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Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  23,327 Ratings  ·  1,622 Reviews
“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.
Audiobook, Audio Download, Unabridged, 395 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Audible Frontiers (first published January 4th 2010)
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Claire 30- we are told she was 13 17 years ago.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kat Kennedy
The PNR genre has certainly grown a great deal in the past few years, but nothing much has changed.

It still draws a helluva lot of inspiration from Buffy. And who wouldn't? Buffy was hot. Buffy was funny. Buffy kicked arse.

Thankfully Estep's main character, Gin, isn't that funny but she does kick a lot of arse. Often and without all that pesky remorse that most other female protagonists are forced to endure by their cruel creators.

Because remorse is like an STD, folks, you get it by getting cl
Urban fantasy books are often saturated with the kick ass, snarky heroine, the requisite love interest, the paranormal creatures, cool weapons, and the evil bad guy or gal. Yes – this book has all that, but it felt like it had more. Set in the corrupt town of Ashland, Tennessee, Spider’s Bite has a dirty, gritty feel.

Gin Blanco is known as The Spider, a female assassin. She is extremely good at her job and is well compensated for her skills. Gin has standards, a kind of moral code. She does not
Jessica ❁ Far Dareis Mai ❁ Rabid Reads
5/1/16: Kicking off our buddy (re)read in BB&B this morning! Feel free to shoot me a PM if you aren't already a group member and want to join.

I love these books, but I'm handful of installments behind. If you're in the same boat, or just looking for a new urban fantasy series to try, NOW IS THE TIME and THIS IS THE SERIES.

PLUS, I have SWAG from Estep to send to participants. Just sayin'. ;)

The sentimental part of me was dead, burned away and crumbled to ash -- just like my family had been.

Yep, it's that good. I have to give the book points for seriously putting out every cheesy line and stereotype that could possibly be used in this story. We had the bad-ass assassin girl who was out on the streets as a kid until a kind-hearted assassin took her in and trained her to kill. Now, she is the most feared assassin around and kills without regret. But, only people who deserve to be ki
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Very good and very gritty. Gin is absolutely lethal. Killing someone is just a job to her. Not that she kills just anyone, but if you're on her radar for death, you get dead very quickly. I found her character very credible. I won't deny that I sort of have a fascination with fiction stories about assassins. This is a good one. Estep builds a three-dimensional character here with Gin. She's not evil, but she's not a a saintly person either. How can you be when you kill people for a living?

Meh. That’s kind of how I would describe this book. It was good because it held my attention, I liked the main character and I finished it in one go, but I didn’t feel that connected to the story and I certainly didn’t feel the urge to finish it immediately because I just had to know what happened. So, overall, just meh.

Gin makes a perfect urban fantasy heroine though. She is sarcastic, tough as nails and kicks major butt. I liked her no bullshitting around/ frank attitude (in both knowing her
2.5 stars

Okay, let me start with the good ones: (1) The story is set in the "present" world; some of the people have extraordinary talent, magical talent, based on one of the elementals: Fire, Ice, Stone, and Air. It makes it easy to follow because there are no big jargons/words or complicated structure of magical worlds (2) The story is kind of fast-paced of a whodunit plot; someone is killed, our heroine is being bertrayed, her handler is killed, and the whole story is about her finding out th
I wished I enjoyed Spider's Bite more. Thankfully, I didn't spend that much money on this audiobook because it was a Daily Deal on Audible.

It was hard for me to connect with Gin. I had a hard time respecting her (view spoiler)
3.5 Well, this was better than I expected.

So, when I started reading this, I expected the same old PNR, the detectives, the cases, the "superpowers" and so on. And you know what? It was exactly like that.

What did surprise me though was the story. I liked the mystery from this book. And I also appreciated the fact that the assassin wasn't that squishy little girl, who was good but had no other choice but to become a killer. Nope, "Spider" actually liked what she did. Ok, true, she only killed bad
Jo ★The Book Sloth★
****************Re-read July 2015****************
Mike (the Paladin)
You know...I put reading this book off for some time because of the cover. I mean so often when a book on the Urban Fantasy shelf has an attractive woman on the cover what you actually get is "PNR", that is "ParaNormal Romance".

Good news, not the case here. There is a "touch" of something that will bother some but it's more incidental that a romance usually is. Instead of a "love interest" here we have a "lust interest". Each time our protagonist sees the "subordinate male protagonist" she stops
Anzu The Great Destroyer
I picked Spider’s Bite because I wanted to read a good Urban Fantasy. The assassin theme is another major reason that pushed me into it.

What the book description fails to mention is that Spider’s Bite has nothing to do with assassins. At least not my version of an assassin. Jennifer Estep just went on and on with how sexy and deadly Gin is, but never proved it. The deadly part of course. I don’t care about how hot anyone is in the book as long as I get a cool story. In our case, a cool assassin-
Jun 26, 2010 Christina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uf
3.5 stars.This was a pretty good UF book, and I plan on following the rest of this series.

I liked the unconventional, humane assassin that features as the protagonist in this story. It's a credit to the author's skill that she can create and pull off a character that,while believable and true to her profession's nature,can incite sympathy and respect in the reader.
Gin is smart,sarcastic, tough-as-nails,ruthless and unapologetic,but not the standard of catty know-it-all that seems to plague the g
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
2.5 stars.

I liked the setting: a city in the hand of a powerful and ruthless woman and magic. There are giants, dwarves, vampires but the most fascinating creatures have their own magic which is influenced by an element (Fire, Air, Ice and Stone), even if they do not all possess the same skills in handling it. The non-human creatures are not invincible and irresistible, they're more or less ordinary people, each of them struggling to live their lives in this dark place. We don't know why the wor
Welllll, there were some cool things here. I enjoyed the main character enough to go along with the ride, but honestly I didn't really get the love interest guy at all, he didn't really PROVE he was hot and bothered, the writer just kept TELLING me he was, so I didn't really care what happened between them. There were a few leaps in the plot I found a bit disbelieving as well, and I felt the magic of the world, the whole elemental aspect, is SUPER interesting but wasn't exploited enough to feel ...more
Sep 02, 2010 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The atmosphere of Spider’s Bite might be described as “Southern-fried noir.” The setting is Ashland, an Appalachian city where magic is openly known and a ruthless magical mobster has her fingers in every pie. Most of the cops are corrupt. The hair is big and the food is gloriously unhealthy.

Gin Blanco is an assassin. She takes pride in her skill and doesn’t waste a lot of time brooding about her chosen career. Her profession makes her an unlikely heroine, but her tough, snarky voice and her sur
Apr 22, 2010 Katie(babs) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gin Blanco is known as the Spider, an untouchable assassin for hire who kills people for the right price. She kills those who prey on the innocent and makes certain they will never hurt anyone ever again. Gin is known as a Stone elemental who has control over certain elements and in dangerous crunch times she can use her powers if need be. But Gin prefers to use weapons such as knives and guns to get the job done.

An assassin like Gin has a cover as a part-time cook for the Pork Pit that has the
Maria Snyder
Oct 15, 2013 Maria Snyder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my new audio book - I've listened for an hour so far and haven't stopped :) I'm intrigued!

I finished this weekend. I enjoyed the story - an insight into an assassin and how she became one and what drives her. Strong female protagonist is always welcome. I wasn't too keen about the romance - I just didn't buy it, but everything else was believable. And the climax was just right! For those following my reviews, you know I'm always complaining about the endings and how they're rushed or unb
Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions
So this chick is like a stoner, like she controls the elemental magical-ness of Stone. She is also a minor Icer, she controls ice. I'll mention that later, for now let's get to the old-fashioned stoning. She can Listen to stones and make stones move and stuff with her mind. And she can turn her body to rock or something that's like a rock body armor.

Cool right? Except when this chick is aroused she thinks stuff like "I felt my nipples pebble" and I'm like "awkward" (say it really slowly). Who w
Amber Rose
Jul 23, 2013 Amber Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampires, paranormal
I absolutely loved this book. It has been on my TBR list for the longest time. I am glad I finally moved it up on my list.

Gin is a assassin. Not just any assassin, the most feared assassin in the South. She's lethal and will kick your ass and kill you as quickly that you won't even realize what is happening till your dead. Gin is a bad ass let's just say.

Gin also has elemental magic, stone and ice. But does not use her magic unless necessary. Getting double crossed on one of her assignments Gi
Shadi ***save your ratings use disclaimers**
Book Facts: Elemental Assassin Series Books 1-3 (please be aware I stopped at book 3 and this is not a reflection of any content released after that)

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Part of a Series/Installment: Installment
Standalone/Cliffhanger: (view spoiler)
M/F-M/M-M/M/F-etc: (view spoiler)
Multi-Luv'n/Ménages: (view spoiler)
Was There Descriptive Sex: (view spoiler)
Contains Cheating: (view
Mandi Schreiner
Jan 25, 2010 Mandi Schreiner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
“I’m the Spider. Surely you’ve heard of me.”

Gin Blanco, aka “The Spider,” is an elemental assassin and one of my favorite heroines I have read in an urban fantasy book. I saw this cover and blurb long ago on Sci Fi Guy’s blog and thought it looked like a cool book and after contacting Jennifer Estep, she kindly sent it to me for review. After I read the first chapter I felt compelled to email her and tell her how awesome the first chapter was. Then I read the second chapter and had to stop my st
Jennifer (a.k.a The Book Nympho)
Oct 01, 2012 Jennifer (a.k.a The Book Nympho) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-books
Wow. Any book that starts with the heroine stabbing someone in the balls is a book for me!

Spider’s Bite starts with a thrill ride that you find yourself riding through out the whole book. Like all great roll coasters there are not just ups and downs but there are a few loopy-de-loops and twists and turns just like the plot of this excellent Urban Fantasy tale that Estep was crafted.

If you are a fan of the Urban Fantasy genre then you know that they can be dark and gritty, some more than others.
Jun 16, 2011 Limonessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Limonessa by: Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Shelves: uf-or-pnr, fantasy
3.5 stars.

They call Gin Blanco the Spider. She is an assassin, the female version of Jason Bourne. She is also a Stone Elemental, with the power to manipulate a particular element. She is the best at what she does. When she gets framed for a murder she did not commit and becomes the far-from-helpless victim of an intrigue to overthrow the city head honcho, the real murderers are not aware that they've signed their death warrant. Because Gin is pissed and she won't stop until she gets justice and
I think one of my favorite things about this story was Gin's outlook on her job as an assassin. There wasn't chapter upon chapter of internal angsting about her morals and her career choice. She's an assassin because it doesn't bother her and she's good at it.

The author did a really good job of making Gin competent. Too often I find that authors paint their protagonists as the best things ever, but when it comes to showing how clever or smart or competent that character is they fail miserably. T
Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
Gin Blanco, aka The Spider, is a stone and ice elemental ~ a person who can control and use those elements. She's also an assassin, one of the best. Her handler, Fletcher, sets her up on jobs and works as the middle man. On the night she comes back from a job, Fletcher immediately has a new one lined up that is very lucrative. Gin is hesitant but decides to do the job anyway. That's when all hell breaks loose.

At first, I thought this book was a bit strange with Gin being in an insane asylum but
Aug 30, 2010 Katyana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was a LOT of fun. The heroine was a badass - in fact, all the badasses in this book were women, which is unusual. And she repeatedly pulls her male friends asses out of the fire.

That's obviously not the only reason I like it. Just a fun perk.

The story was fast-paced and very engaging. I was so involved that I even teared up at a couple places. The dialogue was sharp and witty. And the hints we got of the broader arc, and it's connection to Gin's backstory, were exciting. I am
Carolyn F.
Re-read via audiobook 09/25/12 Lauren Fortgang is the narrator for this series and has actually done such a great job that I ended up liking the book a whole lot more than when I read it. Maybe I interpreted the voice of the main character in a different way than Lauren and that was to the detriment of the book. I'm upping this to 4 full stars.

Previous review 08/26/12Assassin Gin is sent on a job that pays too much money for her and her handler to pass up. And that's when everything goes to hel
Shera (Book Whispers)

With a series name like Elemental Assassin, I was expecting all kinds of awesomeness—and the book delivers. Even the cover is lethal!

Assassin characters have always interested me, if a book has a main character that's an assassin I'm there. Sadly enough, not to many authors have been able to pull off this character. The means to how they got to that point are generic, and the character is some how elevated as being a good person and their blood spilling ways justified.

Estep really make
Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘
“My name is Gin, and I kill people.”

Spider's Bite was awesome! A great book with lots of action, blood, killing, sorrow, laughter, even a hot sexy sex scene. I immediately took a liking to it, and i was curious for how the book would turn out, and man was i glad i read it. I don't understand why i waited so long to read it?! I love reading about female warriors, and this female lead is an assassin, so that itself should say something.
“I’m the Spider. Surely you’ve heard of me.”

My castin
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Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series.

The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righ
More about Jennifer Estep...

Other Books in the Series

Elemental Assassin (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin, #2)
  • Venom (Elemental Assassin, #3)
  • Tangled Threads (Elemental Assassin, #4)
  • Spider’s Revenge (Elemental Assassin, #5)
  • By a Thread (Elemental Assassin, #6)
  • Widow’s Web (Elemental Assassin, #7)
  • Deadly Sting (Elemental Assassin, #8)
  • Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin, #9)
  • The Spider (Elemental Assassin, #10)
  • Poison Promise (Elemental Assassin, #11)

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“You're late."

"Sorry. I was busy talking about my feelings and killing people.”
“The two men stared at each other. Assumptions were made, judgments rendered, dicks measured.” 205 likes
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