Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep

 

This is also one of my favourite series. As all my other favourites, it features a strong female leading character. However, unlike the other series’ heroines, Gin Blanco is more of an anti-heroine. She is a trained assassin who retires at some point and starts using her skills to help bullied, tortured and oppressed. In spite of her initial choice of work, she has very strong sense of loyalty and family and she will do whatever it takes to save the ones she loves and help the ones in need. And in spite of all the good she does and in spite of all the people she saves, she still faces prejudice and hate. Nevertheless, she is not deterred by negativity, she moves on and helps more people as she goes.

The story itself is built on an interesting premise that some people are born with elemental powers, such as Stone, Ice, Air and Fire. Most of the story occurs in an imaginary city of Ashland, where Gin works and owns a small barbecue place famous for it’s good food.  Gin’s passion is baking and also her stress relief method. Gin is a a very strong Stone elemental. There is more, but I am not giving any spoilers.

Supporting characters are fantastic. Some of them are more present than others as they are integral part of Gin’s life. All of the characters, as well as the world and some of the locations, are complex and very well developed. Apart from elementals, there are some others, such as vampires, giants and dwarfs, however it does not feel supernatural like in other stories but as a norm. I have to warn you, although there is a bit of humour in the stories, this series is a bit dark and raw and it contains quite a lot of violence. There is some romance in the stories but not the focus of the story.

I love the covers. They really convey the atmosphere of the story, and I like the choice of Gin on the covers. The boat on the cover for Venom features the boat where several parts of the story occur.

It is better to read main books and the inbetweens in order, however, prequels read better if you already have some familiarity with Gin and her world.

Reading order is:

Poison (Elemental Assassin, #0.1) 
Web of Deceit (Elemental Assassin, #0.4) 
Spider’s Bargain (Elemental Assassin, #0.5) 
Spider’s Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1) 
Web of Death (Elemental Assassin, #1.5) 
Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin, #2) 
Wasted (Elemental Assassin, #2.7) 
Venom (Elemental Assassin, #3) 
Tan­gled Dreams (Elemental Assassin, #3.5) 
Tan­gled Schemes (Elemental Assassin, #3.7) 
Tangled Threads (Elemental Assassin, #4) 
Spider’s Nemesis (Elemental Assassin, #4.5) 
Haints and Hobwebs (Elemental Assassin, #4.7) The Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance 
Spider’s Revenge (Elemental Assassin, #5) 
Thread of Death (Elemental Assassin, #5.5) 
By a Thread (Elemental Assassin, #6) 
Widow’s Web (Elemental Assassin, #7) 
Deadly Sting (Elemental Assassin, #8) 
Carniepunk: Parlor Tricks (Elemental Assassin, #8.1) 
Kiss of Venom (Elemental Assassin, #8.5) 
Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin, #9) 
The Spider (Elemental Assassin, #10) 
Poison Promise (Elemental Assassin, #11) 
Black Widow (Elemental Assassin, #12) 
Spider’s Trap (Elemental Assassin, #13) 
Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin, #14) 
Unwanted (Elemental Assassin, #14.5) 
Unraveled (Elemental Assassin, #15) 
Nice Guys Bite (Elemental Assassin, #15.5) 
Snared (Elemental Assassin, #16) 
You can read more about Jennifer Estep and Elemental Assassin series on Goodreads.

 

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