Thursday, March 8, 2012

By a Thread, by Jennifer Estep

Release date: February 28th 2012
Published by: Pocket
Genre: Urban-fantasy
Rating:  5/5 stars

Warning: This review will contain spoilers of previous books in the series.

When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation.

Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun.

But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.

My thoughts

It's no secret how much I love this series. You know that kind of setting that immediately draws you in, a main character that's simply fantastic, and non-stop action scenes? Yeah, that's what Elemental Assassin means to me. Through each book, we came to know a bit more of Gin Blanco, the Deveraux sisters, Finn, and the other characters. Since Jennifer Estep just sold 3 more books, I was hesitant to read By a Thread. I was afraid it would be like Anita Blake. Thank God it was nothing of the sort.

After killing Mab, Gin finally tries to find some piece. But even with her arch-enemy dead, things haven't gotten easier for Gin. Everyone wants to get a taste of what the Spider is capable of, and fights and duels in the back of the Pork Pit's a common thing now. When Finn suggests a vacation, Gin takes the opportunity. But, just like the synopsis said, when you deal with blood in a daily basis, even a week off town can't keep you out of trouble.

Bria's friend is being harassed by Dekes, a vampire, constantly. He's basically Mab Monroe with a suit and fangs, so Gin offers her services to deal with him. With her friends' help, Gin finds out Mab wasn't the hardest target she'd ever face. Dekes is more powerful than the Spider ever imagined. Since book 2, I was always afraid of Mab. The woman was Devil on Earth. She was evil and twisted, but Dekes is no better. Seriously, Jennifer Estep has a way with villains. Dekes freaked me out.

I don't even need to say how heart-racing the action scenes were. Just like in the previous books, Gin's not afraid to get dirty and do whatever is necessary to survive. She's such a strong character. I've never seen anyone like her, and that's saying a lot. Gin's reputation as the Spider is not a joke, if she has to cut a guy's throat or decapitate him, so be it. She gets the job done at all costs, but even then, she doesn't lose her humanity. She's an assassin, but that doesn't mean she isn't human.

However, as much as I love Gin's soft side, I was bothered by her selflessness when it came to Bria. Fine, she's your sister, you'll always love her. I get that, I have a sister myself... but it was wrong for Gin to accept whatever Bria told her. There was a certain scene in which Bria was ashamed of Gin, because she was an assassin. Gin just bowed her head and acknowledged the pain without confronting Bria. This bothered me immeasurably. It's not okay to be ashamed of your sister, or blame her because you were tortured by Mab. She almost died trying to save Bria's life, and yet, the detective just continued to throw evil stares at Gin. Ungrateful much?

This brings me to my next point: Owen. He cares so much about Gin, loves her so much, that the fact that she's an assassin doesn't concern him. He accepts her, bloody parts and all, which is one of the best aspects of the series. Their relationship is heart-warming. Owen would do anything to protect Gin, but if she's about to fight nine guys and tell him "Go, I'll meet you outside", he goes. He trusts her to make her own decisions. I love that about him. No, risk that. I love everything about him. I was so glad Owen was there for Gin when Donovan came back into her life. Compared to Owen, Donovan is trash. He's a hypocrite, selfish, and know-it-all. Also, the way Jennifer Estep resolved the "unfinished business" between Gin and Donovan was freaking awesome. That's all I'll say.

By a Thread is the perfect sequel to Spider's Revenge. There's so much going on, and that still need to be dealt with, and I can't wait to read Widow's Web. August can't get here fast enough. If you haven't read the series yet, or never heard of it, please do. You have no idea of what you're missing.

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