Elemental Assassin #1
by: Jennifer Estep
$7.99 mass market paperback
Released: January 2010
Gin works part-time at the best barbeque restaurant in the area. The rest of the time she's an assassin known only as The Spider. Taken off the street as a teenager and trained in the art of killing, she's very, very good at her job. She's also an Elemental, one gifted with the ability to control not one, but two elements-Stone and Ice. She won't use her powers unless there's no other choice, preferring to kill using her hands or a knife. But even though she doesn't lose sleep over the people she kills, she's got a set of morals that won't let her hurt those who are innocent.
When one of her assassination jobs goes south, she quickly realizes she's being set up. After fleeing the scene, she realizes her handler, the man who taught her how to kill, was murdered. Now she must evade not only the ones who want to see her dead, but also a very stubborn and very handsome police detective who's convinced she needs to die for killing his partner. Good thing she's not afraid to get her hands dirty.
I have mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, I loved it, couldn't put it down, and ended up staying up till 4am just to finish it. The characters were compelling, the back and forth between them was believable, the plot was solid, and I had no idea who the bad guys were until the end. On the other hand, I wish she would have used her powers of Stone and Ice a bit more, since they were made to sound so prominent to the story in the blurb. It's nothing I caught while I was reading the book, but rather when I went back and thought about it.
Other than that, this book was a very creative and fresh take on the Elemental story line. I love books with assassins in them, and a story about an Elemental assassin who cooks barbeque in her spare time is awesome. Anyone who's a fan of urban fantasy should give her a try.
Carla gives this book a