Review – Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

spider's biteGin’s family was murdered when she was younger by a Fire Elemental.  She lived on the streets and then was taken in by the owner of the Pork Pit BBQ restaurant.  She works for him as a cook and as an assassin.  Gin is the Spider and she is one of the fiercest killers out there.  Known for her knife-work, she tries not to use her Stone and Ice elemental magic.

When she is hired for a hit and then double-crossed, Gin has to use all of her strengths to get revenge against those who hurt the ones she loves.

What I really liked – Gin is a strong, likeable MC who doesn’t take herself too seriously.  I know that sounds strange when we’re talking about an assassin but it works.  She is loyal, has her own strong moral code and loves to cook.  The world building was done well and the descriptions of the elemental magic were interesting.  It’s a good story with a nice balance of action, emotion and the supernatural.  Since it’s set in the Appalachian Mountains, there are a lot of southernisms.  Po-po for the police and the mention of Mountain Dew cake.  My favorite quote is about southern women:

If there was one thing all Southern women instinctively know how to do, it’s flirt.  It’s encoded in our DNA, along with a fondness for grease, sugar and oversized hats.

There were a few things that were a bit of a miss for me.  Most noticeable was repetitious writing.  Every time coffee was mentioned, it was “chicory coffee”.  “Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy” is Gin’s go to phrase when talking about someone else’s work.  The reader is told where Gin stows her knives so many times that I lost count (two tucked up her sleeves, one in the small of the back and two inside her boots.)  When there was any kind of countdown it always ended at 45 seconds.  And, one of my personal pet peeves, using a character’s first and last name every time – Donovan Caine.

None of these were deal breakers for me and they didn’t detract from the overall book.

4/5 stars for an enjoyable read.  I will definitely pick up book 2.

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