walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_Spider's Bite_, Jennifer Estep (kindle)

This is the first entry in a series that I really don't think I'll be reading. I _think_ I got this ebook for free, but I am not certain.

Set in a fictional town in the South, the magical system is Elemental and apparently hereditary. There are at least a few specifically supernatural races (vampires, dwarves and giants). Our heroine is about 30, and has been an assassin for more than half her life. The guy who trained her runs a bbq joint and brokers her contracts. Gin "The Spider" Blanco (born Genevieve) is the killer with the heart of gold: the people she kills deserve to die, usually for abuse of power for sex.

This makes the setup for the novel unbelievable. Her boss is trying to convince her to retire; the life is kinda risky. Then he offers her a rush job for lots of money (so she can afford to retire) where the client has suggested where and when to do the deed. It's tough to imagine a pro accepting the gig: it screams "so I can kill you just as soon as you do the job". And indeed, that is the setup. Even more bizarre, our heroine Gin, is completely gobsmacked that this might possibly happen.

She doesn't do the job (because she gets distracted ogling a cop whose partner she killed and who she has the hots for), but someone else does and there's a frame in place for her anyway. Then her boss is killed after being tortured. And the boss's son and her ex-lover is beaten severely. Antics ensue.

Estep has one thing going for her: narrative thrust. And that's not to be scoffed at. This is a story that moves along at a really good pace. Unfortunately, it's a nutty universe. Finn steals cars, and he's picky about which ones he steals. I've removed all the paragraph breaks to save confusing levels of quotation [location 3680ish]:

"Finn finally stopped in front of a late-model Lexus and nodded his head. "This will do for today. Tool please, Gin." He held out his hand to me. "Didn't you bring your own?" "Why carry the extra weight when you make such good disposable ones?" he countered. I hated to admit it, but Finn had a point. I sighed and reached for my Ice magic. Donovan Caine eyed the silver glow flickering over my palm, wondering what I was doing. A question I often asked myself when dealing with Finnegan Lane. A few seconds later, I passed Finn a long, slender, wirelike rod. He took the cold, Ice wand and jammed it into the car window. The lock popped open, the rod shattered, and Finn wiped the remaining chunks of the wand off his impeccable jacket. Then he opened the door, sank down into the driver's seat, reached under the dash, and tugged on a couple of wires. Thirty seconds later, the engine roared to life, and Finn gestured for us to get in." They drive away.

Finn skipped a bunch of compacts, and preferentially went for a _Lexus_. While he might have been able to slimjim a Cadillac, he would never have been able to do that on a Lexus, late model or other. And you're just not going to hotwire late model anything. Period.

The whole book is kinda like this: what might happen if someone around my age, who watched a _lot_ of TV growing up and not in a highly critical context, decided to bang out some contemporary supernatural fiction. Great narrative thrust. Nothing else going on.

A little too trashy, even for me. And I'm not even talking about the sex scenes. Or, for that matter, the fight scenes. I would recommend not going anywhere near this, however, the reviews on Amazon indicate that a whole lot of people disagree with me. And I did finish the book, so when I say it's got narrative thrust, I am definitely not kidding.
Tags: book review, paranormal fiction
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