Tuesday, February 21, 2012

By a Thread (Elemental Assassin, #6)

By a Thread (Elemental Assassin, #6)By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fans of the series won't be disappointed at all.

Now that Mab Monroe is finally gone and Gin’s identity has become common knowledge, every aspiring criminal out there is trying to make a name for himself by killing the (in)famous Spider. Sophia Deveraux is busier than ever, what with cooking for all the people who come to the Pork Pit to stare at Gin and getting rid of the bodies Gin leaves behind in their back alley. So when Finn suggests a vacation for the four of them (Gin, Owen, Bria and himself), Gin jumps at the chance to leave town, hoping things would blow over by the time she gets back. She’s also excited about spending some time with her newly found baby sister, but Gin is well aware that things rarely work out the way she wants them to. Thinking that she’ll really be able to enjoy an uninterrupted vacation would be downright naïve, and let’s face it, Spider may be many things, but naïve she’s not. Fortunately, she never goes anywhere without her five Silverstone knives – the ones Owen made especially for her. She’ll need them to fight a foe even worse than Mab Monroe. It’s a shame that she can’t use her knives to resolve emotional issues as well, especially when her former lover, the much despised Donovan Caine, comes back into the picture.

The beginning of By a Thread was a little hard for me. I was disappointed in Gin, especially when it came to her attitude towards her baby sister. She carried all this guilt and allowed Bria to make her feel not good enough, making the same mistakes she’d made with Donovan Caine. I’m not used to Gin feeling so helpless and inadequate and when she kept beating herself up over things she had no way to control, it was infuriating and really hard to read. I’m glad to say that there was a reason for this and that it became apparent in the second half of the book.

I know this is a strange thing for me to say, but I’m normally not a big fan of fight scenes. There is just something messy about them that doesn’t appeal to me at all. Fortunately, the ones written by Estep are among the rare exceptions. She writes these scenes with such clarity, describing just one thing at a time, thus allowing me to picture them vividly in my head, and yet somehow making them rich, eventful and extremely interesting.

To me, Mab Monroe was never especially scary, and I’m glad to be rid of her. Her actions never once sent chills down my spine and I was never truly worried about Gin when she was fighting her or the ones Mab sent after her. But the vampire who feeds on elementals to absorb their powers was a very convincing villain. I knew, of course, that Gin will make it out eventually, but I was unsure of how damaged she’ll be. Major points to Ms. Estep for that.

Old fans, I promise you won’t be disappointed. And those of you who haven’t even started the series, try the first book. Jennifer Estep maintains the same level of quality throughout the series. If the first one works for you (as it did for me) the rest surely will, too.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author for review purposes.


  1. I haven't read this series yet, but you make it sound good! Especially that you think the fight scenes are well written. It's also good to hear the quality is not lost as the series goes on - it's always so disappointing when that happens. I'm glad that's not the case with these books. Great review! :D

  2. Maja this is a series that I have been meaning to pick up. I have book one waiting in my pile. I know I will probably be kicking myself. I did enjoy Estep's Mythos Academy so I just need to find the time to read this one. I am interested to read the fight scense now!

  3. I've never heard of this series before, but your review makes it seem really exciting. I will have to give it a try, new follower by the way! Mind checking out my blog?

    Jessica @ Booked Up!


  4. I with you on fight scenes. They don't appeal to me at all and often seem over done. It's relaxes me to know that they are done well here. I'm looking forward to reading this series someday. :)

  5. Don't worry, Maja -- I'm usually not the biggest fan of fight scenes too! x) Sometimes they're really hard to follow or a little confusing which makes me want to skim through them, so thank goodness that Jennifer Estep knows how to write those scenes! That's another reason why she's one of those authors that I'm really excited to pick something up by -- and soon! ;)

    Amazing review as always, Maja! Even if Gin disappointed you a little in the beginning, I still really want to meet her because she counts so kick-butt! :) I'm definitely taking your recommendation! <3

  6. I know how you feel about fight scenes too, they have to be really well written for me not to want to skip them!

    I haven't heard of this series but I'm going to look it up!

  7. There are authors whose books I really enjoy, especially in UF, but who insist on writing fight scenes that give me a headache.
    I love it when I can keep up! :)

  8. I have to admit that I didn't actually read your review because I was afraid of seeing spoilers since I've only read book one, but THANK YOU for reminding me that I need to continue this series. I remember enjoying Spider's Bite, and I'm curious to see how the rest of the series is, especially since you enjoyed it!


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