My Rating: 4.5 stars: Loved it - enthusiastically recommend (A)
Full Review here: http://www.twimom227.com/2013/03/review-deadly-sting-by-jennifer-estep.html
Note: this review contains spoilers from earlier books in the Elemental Assassin series.
It’s been one long month for Gin since she killed her lover Owen’s ex-fiancee at the conclusion of the last book, Widow’s Web. Giving Owen the space he requested, Gin puts on a good face and keeps her tough exterior, but inside she’s a wreck. Lucky for us, her brother Finn attempts to help lift Gin’s spirits by taking her shopping for some fancy digs to wear to an gala showcasing items from the late Mab Monroe’s estate. Of course, this is Ashland and we are talking about Gin Blanco, aka the Spider, so even a simple shopping trip has its hazards. And only Gin would get excited about the store being robbed while she’s in the dressing room! It’s a great opening sequence that sets the mood for the entire book.
About three-quarters of the book occurs at a museum and only over the course of only a few hours. I felt that the single locale and short timeframe of the situation added an urgency and intensity to the story. It was hard for me to put the book down since there were no breaks in the action. Additionally, reading the events unfold through the POV of Gin kept me on my toes and continually guessing at what is going to come her way next.
Ms. Estep is an amazing storyteller. The carefully detailed descriptions--from food I want to devour to scenery I feel like I can step into--makes the story so enjoyable to read and easy to visualize. Ms. Estep knows how to reveal clues at the just the right time to keep me glued to the pages. And her characters pack an emotional intensity that doesn't drive me away or interfere with action.
As for that emotional intensity... let’s talk about Gin and Owen. I’ll admit, I wasn’t too torn up at the end of the last book when Owen said he needed some time. I get it - a lot had just happened. However, the opening of Deadly Sting paints a more detailed picture of Gin. Learning of Gin’s loneliness and heartbreak tore me up inside. The gala is the first time that Gin and Owen see one another in a month. The moment was funny because of the fact that his date was wearing the same dress as Gin, but my heart shattered, unlike at the end of the last book. Gin loves Owen, but pride and insecurity get in the way.
Deadly Sting is another excellent piece of work from Ms. Estep. I enjoyed the fact that roughly seventy percent of the story takes place in the span of a few hours and in one location. Despite this, the story never went stagnant. The movement was constant - whether it was the action (which there is a lot of, many dead bad guys per usual) - or the constant thoughts running through Gin’s head. The continuing love story between Owen and Gin was emotionally powerful and rich. I adore Gin’s family and friends and how close sisters Bria and Gin have become. Gin may need to kill alone at times, but she embraces and relies on the fact that they are always there for her. All-in-all a great read.