Elemental Assassin #14
Available February 23rd
Source: eARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?
It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in.
It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.
*This is an early review. Normally I post a little closer to the release date, but this is one of my favorite series and I didn't have it in me to hold off this time:)
Bitter Bite is the fourteenth installment of the Elemental Assassin series, a number not too many series are able to hit without losing steam, but Ms. Estep manages to keep each new Gin adventure as engaging as the last.
One of the strongest aspects of this series as a whole is the wide array of villains Ms. Estep pits Gin against time and again, each beautifully monstrous in their own unique way to keep us on edge throughout even though we know Gin will prevail in the end. The strongest villains, however, are those that have a more personal vendetta against Gin, the ones who know just where the chinks in her armor are and can aim their knives, bullets or magic at those places with unerring precision. With Bitter Bite Ms. Estep gives us series favorite Finn's mother, a woman so perfectly sweet and polite on the outside that we can feel our lips curl into a disbelieving sneer every time she appears on page, but we can only smile in glee throughout because we know she'll get the bloody end she deserves before our time with Gin comes to a close once again.
Gin is as she's always been, a glorious blend of strengths and weaknesses, and we can't help but love her most when those weaknesses are on full display as they are in this installment. There's no better way to simultaneously bring Gin to her knees and incur her wrath than to threaten someone she loves, and Mama Dee does so in perfectly sinister fashion, leaving us counting the pages until Gin is finally able to unleash her full fury. Gin's not alone in her fury however, and the additional time we get to spend with Finn in both the present and a few flashbacks of their life together with Fletcher is every bit as enjoyable as we we'd hoped it would be when we first learned that Bitter Bite would focus on a blast from his past.
Overall, Bitter Bite is a strong addition to this series, giving us a villain who threatens our cast of beloved characters on an emotional and physical level, and leaves us with more than a few revelations regarding Gin's long-dead mother that are undoubtedly going to make future installments very, very interesting.
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.