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4.6 out of 5
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    Bitter Bite

    Being queen bee of the underworld is hard enough and Gin Blanco couldn’t do it without her elemental magic and her tight-knit makeshift family so it’s a bitter pill to swallow when Finn buys into his not-dead relative’s loving routine in this thrilling Elemental Assassin tale. All of Gin’s instincts are telling her that beneath the sugary sweet demeanor, the interloper is planning something and the reader is drawn into all the emotional turmoil and exhilaration of this story as Gin strives to determine just what that may be and how it affects Finn because we all know that if Finn gets hurt someone is going to become dead for real. The story starts off with a bit of a flip flopped scene and by that I mean that it’s something I would expect Gin to be on the opposite side of, so I was immediately intrigued with what Gin was up to and from there the story keeps accelerating with spine tingling tension and suspense with unexpected twists, some squabbles between Gin’s makeshift family and quite a bit of emotional turmoil. While this story may not be quite as fast paced as the others it’s not slow either because there is so much angst flowing from the pages that the readers can’t help but hang on to every well-written word and as usual Jennifer Estep provides such vivid details that it makes it easy to become immersed in the story and as with the beginning scene things seem be a bit topsy turvy for Gin as this new enemy just might have the upper hand and the ending battle leaves Gin with more questions than answers. Once again, Gin Blanco deserves a standing ovation (well she is an awesome assassin), I couldn’t put the story down because it seemed there was a new revelation happening every time I blinked and the interesting developments at the conclusion guarantee that I am waiting impatiently for the next book.
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    Gin's unique and detailed world earned 5 stars

    It's hard for me to believe that this series is at book 14. After all, it is rare to find a series continually focused on the same main characters throughout it's entirety, and to be able to not only be going strong after 10+ books, but to keep getting better. That's just what this series has continued to do over and over again. Gin Blanco has grown as a character throughout the series. She's a flawed, yet captivating individual. As an assassin, she has no compunction with using her knife skills or her elemental magic to solve those messy problems that others shy away from. She's also a deeply moral person, sticking to her own unique compass of right and wrong, and never wavering. When she draws a line in the sand, she sticks to it. Gin's incredibly loyal to her friends and family, literally willing to kill for them (and has). We have seen this trait over and over again in the proceeding books. However this time, she has to be willing to let someone live, no matter how much she feels they deserve to die, for her family. One very interesting thing in this book were memories of Gin and Finn's teen aged interactions. There are some short stories available on the author's website, but not much in the prior novels. The scenes shared with us, highlighted their early relationship and demonstrated what they mean to each other. See what they have been through, really cements their current bond. There were many unexpected revelations this book. It's definitely not one to miss if you are following the series, as a major new story arc is introduced. I'll give you a hint... is all about Family. I stand by prior assertions that starting at this point in the series does a disservice to no one but yourself. Start at the beginning and read them in order. Once again, Gin's unique and detailed world earned a 5 star review from me. Thanks to Netgalley and Pocket books for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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