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
Tangled Threads continues the interesting and engrossing story of retired assassin Gin Blanco, an elemental magic user who uses any means necessary to protect those she calls family. In this, the fourth book of Jennifer Estep's wonderful Elemental Assassin series, Gin faces her toughest enemy yet, Elektra LaFleur, a deadly assassin with powerful electricity magic.
Taking place only a few short weeks after the conclusion of the previous story, Gin continues to deal with the knowledge that Mab Monroe is the fire elemental who killed her mother and older sister when Gin was only thirteen. As Gin plots to take down Mab by picking off her underlings one at a time, she has to balance her efforts with keeping her baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, safe from Mab's wrath. In addition, she contemplates how and when to tell Bria that she, Gin, is in fact the assassin known as the Spider, her long-lost sister.
Ms. Estep does a marvelous job continue to develop Gin's character - giving her a solid base, but creating situations where Gin is forced to face some uncomfortable emotions, therefore allowing Gin to learn and grow. I especially like the emotional development of Gin on two fronts - that with her sister, and also experiencing unfettered trust and possible love from a man, Owen Grayson. Gin is learning to trust and explore these feelings much my delight.
In addition, Gin's skills and elemental magic are also evolving as she is put to the test by LeFleur. The deadly assassin likes to kill for the pleasure and doesn't tend to make the sloppy mistakes of many of Gin's previous opponents. This forces Gin to work outside of her personal comfort zone and rely more on her magic than she has in the past. Witnessing Gin's journey over the first four books in the series is a great pleasure.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the story behind Tangled Threads, I found myself starting to get annoyed with the constant repetition I find in every book. Not only is there repetition from book to book, especially in the numerous recaps of EVERY event that has occurred in the prior books, but even within the book the author repeats phrases, ideas, and thoughts multiple times. There are Gin's catch phrases like "sloppy, sloppy, sloppy" or "five-point arsenal," also things like the constant reminder that Bria is Gin's "baby sister" or that Gin is "doing what she's doing for Bria." I don't know if it would bother me as much if I was listening/reading these books six to ten months apart, but when listening to them back-to-back, it's really getting annoying, and I find I wish I could skip over scenes and flashbacks.
Once again, I found the narration by Lauren Fortgang to be spot-on. I most especially love the voices of Gin and her foster brother, Finn. When Ms. Fortgang narrates conversations between the two, I feel as if I'm right in the middle of their dialogue. Although I do love the narration, I find that all of the giants seem to sound the same, and just like supporting character, Xavier, which isn't really negative, more just an observation. And I'm not sure if I really like Owen's voice, which seemed to change a little during the course of the book.
Overall, I am loving my audio experience with Gin and her expanded family, and despite my few small annoyances with the storytelling and voices, I cannot wait to listen to the next book!
My Rating for the story: A-
My Rating for the narration: A-