haven’t enjoyed discovering an author’s universe this much in a long, long time. I loved navigating Estep’s world and uncovering its secrets. The focus of this series is obviously on the elementals but readers also get to meet tons of other paranormals along the way. It was interesting to see how the various supes interact with each other and with the regular human population. Jennifer does a good job of explaining the various types of elementals as well as their strengths and weaknesses. It was unfortunate that Estep didn’t explore their origins a bit more. I would have liked to know where their powers originate from; are they hereditary? Why was Gin born a stone elemental instead of taking after her mother? Here’s hoping that a few of these questions get answered in future installments!

I got a real kick out of Blanco; she has the assassin persona down pat. I loved her cockiness, confidence and snark. Gin knows that she’s one of the best hired guns around and has the track record to back it up. She’s not full of herself though, meaning she doesn’t take unnecessary risks and she knows her limits. Her killing face is s-c-a-r-y! It’s insane how quickly and easily she can switch from friendly to stone cold assassin. Blanco’s also a seasoned pro at blending in; I really enjoyed watching her adopt different identities while working jobs. She’s incredibly versatile. Her Southern charm cracks me up every time! Gin might be the Spider but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have weaknesses just like everyone else. Her past is beyond sad and I’m happy that Estep allowed readers to see that there’s more to her than just a killer.

There’s not a lot of romance in this book but I didn’t expect there to be. Donovan Caine is an intriguing character and it’ll be interesting to see whether his attraction to Gin evolves beyond the physical. JoJo and Sophia are too cute for words! The latter barely speaks other than the occasional grunt but who would have thought that such an insignificant sound effect could carry so much weight? I’m not exactly sure what to make of Finnegan Lane yet. He’s sexy, no question about it but I have a hard time seeing him play a significant role in this series. I guess I’ll just have to let Estep continue to work her magic and see where it leads!

Spider’s Bite is well-written, addictive and original. If you’re looking for quality Urban Fantasy, then look no further, book one of Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series more than delivers.

Books in this series:

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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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16 responses to “Audio Review: Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

  1. Great review! This sounds like a book I would love. From your description it reminds me a bit of Magic Bites, which is awesome.

    I should stop procrastinating as well and just get on with reading this series!

    Celine ~ Nyx Book Reviews

  2. I have had this series on my wish list for far too long. I think its time to order it knowing you enjoyed it so much. I just know I will start it and have to read every book in the series because it sounds addicting. Will you finish the series in audio format?

    I’m glad you liked the narrator, a bad one can ruin the book.

    Jen K Jovus

  3. I need to read this series. I am going to have to break down and buy this book. Great Review and 5 stars! Makes it that much more likely I will be buying this soon.

  4. I am currently reading this book, so thank you very much for a spoiler free review. So far I agree with you 100% when it comes to Gin, but then again I’m not very far into the book either. Happy reading! I wish I could do audiobooks but for some reason they don’t “click” with me.

  5. Oh I read this one a while ago and I have the second and the third one but haven’t read them yet. I really need to. thanks for the review!

  6. Ok, I added this to my TBL after Jennifer said she loved it…And now you too… I need more time! I need to listen to a few different titles in between my UF, but I most definitely will be listing to this.
    Thanks, great review!!!