Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #6
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 02/28/12
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
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.
Plot: 5 Stars
I feel like a broken record, but I absolutely loved this novel. Although she was supposed to be relaxing and enjoying her vacation, Gin ended up getting into yet another dire situation that left me wondering how she'd make it out alive. Gin always surprises me with the situations she gets in, and then the lengths she must go to to get out of said situations. The author does a great job of putting her in mortal peril, while keeping her escapes completely believable.
Pace: 4.5 Stars
This novel started out with a bang, as Gin takes care of another threat that dropped by the Pork Pit after hours. She finally gives in to Finn's idea of a vacation. Of course, it wouldn't be a vacation for Gin if it didn't involve at least a little bit of killing. I loved how quickly she became involved in the local mob boss problems without even trying. There were a number of times I had to remind myself that Gin would make it (book seven comes out in August), because I wasn't sure she would and I couldn't put the book down.
Characters: 5 Stars
The strong characters and relationships were the best part of this installment in the series. Not only did we get to see more of Gin, Finn, Bria, and Owen, but there were new characters and someone from Gin's past. Gin gets to meet Bria's best friend, Callie, who also owns her own restaurant. After a meal at the restaurant, Gin and company get dragged into the local mob boss' politics when he sends some goons to threaten Callie. And then Donovan makes an appearance. I enjoyed reading as Gin dealt with the reappearance of Donovan, and how she dealt with him. The mob boss of Blue Marsh was a crazy S.O.B. and definitely made for an eventful vacation.
Cover: 5 Stars
This series is totally blessed by the cover gods. Each stands out in its own way, but they all work together and look fantastic on my bookshelf. The bright green of this cover grabs the eye, and also depicts the setting of the novel very well. My favorite part of the cover is how the cover model's jeans fade into the green of the background, but her blue tank top stands out. I'm not sure if I'd be running around in those heels if I was killing people, but they make the model seem like a badass (even without the knife on her belt). I also really enjoy that the cover model is facing forward completely, showing off the rune in her palm, as if to say, "Yeah, I'm the Spider. What are you gonna do about it?" And lastly, I will always enjoy the font choices of this series.
Overall: 5 Stars
Disclosure: I received an e-ARC of this novel for review.