Elemental Assassin #11
Available July 22nd
Source: e-ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Gin Blanco is hard-nosed, sexy, and lethal. Nicknamed “The Spider,” she’s a stone elemental assassin who brings her unique mix of magic and tact to every assignment, no matter the target.
There’s a new drug on the streets of Ashland, and its name “Burn” sums up the potent effect it has on its users. When one of her restaurant employees is threatened by dealers of the drug, Gin steps in to set things straight…
There comes a certain point in a series approaching the teens in number where there’s simply very little to say that hasn’t already been said about the characters, their strengths and weaknesses and the author’s ability to write their ongoing stories. At book eleven, Poison Promise continues to maintain the level of characterization and quality storytelling fans of the series have come to expect from Ms. Estep, and while this installment doesn’t necessarily show any new sides to Gin and company or throw an unexpected wrench in the well-oiled machine that is the Elemental Assassin series, it is nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend several hours.
Gin has been a badass from the very beginning, thoroughly convinced her emotions were buried beneath a cold and ruthless exterior never to see the light of day, but we as readers have always been able to see that for the delusion it is, her stark vulnerability and low sense of self-worth in every area save for her abilities as an assassin coming through loud and clear. She has a tendency to take the cruel words of others–from adversaries and loved ones alike–as her penance to pay for the life she leads as The Spider, a trait that is sometimes as frustrating as it is effective in strengthening our bond to her.
In more recent books however, we've started to see a Gin who no longer simply accepts the disgust and disdain of others for the blood on her hands as her due, and her self-confidence as a woman, friend, sister, and lover–rather than just The Spider–continues to grow in Poison Promise. Gin carries around quite a bit of guilt when it comes to her little sister Bria, and as a result, she's always squared her shoulders in the face of Bria’s disapproval of her profession and stoically accepted her criticism (much to our dismay). Finally, in this latest installment we find a Gin who is unwilling to be an outlet for Bria’s frustration any longer, and we can’t help but smile in satisfaction as Gin gets angry at her sister when she would have previously stood still and let the blows find a soft place to land.
Poison Promise, though as action-packed as all the books that have come before it, has a somewhat inexplicable softer quality to it, where the violence Gin inflicts and that which is inflicted upon her isn’t quite as intense as it has been in installments past. There’s the feeling of building toward something larger in scale, and though we’re given a complete story with another epic villain struck down in the end as we’ve come to expect and appreciate, we definitely get the sense that book twelve will be bigger, badder and more brutal than this book as perhaps the most dangerous enemy yet sets her sights on Gin.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.