Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin)

Spider's Bite - Jennifer Estep

A gritty urban fantasy, Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep is the story of an assassin with a nightmare of a past, the last moral cop in the city, and a double-cross that throws them together in a way neither thought would ever happen….

Smash over at Smash Attack Reads is having a read a long for this awesome series, so I just had to join in! You know me and read a longs, they are like chocolate, but even better because they don’t have any calories :D. I’m a little behind because the library took FOREVER to get the books in, but I’m working on catching up, and Spider’s Bite is the first in the series, so no worries about spoilers :D.

 Goodreads Amazon
Spider’s Bite
Author: Jennifer Estep
Pages: 395 (pocket paperback)
Genre-ish: Urban Fantasy
Rating★★★★ Gritty UF

My name is Gin, and I kill people.

They call me the Spider. I’m the most feared assassin in the South — when I’m not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I’m battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction…especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy. — Goodreads


  • Stone is a freaking awesome power. I like that Spider’s Bite doesn’t have the exact typical magic system, and that Gin has one of the less glitzy powers. It just feels more realistic. The setting of Spider’s Bite also is a world different from ours, where there was never a time without magic and vampires, dwarves and giants, which is a nice change from the typical hidden world trope of a lot of urban fantasy.
  • There are some great plot twists in here. Besides the fact that Spider’s Bite starts with about three plot twists, things continue not to go as you would expect, mwahahaha!
  • I like that the romance element starts with lust and moves into actual feelings, and that Gin is perfectly realistic about that. It’s a nice change from Insta-love in a can! The romance also gets a lot better as Spider’s Bite progresses, so even if you don’t like it in the beginning, stick with it ;-).
  • This series has so much potential from the start! I’m really excited to see where it goes :D.


  • I understand the need for bad-ass heroine and realism, but Gin takes it to an overdramatic level at times, such as this quote from page 13, ”Emotions were for those too weak to turn them off. And I hadn’t been weak in a very long time.” Seriously? I can’t connect to a character like that, that just kind of annoys me and makes me roll my eyes.
  • Before the romance has developed, Gin likes to fantasize, and it comes off a little strong. I just wasn’t expecting it and was like, uh… awkward…. >.>
  • There is a lot of swearing and violence, she is an assassin after all. So if you are not okay with a lot of swearing, a fair amount of violence and sex, then this is not the series for you. Definitely M for mature.

As long as you go in knowing what to expect (gritty urban fantasy that is a little overdramatic at times), you will probably really enjoy Spider’s Bite! The magic system and world seem to have a lot going for them, and I’m excited to learn more about that. The characters are fairly typical for the genre, with the bad-ass heroine, the flirtatious but unavailable sidekick, and the smooth but unattainable for some reason love interest. I’m really excited to see how the Elemental Assassin series develops, especially with the conclusions of the first book, since at this point, Gin could really do anything she wants :D.

Source: http://www.onstarshipsanddragonwings.com/2012/11/22/spiders-bite-jennifer-estep