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Archives 2014 > Discussion Elemental Assassins Series

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message 1: by Dawn, Desperately seeking new worlds (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 4048 comments The Elemental Assassin series of 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 righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

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

Which one will you read this month.
(Please use spoiler tags for all those who are new to the series)


message 2: by Suzie (new)

Suzie | 8 comments I've read them all and am so looking forward to the next release!!! Love Gin!!!


message 3: by Leigh (new)

Leigh | 1136 comments I read the first one and liked it. I have the second one to read. I will try to read it this month.


message 4: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 2046 comments I've read all but two which I've been meaning to read and own.


message 5: by Dawn, Desperately seeking new worlds (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 4048 comments I haven't read Venom yet but I plan finish that one this month.

Does anyone know how many books are going to be in this series? I think I heard there will be two more including Poison.

(view spoiler)


message 6: by Sara (new)

Sara | 860 comments The first book took forever for me to finish. I had to force myself to read it. That said there were tidbits I liked so I picked up the next book. This is a series that (to me) had a rough start and improves with each book. Jennifer Estep's writing becomes less repetitive with each installment and we get Owen!!!


message 7: by Sara (new)

Sara | 860 comments Dawn,

As for the spoiler question - I'm neutral on the storyline - we'll see how it goes. My crazy theory:

Warning, potential spoiler via crazy wacky theory ahead...

(I can never make the spoiler tags work)



I think (person named in your spoiler tag) may end up being Gin's half-sibling due to a fling between Gin's dad and Mab. Remember Mab and Gin's mom were in competition for the man's affections. The only thing is that it might be a bit repetitive after the introduction of Gin's sister earlier in the series.


message 8: by LastBreath (new)

LastBreath (last_breath) | 239 comments My finger was oh so naughty and hit the 1-Click button for Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1) by Jennifer Estep Once I've finished a couple of other reads I'll attack this one. Providing my finger (bad lil finger!) stays away from the Kindle store


message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wimberly (lovehina154) I read the first book and loved it can't wait to read more of the books in the series.


message 10: by Tina (new)

Tina Bartz | 565 comments I have read all of the Elemental Assassin books (except for the novella from Owen's POV) although the first ones were in paperback before I got my Nook. Some of the early ones were on sale (including # 1) a little while ago so I added them to my Nook library. I think I still need one though (#2 maybe?) and I plan to get it but it was not on sale and I keep finding other books to buy! I have enjoyed all of these books but the flash back one (The Spider, # 10) was my least favorite so far. Gin was just TSTL (or at least Too Stupid To Date) in most of that book, in my opinion!


message 11: by Mike (new)

Mike | 353 comments I am on #3. I have liked the first two.


message 12: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Walker | 70 comments I just finished Spider and I really liked it a lot. I can't wait to get the rest of the series and read them.


message 13: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments I'm almost done with Web of Lies, #2. I have 12% left. I like the story lines so far, but is it just me or is it kind of repetitive? I hate in all series where they have to recap everything that's happened, but it's more than that with these. It's "Fletcher Lane, my mentor, the Tin Man" over and over again, or Donovan Caine, the only honest cop on Ashland's po-po squad". The same with Jo-Jo, Sophia (who I really like for some reason!), Finn, the MacAllisters and Mab Monroe. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The way she feels her powers, how the spider runes in her hands itch at EVERYTHING, how Fletcher may have betrayed her (which so far in my opinion, he didn't). It's not as bad as the descriptiveness of the Jane Yellowrock series, which drives me absolutely batty, but it's still enough that it makes me cringe a little every time. And Gin seems to have some obsession with counting seconds, what's up with that? I can see it when she's trying to decide how long to wait to do something, but she does it even when she's waiting for someone to rush her or whatever. I DO love her habit of saying "one minute, two tops" especially when it comes to how long someone has to live. I'm a little in love with Donovan Caine, though his guilt seems to be swaying his actions. I have a feeling I'm going to have a broken heart over that. Owen definitely has potential, though the purple eyes bum me out, mostly because of Sookie Stackhouse and Quinn the tiger. Oh! Which reminds me! Without spoiling too much for me, can anyone tell me if there are Weres or shapeshifters in this series? I don't want to know specifics, but it would seem every other supernatural creature is included, except maybe fae. (Which I kinda include elves in with the fae.) I guess there haven't been any true demons at this point, but there's so many others that are demonic that I'm not sure there's a need for demons! Also, is the mythos of vampires ever explained? How they can be out in the sun? Are they just considered vampires because they drink blood? And do they reproduce? Because one prominent vamp in the series has a niece, but it's never said for sure if her sister is a vampire too, or how someone becomes a vampire, if they can only be born a vampire or if they can be made or both. As with Fletcher and Gin, curiosity is my biggest weakness, and unanswered questions drive me a little nutty. I have read all the short stories listed here on goodreads that go with where I'm at in the books. I hope to remember to check when I'm done with each book to make sure I don't miss one and have to go back and read it after the book it's supposed to be for. Been there done that several times!!


message 14: by Dawn, Desperately seeking new worlds (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 4048 comments Unfortunately the repetition continues for a few more books then she finally decides we get it.

As for the types of characters there are the elemental's of course (Air, Ice, Fire and Stone) then the giants, dwarves and vampires...no shifters... at least not yet lol

Oh Donovan he kinda sucks mainly because he is soooo frustrating to me it seemed like he was never fair with Gin and he never supported her. Add to that he wanted to dump his issues on her like the world can be all black and white...I am not a fan and I will say no more as to not spoil things for you ;-)


message 15: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments I just finished book two, so unless something happens later, Le Sigh. I have to say, when I read the Sookie books, I was so convinced that Sookie should be with Bill forever, up until the fourth book when Eric stole my heart!! So anymore, I try to keep my mind open when it comes to love interests, except for Merit and Ethan!! Don't care what happens between those two, he's stuck with her and with me for eternity!! Lol!


message 16: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) The repetition is one of the biggest problems with these books but the stories and characters are so great that I'm willing to look past it.

Re Donovan - he is a card carrying member of my anti-hottie harem. He is such a self-righteous prick I just wanted to smack him ALL THE TIME!


message 17: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) I've read up through Venom. I own The Spider but I'm waiting to read it until right before Poison Promise comes out. I loved Gin and Finn right from the start but I almost didn't continue with the series after the first book because Donovan, the so called romantic lead, did nothing for me and I couldn't get why Gin was so into him. I'm glad I decided to give the second book a chance because then I met Owen and the rest is history.

There is quite a bit of recapping through the first few books (more noticeable if you're reading them back-to-back) but I just learned to skim those parts. I agree that the author has cut back on that a lot in the last several books.


message 18: by Veronica (last edited Jun 13, 2014 08:07AM) (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) Angie wrote: "I just finished book two, so unless something happens later, Le Sigh. I have to say, when I read the Sookie books, I was so convinced that Sookie should be with Bill forever, up until the fourth bo..."

Does that mean you liked Donovan? I think you're the first person I've come across anywhere who does, lol. Different tastes and all that. He always came across as a judgemental douche to me. :)


message 19: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Walker | 70 comments Starting Tangled Threads #4. Just love this series!


message 20: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments Veronica wrote: "Angie wrote: "I just finished book two, so unless something happens later, Le Sigh. I have to say, when I read the Sookie books, I was so convinced that Sookie should be with Bill forever, up until..."

Well, I liked the IDEA of Donovan, as in how hot he is. I kept hoping he'd get over himself, realize he lived in possibly the most corrupt town in America, and know that having one of, if not THE, best assassins in the business in his bed would be the best course of action to clean up the city. But doesn't matter how good he looks, an ass is an ass is an ass. Gin is definitely better off without him. Now I just hope the next upstanding cop she comes across doesn't screw her over too.

I've also loved Gin and Finn!! They are what I wish my brother and I are (minus the skeevy hook up as teenagers of course, that's gross on too many levels!!). Gin is cold, deadly, and all around awesome on top of that, and Finn cares about what's going on with his (foster) sister, is more than smart enough to have made more money than he could ever need (unless he has to use it all for bribes to get Gin out of jail one day!!). They get along wonderfully, have a great working relationship and got over sibling rivalry a long time ago.

Lauren, your comment about Donovan cracked me up!! I think I need to know who else is in this "anti-hottie harem"!!!


message 21: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments I finished Venom a little bit ago, and needless to say, Owen has won me over ;-) I'm about to start Tangled Schemes, Bria's short stop from the website. I'm pretty excited about it, since I'm as curious as Gin is about Bria. Yay! Then on to book 4, whose name I can't remember.


message 22: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) Angie wrote: "VLauren, your comment about Donovan cracked me up!! I think I need to know who else is in this "anti-hottie harem"!!! "

Lol! No shortage of members ... even if some of only temporary...

Aside from Donovan, one very prominent addition to the anti-hottie harem is Hugh D'Ambray in the Kate Daniels series.


message 23: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments I haven't read any Kate Daniels, though I think they're waiting for my attention. You may have just bumped them to the top of the list!!


message 24: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) Angie wrote: "I haven't read any Kate Daniels, though I think they're waiting for my attention. You may have just bumped them to the top of the list!!"

You must read them, Angie.
Kate Daniels is my absolute favorite UF series. The first book has a lot of world building but it is still action packed with an excellent story and great characters. Book #2 was better and by book #3 I was hooked.


message 25: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments I'm 99% sure I have them, but I forget what all I have with almost 3000 books on my kindle. Which is why I'm trying to decide if I should buy the Dark Hunter series bundle someone posted about in "Free and cheap books"! I looked at all the prices, and that's a dang good deal! But I know nothing about that series either.


message 26: by Angie (last edited Jun 15, 2014 09:51AM) (new)

Angie | 419 comments So I've decided that one thing I really like about the Elemental Assassin series is the plain talking. Like the way Gin thinks and talks is just like a normal person. One of my favorite series, if not the one currently in the number one spot in my mind, is the Chicagoland Vampire series, and I don't know if it's because the main character is supposed to be a former grad student or what, but she uses "big words" when something simpler would have been just fine. There's one line in the series that sticks out in my mind, mainly because I ranted about it to a friend for quite a while, but Merit is about to cross the street but has to wait for an "odiferous garbage truck" to go by. Why not stinky trash truck? And at least that one is pretty easy to figure out the meaning, even mid-migraine, but there's other times that there's words that have no immediate definition jumping to mind, even when I don't have a migraine! Why why WHY do authors do this? But Jennifer Estep doesn't do this, which makes me love the books just a little more. The only things I've looked up are the name of the river that runs through Ashland, to see if it was real or fictitious. My kindle didn't recognize it so I went with it being as real as Ashland itself. No biggie. Oh and prurient, which she uses in her very familiar repetitive way. When you're half nekkid and sitting on a mostly nekkid man's lap, it's not really important to say that your prurient desires to get closer to him are driving you both insane with want. Or something to that effect. I think we get that you're having an excessive sexual interest in him at that point. Sorry, I get a little obsessive about these things, both the big words that make my head hurt worse and the repetition, that just flat out gives me a headache when I have the luck of having a headache free moment. When did y'all say the repetition stops? Cuz I'm on Tangled Threads an it's going strong as ever. I'm hoping the whole back story has been explained already, even though I'm only 15% in. She's making me repeat myself about this issue as many times as Gin says "my sister, Bria" throughout any one book. YOU ONLY HABE THE ONE SISTER!! WE GET WHO SHE IS!! Again, sorry, it just annoys me a little, but like Chicagoland, not enough to make me stop reading, the story lines are just too good to be stopped by something that is really small in comparison.


message 27: by Sandra, Need more time to Read!! (new)

Sandra | 4464 comments I don't know when the repetition stops cause I just ignore it and skim over it. Like you said Angie, the story and characters are so good I just don't notice the crap.


message 28: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments I have a question for anyone that's read Haints, the short story in some Mammoth book. On a review or two for it, people mentioned the editor's bigotry. Anyone know anything about that? And is the story worth $6? Because I don't think I even recognized any other author's name in the list. I don't want to spend $6 on one short story if it's not very important to the story line, but someone also mentioned the interaction between Gin and Owen, saying they'd wished they'd read it in order because bad things happen later, and after where I am now, so without any spoilers, is it worth it?


message 29: by Veronica (last edited Jun 17, 2014 08:11AM) (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) I've not read that particular short story, Angie, and I haven't felt liked I missed anything crucial to the main storyline playing out in the books. The author describes it as a stand-alone short story on her website so I think you're fine skipping it.

I do agree with you about the relationship between Gin and Finn. They're great. And Finn is funny.


message 30: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments He's awesome! I've had friends like that before, that every woman was a challenge and that flirting was second nature, no matter who it was. The one I was closest to is now married with 5 kids. It's crazy to remember how he used to be and to see him now, with those kids that are the most important thing in the world to him!


message 31: by Darcy (new)

Darcy (sunnytat462) | 3120 comments Angie wrote: "I have a question for anyone that's read Haints, the short story in some Mammoth book. On a review or two for it, people mentioned the editor's bigotry. Anyone know anything about that? And is the ..."

I've read it and no short story is worth $6. See if you can get the book at the library or just read it at a bookstore.


message 32: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) Angie wrote: "He's awesome! I've had friends like that before, that every woman was a challenge and that flirting was second nature, no matter who it was. The one I was closest to is now married with 5 kids. It'..."

Now I'm trying to picture Finn with kids. It boggles the mind. lol


message 33: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments I missed my friend's whole transformation, he and his wife were both in the navy and I believe stationed in Hawaii when they first got together. From what I understand, he was hooked after the first date. Kinda like Finn has been with Bria since at least the stake out in Spider's Revenge. I just started By a Thread I think. Number six.


message 34: by Jacy (new)

Jacy (jazabell) | 214 comments I'm on Tangled Threads (Elemental Assassin, #4) by Jennifer Estep . I plan to begin in soon. I have to finish Stray (Shifters, #1) by Rachel Vincent first. I love Gin! I fell in love with the first sentance of the first book and have love the series since!


message 35: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments Jacy, is stray any good? It sounds like an interesting read! Not that I don't have 2 series on my TBR list staring me in the face after EA! Which I'm ever so excited to get my answer about if vamps are born or made finally in the 6th book. Yay!!


message 36: by Jacy (last edited Jun 18, 2014 01:37PM) (new)

Jacy (jazabell) | 214 comments I'm liking it so far, but there is a bit of a build up. I'm on page 132, chapter 7, and we're still getting the backstory mixed in with the present. I like Racheal Vincent and this is similar to the build up in the Unbound series. My understanding is this was her first series. I know that somewhere in the early archives of this group, they read it, there is a discussion page. I've heard really good things about the series as a whole.


message 37: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments I may have to look through the archives. Thanks!


message 38: by Jacy (new)

Jacy (jazabell) | 214 comments No problem. It's in the '09/'10 archives. There are spoilers, but most of them let you know in the post.


message 39: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) I dropped the Shifters series once she started with the love triangle. I have a zero tolerance policy now regarding that and this was one of those early series that helped shape my utter hatred of that writing trope.


message 40: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments Has anyone done the audible version of the books? I hate when a voice actor does an exaggerated southern accent for characters, and from the sample it sounds like Gin is not that bad, at least on Heart of Venom (book 9), but Finn sounds like a redneck instead of a high powered investment banker. It's only $3.49 to add the audible version, but if Owen sounds like that, like a backwoods redneck, I'll be seriously disappointed. (I just want to say that if anyone has a strong southern accent, I mean no offense.)


message 41: by Darcy (new)

Darcy (sunnytat462) | 3120 comments I like the audio books and narrator for this series, in fact that is the only way that I read them. I'm ok with Finn sounding like that because he likes to play dumb at times so that he gets the better of people.


message 42: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments That's very true, Darcy. Finn does use any advantage to get his way, doesn't he? I'm only 5 chapters or so in, so maybe I'll go ahead and get it to do the whole "immersion reading" thing. If I only listen to the audio, my brain starts to wander and I miss things.


message 43: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) I've only listened to the series and I've really enjoyed Lauren Fortgang's narration. I don't mind the southern accents at all because it is in tune with the setting and the characterization.


message 44: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments Maybe it's a personal bias, because here in Missouri, if someone talks like Finn did in that sample, they're usually the worst bigots. Which is bad for me because I despise they are usually so incorrect. But in a way, I've made up a specific stereotype in my mind about people that have that accent, and I don't like that about myself! I downloaded the audio of Heart of Venom, and I'll start it after lunch or after the True Blood premiere tonight. Depends on how lost I become in the TB marathon on right now.


message 45: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) I'm originally from South Africa, so I've never even thought about the distinction between Southern accents :0)

The most important thing for me is the distinction between the voice in terms of tone and intonation so that I know who is saying what.


message 46: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments The voice actor isn't as far off as I thought it would be from the sample. I listened to about half of it last night. I'm back to reading at the moment because I kept getting distracted while listening. I think I have a touch of ADD, so if I'm not reading, it's much easier for me to get distracted, which I do even as I'm reading sometimes. I try to read everything the first time and then the second or third time I will listen, since I already know what happens.

I'm wondering about the next book though, The Spider, because I saw it's a prequel in one of the non-spoiler reviews. Is it something I need to read immediately after Heart of Venom? I know the next book comes out in about a month. Which July is going to hit me hard, book wise.


message 47: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) My first person peeve means that reading is out of the question for me. I mostly listen while doing other things like walking the dog, laundry or on my commute, which helps to prevent distraction. I do sometimes need to rewind and listen again to make sure I've understood but that is comparable to re-reading a line or paragraph, which I also do at times.

I'm on By a Thread right now so I'm not sure about The Spider - hope someone whose read it can chime in :0)


message 48: by Mike (new)

Mike | 353 comments My wife said The Spider does have a large prequel type storyline but that there is also a current storyline running through it too. So I would read it in the order it was published.


message 49: by Angie (new)

Angie | 419 comments I decided to take a break from all the killing for a day or two, so I'm reading a historical romance. No magic, no fantasy, nothing. I keep waiting for someone to jump out with fangs or something, but it hasn't happened yet! Lol!


message 50: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) Thanks for that, Mike!

@Angie - you mean nine of those historical rakes have fangs? ;0)


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