I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
My Rating: A, Loved It
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by NetGalley
Gin’s birthday is quickly approaching, and she doesn’t like it. Not only does she struggle with memories of her foster father Fletcher’s death, but bad things always seem to happen to those she cares about around her birthday. And as if on cue, Gin’s life starts to get messy, again. There is a new drug in town that is messing with Elementals, and one of Gin’s waitresses, Catalina Vasquez, seems to be caught in the middle. Not only that, but Gin’s little sister Bria is taking a personal interest in the case when one of her informants is killed. Gin makes it her mission to protect Catalina and bring down Beauregard Benson, the drug-dealing vampire king of Southtown, while trying to give Bria some independence to do things her way.
There is a reason that Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series is one of my favorites: even after ten full-length books and a handful of novellas, the eleventh story is just as exciting, engrossing, and original as the first. Ms. Estep is an incredibly gifted storyteller who can weave stunning detail into each and every scene. Dark humor, intense action, and raw emotions are packed into every story with exquisite precision, making Gin, and her extended family, all characters which I care about.
After the past few books looked into Gin and Owen’s relationship, in Poison Promise there is a lot of focus on Gin’s relationship with her police officer sister, Bria. The pair has only recently reconnected, and sometimes Gin feels like she is still on shaky ground when it comes to Bria’s tenuous acceptance that Gin is an assassin. This is never more evident during the course of this book. Gin struggles with her fierce need to protect and save her family from danger while allowing Bria to go after Benson on her terms. Meanwhile, Bria becomes obsessed with bringing down Benson, and her actions put innocent people in the line of fire. The scene when Gin finally confronts Bria is one of the best in the books. Their dialogue is intense and raw, ripping open old wounds. In addition, Bria’s partner, Xavier also steps in with some harsh words. It’s all so intense and amazing, allowing both Bria and Gin to learn and grow.
There is a perfect balance between personal character development and the intense action-driven storyline. One thing about the Elemental Assassin series: the author is good to her readers and rarely kills off any of Gin’s beloved extended family; however, one never knows what will happen next. In one of the more critical scenes, the moment Gin hears gunshots... my heart stopped. Ms. Estep is able to work her magic, keeping me on the edge of my seat, never knowing for certain if everyone will make it out alive. The entire scene was brilliantly intense, and I was literally holding my breath.
Gin also experiences intense character development when she is forced to confront some of her innermost thoughts after being pumped full of drugs. Again, Ms. Estep creates such vivid imagery that my emotions were tugged right along side of Gin’s. I teared up and wanted to cry, knowing what these revelations would do to Gin’s psyche. Since the stories are always told from Gin’s point-of-view, I feel like I know so much about her, and I look forward to seeing if there are any longterm repercussions from this ordeal.
Finally, the only slightly negative thing I can comment on is the reveal of the mysterious drug supplier. It really was no surprise when Estep finished toying with readers and spilled. The scene near the conclusion was a bit anticlimactic since I knew darn well who she was. However the confrontation leaves Gin rattled, which unnerves me. In addition, Gin had some very negative thoughts towards the end of the book which make me apprehensive about the future.
All in all, I really enjoyed Poison Promise. It is amazing how after eleven books, each story is fresh, exciting, and unique. Ms. Estep takes what is familiar and adds layer upon layer to give Gin and her friends so much depth. I feel so attached to these characters because Ms. Estep, through Gin, creates a family. Poison Promise delivers a wonderfully gripping, explosive plot full of emotional tension and personal turmoil and character development. Love it!