Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: Bitter Bite

Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassins - Book 14) by Jennifer Estep

Publication Date: 02/23/2016
Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Imprint: Pocket
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400

(Received for an honest review from Pocket Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Jennifer Estep on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Elemental Assassin

1. Spider's Bite
2. Web of Lies
3. Venom
4. Tangled Threads
5. Spider's Revenge
5.5. Thread of Death
6. By a Thread
7. Widow's Web
8. Deadly Sting
8.5. Kiss of Venom
8.25. Parlor Tricks
9. Heart of Venom
10. The Spider
11. Poison Promise
12. Black Widow
13. Spider's Trap
14. Bitter Bite

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Bitter Bite, courtesy of the author's website


Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship? That’s the question Gin Blanco asks when a friend’s long-lost relative strolls into town. The suspicious reunion is a surprise for everyone—and a big problem for Gin. Book fourteen in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!”

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.


Gin Blanco is an assassin and a good one. In Jennifer Estep's fourteenth Elemental Assassin's book, Bitter Bite, readers get to see a more emotional Gin. When her relationship with foster brother, Finn is challenged by a long lost relative, Gin takes the high road. But as always she ends up with a stack of bodies in her wake and her heart on her sleeve. Fans of this iconic series will love this addition to the series. Is this a new story arc, I see? And a bit of a cliff hanger... oh my!

What I liked:

This series is kind of close to my heart. When I picked the very first book in this series, Estep had me from page one. If you read a lot of books like I do, there are authors that are run of the mill and when you pick up their books, it's nothing really new or exciting. With Jennifer Estep's books it's a whole other kind of experience. Estep's attention to detail is so remarkable that readers can almost feel the pinch of Gin's knife as it goes in. Her descriptions are next to flawless. Her style is somewhat raw and edgy but it really works with this series. Love the author and have loved every book in this series. Bitter Bite was no different.

I, like most fans of the Elemental Assassins series, know that the end is near. I figured with Bitter Bite readers would start to see that final push to the end of the series. What really surprised me was that Estep had something different in mind. She does wrap up some story lines in this one, but that's typical of the author. She never leaves you hanging too long on any given thread. But she also starts a whole new story arc. It may be the last one and if it is, then she starts it off with a bang. I can't wait to see what happens to my favorite assassin and her cadre of quirky friends and associates.

Gin and Finn have always been close. The bond between them is one of the things that I have liked most about this series. In Bitter Bite, that bond takes a hit. Finn has to makes some not so savory decisions in this book that will have fans of the series scratching their heads. Readers will on one hand want Finn to be happy but on the other hand they will cry for what he is throwing away. I thought Estep did a great job of showing that familial bonds are not necessarily as strong as the bonds with make in life sometimes. A great look into this wonderful relationship.

Gin is over course Gin. Such an amazing heroine throughout this series. She is an assassin, but not one of those cold fishes you would expect. The Spider is deadly and she has her wicked moments but she is still a woman, and the thought of someone hurting her dear friend is about all she can take. Yet she stands back and watches and lets Finn make his own decisions. That's what a real friend does. Gin has a lot on her plate in this book and pretty big baddie to take care of. I was into the relationship parts of this book as I was into the action. Such a great balance.

Bottom Line:

I loved this one. I always love books from this author. Yes, Gin is a female assassin. Yes, she has elemental earth magic. Yes, it has a paranormal twist. All of those are things that I love, but it's a lot more with this author. Something about this series just appeals to me and I think there will be plenty of readers who agree. The details are precise, the descriptions are so realistic. I just can't say enough good things. Bitter Bite is anything but... 

Bitter Bite is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, Tangled Threads, Spider’s Revenge, By a Thread, Widow’s Web, Deadly Sting, Heart of VenomThe Spider, Poison Promise, Black Widow, Spider’s Trap, Bitter Bite, and Unraveled, along with the e-shorts Thread of Death, Parlor Tricks, and Kiss of Venom, are the other works in her red-hot Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Jennifer is also the author of the Black Blade and Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series and the Bigtime paranormal romance series. For more on Jennifer and her books, visit her at and @Jennifer_Estep.

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