Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review: Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep

Publication Date: 2/23/2016

Series: Elemental Assassin #14
Rating: 5 Stars

Official Blurb:

Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?

It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in. 

It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good. 

Ohhh… Jennifer Estep.. I think you’re trying to kill me, fictionally speaking. Bitter Bite was so much different than I expected it to me. While most of the Elemental Assassin series books feature Gin Blanco as the front and center lead character, you took Finn and morphed this story to focus on him.  Honestly, I flipping loved Bitter Bite.  Gin has been the tough girl leader for so long that it was almost refreshing to have a story that wasn’t so focused on Gin. Sure, she’s still there and the end all evil force is still gunning for her, but this book was more about Finn and the foreshadowing of the next evil to reside in Ashland.

Finn was a great character to feature in this novel. His past history has always been a mystery outside of his dealing with his father and Gin’s assassin business, but with Bitter Bite, we get to see a whole new side to his story.  His and Gin’s paths were destined to be crossed when a conspiracy theory about his and her mother surface midway through the book.  I do want to highlight that while his story was engaging his naivety about the main plot of this book left me a bit scratching my head. As a renowned theft, you have thought he’d have been more guarded when trusting someone, but even then, I know that we as humans sometime place blind trust in the wrong people.

As the last few books have closed, I always feel like maybe this could be the last of the series, but Bitter Bite introduces a whole new realm of characters and evil to this series. Could this be the last major ARC for the Elemental Assassins series? Sure, it can, but I don’t get the overwhelming sense of foreboding as I turned the last page with Bitter Bite.  It feels with this book that Estep has opened up the flood gates to another marvelous plot line to this story. I can’t wait for more!

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