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Spider's Bite

(Elemental Assassin #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  33,420 ratings  ·  2,118 reviews
My name is Gin, and I kill people.

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 mak
Mass Market Paperback, 395 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Pocket Books (first published January 4th 2010)
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Alianoraree Depends on what you mean by romance. There's a lot of lust, but no candlelit dinners or romantic love.…moreDepends on what you mean by romance. There's a lot of lust, but no candlelit dinners or romantic love.(less)

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
9/30/17 - ON SALE for $2.99:

3.5 stars

So here's the thing about ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN: it's a great urban fantasy series.

It really is.

The magic system is complex and interesting, the setting is cool, the secondary characters are sympathetic and easy to connect with, and Gin . . . well, Gin is a stone-cold killer (HA!).

That being said, this first installment (like so many others) has a few problems.

BUT. With a very few exceptions, most of the things that bug me about Gin
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
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
Robin (Bridge Four)
May 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: uf-pnr
BUDDY READ!!! With my UF girls at Buddies Books and Baubles

Female Assassin....I'm totally in.


My favorite thing about this book was the fact Gin was a pretty sexually aggressive woman who wasn’t even close to the near virginal heroine that I usually see in a UF series. I appreciate that because while I usually don’t mind that trope so much it is refreshing to have a woman who is really secure in her sexuality running around no matter if we need to read about how wet her who-ha is on multiple occ
*** 3.44 ***

A buddy read with the Urban Fantasy fans at BB&B!

This is a story of a girl who lost her family young, lived on the streets, met a nice family who took her in and trained her to become an assassin. And she has powers, in a world where some people are born with an ability to perform magic by controlling the elements. Gin, our hapless assassin, has control over stone, with some affinity to ice magic. However, while going about doing her job killing people, she prefers to rely on her bla
Feb 28, 2017 marked it as d-n-f
Recommended to sunny by: Tweebs♥️
Dnf @ pg 100 ( don't kill me tweeeeeebie)
This is a case of it-isnt-the-book-its-me.
This book is badass and awesome, but I seriously don't feel like reading it.


Reading this bc Tweebs is trash and she's on my ass about it. :P
I don't really read Urban Fantasy, but I'm hoping this one turns out awesome !
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
*Clears throat*

Every one and their mother should read this series. Why?? There's no WHY because YOU'RE MISSING OUT ON THIS BEAUTIFUL ASS SERIES !!

No, seriously this series will slay your existence. For real, I've read all 14 books and DAMN JUST DAMN WHAT IS LIFE? WHAT AM I? WHAT ARE YOU? WHAT IS WHAT?

Okay, I'll be honest when I say that suck at convincing people to do shit so, either read this or read this. I don't care like IT BETTER ME SOME TIME IN YOUR LIFE GUYS. I'll probably be pr
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dark UF/Noir UF Fans
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) by: Suzi (Gotta Love PNR with a Kick Group Challenge)
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?

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
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-
Sep 10, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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
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
Ashley Marie
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Ashley Marie by: Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
1 May 2016 BR with the BBB crew!

- Gin is a true badass.
- Elemental magic is awesome.
- Fletcher and Finn and her whole crew are great people.
- Once the story got going, I liked the mystery aspect.

- Clunky, repetitive writing.
- The characters are constantly referred to by their full names, which I found annoying.
- The sex seemed really out of place (maybe that was just me)
- But seriously, that's the thing I wasn't impressed about in the beginning.
(view spoiler)
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
When I started reading Spider’s Bite the series was already in its 12th instalment. The question was, would I get hooked and want to read the whole series in one go? Well that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing for the past week! Granted, one instalment (Tangled Threads, #4 in the series) almost had me give up on the series but I’m still going along with it at the moment (more on that in reviews to come).

Well, about Spider’s Bite. I think what I liked more about the book is the idea of a female
Madison Warner Fairbanks
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Updated review: audible version. The narrator, Laura Fortgang is fantastic. Listening to this story, I could visualize this tough, but softhearted female, that is ruthless in protecting her friends and self made family. Yes, Gin is an assassin, but her targets are not the good guys, but rather mercenaries themselves and often aimed at harming Gin and her friends.
The narrator did an incredible job with the different character voices and emotions.
While I have the full set of this series in paper

I didn't finish this book because I wan't interested in its story.
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
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jo by: Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
No matter how bad people were, no matter what evil they committed, or who they fucked over, nobody ever really believed death was coming for them, courtesy of an assassin like me.
Until it was too late.

There are two words for why you must read this book: FEMALE ASSASSIN.
Yip, a kick-ass knife wielding heroine, who doesn’t take s#$t from anyone. My kind of girl.

Gin Blanco, known as the Spider, is an assassin. She is also a stone elemental. Elementals can create, control and manipulate ice, s

I decided to start this series as the author will be attending a conference that I am registered for this summer. I like to have a feel for the work of the featured guests before the event.

If you are enamoured of urban fantasy, as I am, I would recommend this book to you. If, on the other hand, you find UF tiresome, pass this series by. For those of us who enjoy the genre, this is an acceptable series, with a number of good ideas.

Good ideas: (1) A female assassin. With magical powers, although s
Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Buddy read at Buddies Books and Baubles

My name is Gin, and I kill people

Without long introductions, Spider's Bite throws us right into action as we witness Gin, the protagonist, on an assignment to eliminate Evelyn, a shrink in Ashland Asylum with dark secrets and we get a glance at Gin's working methods.
Then Gin is double-crossed on her next suspiciously lucrative and easy assignment and her handler is brutally tortured and killed.
Now she is out for revenge.

The story is set in Ashland, a city
Maria V. Snyder
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Pippa DaCosta
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you know me, or you've read any of my work, you know I love books that walk an edgy line. I like a bit of grit and dirt in my urban fantasy reads. Nothing too squeaky clean or ditzy. The dirt, for me, makes a series feel more real. It gives the characters genuine depth. If they're gleefully hacking of monster heads and not getting kneed in the balls while having their morals challenged, then I struggle to fully believe that our main characters are real and not cardboard cutouts. There was no ...more
Beth The Vampire
My name is Gin, and I kill people.

Okay, this book was good. Really good.

I don't know what I was expecting really, but the blurb sounded good, so why not give it a go. Also I was completing this as part of the Serious Overload of Series 2017 series read.

Gin is an assassin, and a very good one at that. She is known by the name Spider, but most don't think that a girl could be capable of the death that follows this assassin around. Their mistake really. As well as being a skilled killer for hire, G
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)
Cheryl La Pa
Loved it! I finally started this series and thoroughly enjoyed Spider's Bite. Loved the writing, the world building and especially the characters. Its refreshing to have a mature female lead who is sexually confident and not afraid to speak her mind. All the characters are well developed and interesting, and there was no big info dump. I can't wait to see where this series go. ...more
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
Jun 01, 2010 rated it liked it
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
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, magic
3.5 rounded up because I enjoyed it more than I should have!
Who counts like this? : 10, 20, 45...? The spider assassin does. Every time she is counting down or waiting for something to happen. Every time she meets the eye of the man she likes, she thinks 'grey on gold' (their eyes..) and every time she peruses this man she likes she says 'mmm'- like Homer Simpson eying up a donut! I'm not kidding..
And yet despite this I enjoyed the story and will definitely read the next one. Probably in the nex
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Urban Fantasy ser...: January SRA: SPIDER'S BITE by Jennifer Estep 4 10 Feb 16, 2018 04:11PM  
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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. She has written more than 40 books, along with numerous novellas and stories.

In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys hanging out with friends and family, doing yoga, and reading fantasy and romance books. She also watches way too much TV and lo

Other books in the series

Elemental Assassin (1 - 10 of 19 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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