28 April 2011

Review: Jennifer Estep - Tangled Threads

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Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Book #4 in Elemental Assassin series
Publisher: Pocket (April 26, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439192634
ISBN-13: 978-1439192634
Received an e-ARC from author.

Cover Summary:
I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings.

But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead.

Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur—or die trying—because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too.

The only problem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sibling . . . or that I’m the murderer she’s been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead. . .

My Review

The story in a nutshell:
A new assassin has come to Ashland and Elektra LaFleur boldly uses her elemental power to get her targets where she want – six feet under. But when you’re ordered to kill The Spider you need to have some mad, bad skills up your sleeve to get the job done. So when someone Gin cares about is in grave danger The Spider has to come out and play, in order to protect!

My initial reaction after the first chapter:
Intriguing! Whenever I start an Elemental Assassin novel I can find Gin in the Pork Pitt, in a animated dialogue or in a dangerous situation. This time she was staking out with Finnegan Lane, their conversations are always a treat.

The woman who is Gin Blanco:
Gin is an assassins who can be ruthless, cold and deadly to those who wrong the innocent without the blink of an eye. Yet for those she loves, and it might take a while to conquer a spot in her heart, nothing is too much. It is the vulnerability Gin feels when dealing with her sister that choked me up and a page later she expertly kills a giant, that gave my goose bumps. I love how these two sides convey the duality of her persona, it brings conflicts for Gin on a personal level which only deepens the sympathy I have for her.

The circle of family and friends:
The characters who make me care so much are also the ever ‘charm-the-skirt-of-any-lady’ Finnegan Lane. I know he has depth. I know he has character. I know he loves those near and dear to him but put a girl in front of him and he’ll unleash a flirtatious charm that should be considered one of the seven sins! Of course I fell for him the moment I met him and continue to do so in Tangled Threads! Bria is a cop and the sister of Gin, which she doesn’t know, and reading their dialogues together just about broke my heart. The dwarf sisters Jo-Jo and Sophia kinda remained the same; Jo-Jo still heals all those who are hurt in ‘team Gin’ and Sophia remains a Goth to the core. Also Roslyn and Xavier become a part of Gin’s entourage and together they are an eclectic support group for Gin. In big or small ways each of them plays a significant role and over the four books I’ve become thoroughly invested in each of them. I get their humor, their anger and their actions and they are a huge reason why I easily transport myself into the world of Ashland.

The man who is Owen Grayson:
Now this man is entitled to his own section of this review. From secondary character Owen wriggled his way in to a spot where I don’t want to see him leave anymore. As he is courting Gin he turns my heart in to a mushy puddle of want. He brings sexiness, care and strength to Gin’s world which she didn’t expect. Their developing relationship is fierce and tender with emotionally fraught moments. They just fit for me, they have this interplay that speaks of love blooming and together they make my romantic heart beat faster. I want more of them in the books to come, much more!

The downside:
There is one thing that didn’t work for me and that is the abundance of recap throughout the story. If something was related to an event of a previous books this was told, even once during an action scene. While I understand new comers to the series would greatly appreciate it, it bogged down the story for me on several occasions.

The pulls-pounding plot and action:
Jennifer Estep ups the ante and puts two powerhouse assassins opposite each other which delivered some great clashes of fighting skills. Gin might be a retired assassin but revenge is on her mind and she is determined to take on Mab Monroe. However, there is always injustice going on in Ashland and somehow it finds its way to Gin’s doorstep. What is so evident in the plot and action is that Jennifer Estep has great skills to, not only keep the ongoing plot riveting and going forward, but also insert an evil to be defeated within the pages of the book. With all of the separate storylines going on Estep effortlessly fuses them together and take me on a explosive ride of fighting scenes and chilling suspense. Because I care so much about the characters and truly hate the enemies I can’t turn the pages fast enough to see what happens!

My Synonyms for Tangled Threads:
Exciting – action-packed – good versus evil – distinctive characters – humoristic – titillating and romantic.

Overall reaction:
It’s very hard to tell something new about the latest addition to the Elemental Assassins series; Tangled Threads, that I haven’t said in one way or another about the previous books. Jennifer Estep continually delivers a fantastic urban-fantasy story that furthers the overall plotline and characterization of the core cast. The plot creates a thrill-ride and each characters brings a unique spectrum of emotions and personality traits to the story. The Elemental Assassin series is as addictive as it gets in the Urban-Fantasy genre!

4 stars

The quotes for you to sample:

Most women would be glad to be in such close quarters with Finnegan Lane. With his easy smile and natural charm, Finn would have already had the majority of them in the backseat, pants off, legs up, steam covering the windows as the car rocked back and forth. Good thing I wasn’t most women.
The vampire’s eyes narrowed as he took in my dark clothes and the Silverstone knife in my hand. “Who the hell are you?” I gave him a cold, hard smile. “The bitch who’s here to kill you.”
The vamps pretty much owned the sex trade in Ashland. That’s because for a lot of them, having sex was just as stimulating as drinking blood. Humans needed vitamins to keep going, and vamps needed sex and blood. Get laid, get your B12 for the day.
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  1. I really like the Synonyms part of the review, very cool :D

  2. I love your new review style. I want to read this, but my TBR is HUGE! I've only heard good things about this series!

  3. I liked the previous three books, after I won the first one on Realms, so I am sure I will like the next one.

  4. Fabulous review! The fun part about your new review format is that it makes it perfectly possible to understand why you love this book/series while I haven't read the previous books myself!

    However, I'm not sure this will be a series for me... the first person narrative from the heroine's POV is not my favorite...

  5. @Blodeuedd - I'm glad you like that! :) It's my thoughts in the most basic way lol

    @Lisa - oh, if you like UF and have the budget for it you outta really give it a go. Before you kmow it the chars have you wrapped up in a new world! I just heart this series and its chars lol, can you tell? *wink*

    @Aurian - Within the first chapter you'll find yourself caught up again in all that is going on, I promise :)

    @Janna- I just love this review format, last monday I wrote 4 reviews in one day! I was flabberghasted. I'm also glad all my thought/feelings come across the way I intended to! I personally don't think this is a series for you either or else I would've pimped it out last year *grin*

  6. I'm lovin' this new review format of yours, Leontine. It provides me with the luxury to pick and chose what interests me the most in a book review.

    This is a series I've been wanting to read. Truthfully, nothing really moved me in your review but I'm chaulking it up to the fact that its what, the fourth book in the series? I don't know these characters. Folks really seem to love this series though so I'm sold. Love the covers too.

  7. the best part is the review part by which it's approach is simple but informative.


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