Review: Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

Format: ebook
Pub Date: January 2010
Publisher: Pocket (Simon and Schuster)
Length: 432 pages
FTC: Read for free via Amazon Prime
POV: 1st person, past

Yes, I'm extremely late to the party. The first Estep book I read was a YA one I received at the RT Booklovers Convention a few years ago. And I'm not really a YA reader. Still, I liked her voice, and when this became a free read for Prime members, I decided to try it.

In short: Kinda glad I am late, because there's a HUGE backlist of titles I can now glom. *snoopy dance*

I'm a bit of a wuss, so I admit to skimming some of the more graphic violence scenes. I have an extremely vivid imagination, and these are some gnarly descriptions. Ew.

I also discovered that the detailed descriptions of food weren't just a YA thing. They're present here, too. It's a funny quirk, and honestly (and weirdly) reminds me of the food descriptions in the Redwall series. Food is serious business.

Estep also manages to do emotion right, even when the main character is an assassin. Gin's not stereotypically dead inside. She cares about her small circle of people and has her own moral code. Which I guess is why we're not in full-on anti-hero territory. She's very pragmatic, though, so don't go expecting her to act like a good guy. She's not and neither are her friends and acquaintances. If you're the type of reader who needs the main character to be righteous 100% of the time, this is probably not the book for you.

For romance readers, there's some sexual tension and foreplay, but no real relationships here. You can see a glimmer of one maybe in the future, but that consumes very little page time. Far more action and mystery.

My only quibbles are with the pacing, which was extremely uneven, and (as with most first UF books) the amount of page time we spend on world building. That's to be expected, though, so I built that into the grade. 

My Grade: A-

The Blurb:
After Gin’s family was murdered by a Fire elemental when she was thirteen, she lived on the streets and eventually became an assassin to survive. Now, Gin is given an assignment by her handler to rub out an Ashland businessman, but it turns out to be a trap. After Gin’s handler is brutally murdered, she teams up with the sexy detective investigating the case to figure out who double-crossed her and why. Only one thing is for sure —Gin has no qualms about killing her way to the top of the conspiracy.

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