Title: Spider's Bite Author: Jennifer Estep Series: Elemental Assassin #1 Genre: Urban Fantasy Release Date: January 26th 2010 Blurb: My name is Gin Blanco. They call me the Spider — the most feared assassin in the South (and a part-time cook at the Pork Pit BBQ joint.) As a Stone elemental, I can hear the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet and feel the vibrations of the soaring mountains above me, though I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.
After a ruthless Air elemental double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way. I may look hot in a miniskirt, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble when irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine agrees to help. The last thing a coldhearted killer needs when she's battling a magic more powerful than her own is a sexy distraction ... especially when he wants her dead just as much as the enemy.
Ashland is a different kind of city. There's corruption, the police is crooked and one powerful elemental controls the city. There are 4 kinds of elemental: fire, ice, stone and air. Some people hide what they are, but others prefer to flaunt it. Gin has a double life; she's an assassin called the Spider and also a cook in her handler's Fletcher BBQ restaurant.
When an irresistible offer to kill someone comes by, she accepts the job, but when she's about to eliminate her mark, someone tries to kill her and at that point she realizes that she has been set up. At the end, she ends up saving her mark and the police detective that was with him, but not without consequences.
When she gets back to the restaurant she finds her handler dead after a horrible torture. She races to save her friend and also handler's son, but when they both arrive at her apartment, they see that the mark has been killed and everyone is blaming her, and that they have offered a million dollars to whoever can give them information. At this point, their only chance is to work with the detective to find out what happened that day and why was so important the mark was dead.
Gin is a strong character with a very traumatic past, but she handles it the best she can. I liked that she didn't rely on her power to get thing done. Finn is the funny character, he's not as strong as Gin, but he has his good points, especially when they need information from a woman. Then there's Donovan Caine, the detective. He's one of the only cops who isn't crooked and has a very solid view of what's right and what's wrong. The problem I had with him is that living in a place like that, how could he be so naive? Also, it seemed to me like he never asked enough questions about important things, and that in my opinion made him look like a bit of a coward. Sometimes I didn't understood the attraction between Gin and Donovan, and it felt a little forced at times.
The descriptions where a little too long and detailed in some places. I liked how Ashland worked, it almost seemed like there were no rules or laws, and if you crossed the wrong person, they would send an assassin after you or they would kill you themselves. All in all, it was a great start of a series, with very interesting characters and a really good setting.
"Somebody doesn't want Caine talking about what really happened." Finn shook his head. "Honesty will get you killed in this city."