Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Poison Promise

POISON PROMISE
Elemental Assassin #11
Jennifer Estep
Urban Fantasy
416 pages
Pocket Books
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…


MY THOUGHTS
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.

Rating: 4/5
  

Find Jennifer:

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.

29 comments:

  1. I read the first book and really enjoyed it and have been meaning to read the rest but of course you know how that goes. I am so glad to read that this series is still going strong though. That doesn't always happen with books once they hit the double digits.

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    1. Haha yes. There are so many series out there I need to get caught up on! And I've been so impressed with this series, it's hard to keep things as interesting as Jennifer has with the same set of characters for 11 books:)

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  2. Book 11? Ok I'm so so so so late in this series. I bought the 3 first books when they were released in French and at the end I only read book 1... I don't even remember it but I know it was good. One day I'll have to reread it and continue with the others.

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  3. Book 11!? When did that happen?

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    1. I know! These books come out fast:)

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  4. I like that Gin is still really growing as a person and character. She's accepted who she is, knows she has a job she has to do and screw anyone who looks down on her for what she's done. I think this kind of change and growth is really the only way to keep a series like this fresh.

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    1. Me too. I just adore her and am so glad she's finally not letting everyone walk all over her anymore:)

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  5. Wow, book 11 already? I feel like this would be a very interesting series but it also feels like a lot of work to catch up on, so I'm guessing I'll just add it to the wish list and see what happens in the future!!
    Great review as always, Jenny!

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    1. I know! I love this series Pili, if you're ever in the mood for a gritty UF read with an AWESOME heroine, pick book one up:)

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  6. Gin sounds like a character that really grows throughout the book and you have to appreciate that in a character. She sounds like all kinds of awesome. I don't know if I want to start this series though because book 11? That's a lot of catching up to do!
    I'm glad you're thoroughly enjoying this, Jenny! :)

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    1. I love Gin so, so much:) 11 books is intimidating though, I completely understand Nick!

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  7. Not my usual read... But dude, that cover is so badass! :) Great review!

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  8. I started this series a couple of months ago and plowed through all of them in a few weeks. I tried to slow down knowing this was was releasing soon but they're so good I couldn't stop myself. I'm very excited about this one.

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  9. It's really fascinating to me when some authors manage to maintain the high level of writing and characterization even after 11 books and with all that to keep the plot interesting. That's marvelous. I haven't started this series yet but I hope to start soon. Great review, Jenny :)

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  10. I was kind of surprised at Gin's lack of interest in getting involved in Bria's case at first. She's always been so quick to jump in and take on any threat that her almost disinterest in was was happening with her employee and sister had me concerned.

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  11. You know, I've never really noticed that quality about Gin until you brought it to light and while I haven't met her sister properly, I do plan on continuing this series and I get the feeling I won't be the biggest fan of her.

    I am glad though that in spite of the fact that there are so many books in this series, Estep didn't let you down.

    Fantastic review, Jenny!!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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  12. I don't think I've read this many books in a series and still continued to enjoy the series as much as you have Jenny! I'm glad that this series is still going strong for you, I really do like the sound of Gin's character. I think I will have to add this series to my ever growing of series books to read! Fab review Jenny!

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  13. Well you're a million books ahead of me, but it's a funny coincidence that we are reviewing books from the same series today!
    Where I am Bria doesn't yet know that Gin and her are sisters so I'm curious to see when that is revealed. I'm anxious to continue and see what unfolds through the series!

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  14. I swear this is my next series to start. I keep saying I am reading it and then things get in the way. I am doing the first one on audio once things settle down here. I think a quieter book is a nice change every once in awhile.

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  15. I agree that when a series extends for a long period of time, there isn't much more to say about the characters. Still, I'm so glad that you've continued to love this series, Jenny--I will be reading this. Soon!

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  16. An action-filled novel that offers depth and a softer side? I really like the sound of this, but this series has been going on forever! I feel as though I'll never catch up…perhaps it's worth it though?! Lovely review!

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  17. I just finished Heart of Venom this week so your review is perfectly timed, Jenny! ;) YESSS!! I'm stil lso surprised that these characters grow with every installment and I love them all for it. Yeah? She isn't Bria's punching bag anymore? I mean, Bria is lovely and I adore her (especially her sisterly bond with Gin and her romance with Finn), but Gin deserves to not have her past hold against her. Please tell me that Owen and Gin have some great scenes :D I loved them in the last installment *ahem* chills *cough* I'm glad you enjoyed and I can't wait to tackle this :)

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  18. I just read a review of book two and dang your review of book one has me giddy. I own this, so I need to dig it out Jenny!

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  19. This is another series I so need to read as well.

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  20. This one sounds less edgy and more of a buildup of things to come. Look out for book 12 right?! So glad you enjoyed Poison Promise. I hope (one day) to check out this series-will it ever end, this is #11. Wow. An amazing author :)

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  21. OMG book 11 - this reminds me that I'm SO behind. Sheesh! :-) I'm glad to hear Gin is standing up for herself a bit more (it's always hard with loved ones) in this installment. It sounds like I absolutely must catch up in time for book 12, it sounds like it's going to be epic! Awesome review Jenny!

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  22. I just looked it up, and I am THREE books behind. Do you know why I am three books behind? For once, it's not laziness or overwhelmed by other books-ness. It's b/c OWEN and FEAR . . . so chickenness, I guess. But I'll suck it up soon, Jenny . . . b/c more than the fear is my desire to KNOW. Here's hoping it all works out (the way I want it too). *wishes and hopes* *hopes and wishes*

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