Review of Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep

Posted December 3rd, 2011 in book review / 3 comments

Tangled Threads

Book #4 of the Elemental Assassin Series

by Jennifer Estep

Published: Pocket Books – May 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 357 (paperback)

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Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)

I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings.

But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead.

Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur—or die trying—because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too.

The only problem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sibling . . . or that I’m the murderer she’s been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead…

The Good
Gin Blanco, the somewhat mild-mannered restaurant owner by day and semi-retired assassin by night, has declared war against the city’s worst sort of mobster, Mab Monroe. What’s a cold-blooded, deadly, self-assumed ruler of Ashland suppose to do when the notorious assassin Spider (Gin) is systematically taking out her underlings and working her way to the top? Easy enough, hire an assassin. And so we meet Elektra LaFleur. One of the highest paid assassins out there with an electric element that she has no qualms using on anyone and everyone, even on Gin’s sister Bria. Elektra will soon find out what happens to naughty girls who mess with Gin’s family. They get dead, as Gin would say.

I truly get super excited when I get to read Estep’s books. I am currently reading Spider’s Revenge, which is the latest book published in the series as of now, and I can’t help but be a little sad. I tore through this series in two weeks flat and I don’t want it to end. Though Estep does produce books faster than most authors, so hopefully I only have to wait a couple months.

Gin is her same old self: smart, witty, and deadly. But it’s her love life that interests me. Sexy Owen Grayson is making his presence known in this book. Owen is slowly easing himself into Gin’s life and her heart. Though Gin is still being cautious after the the whole fiasco with Detective Caine, she is starting to realize Owen actually accepts her for who she is, all of her, even the bloody parts. I hope Owen is a keeper because I want to read more about this relationship that seems to be blossoming, well, as much as Gin is letting it. But I can tell that the tentative relationship Gin is trying to build with Bria, her baby sis, is starting to crack some of that confidence Gin has slowly rebuilt after the time with the “good” Detective. It seems not everyone can be as accepting of Gin’s killer tendencies.

Which brings me to Bria and Finn. Oh yeah, there might just be a Bria and Finn. We may know Finn as a player, but something is brewing between these two that I don’t think even Finn can deny. I’m liking this pairing. Especially as Bria plays hard to get, which only intensifies Finn’s interest.

I know we have all been waiting for Gin to finally take down Mab once and for all but it’s not going to happen in this book. Tangled Threads is about Gin and Elektra facing off, in more ways than one. Elektra has been hired to eliminate Gin Blanco the restaurant owner, Spider the assassin, and Bria Coolidge the cop. So as Gin tries to keep her secret identity hidden, she also has to find a way to save her sister from getting the shock of her life. *laughs* Get it? The shock of her life. Elektra electrocutes people to death. I’m super funny. I know this because I never fail to laugh at my own jokes.

Estep has done a great job at creating a fast-paced series that shows no signs of slowing down. Each book gives us excellent character development and killer action. I find the fact that Gin’s elemental abilities are slowly increasing in power an exciting side storyline. Of source, I’m also still waiting to find out more about the dwarf sisters, Jo-Jo and Sophia. Estep really knows how to lay on the mystery super thick.

The Bad
Same stuff, different book. Way too much recap. It really slows down the book. The writing was repetitive, which was just annoying. And the descriptions can be a little too much.

I always have the same problems with each of Estep’s books but I simply skip these parts. That’s why I gave this book 5 stars. Everything else was so great that the bad stuff, that can be easily skipped, still can’t make me like this book any less.

The Snuggly
One sex scene. Wasn’t too risque or anything. It was playful and cute actually.

What can I say? I LOVE this series. I can rarely put one of Estep’s books down once I start reading. The story is interesting and the action scenes are simply perfect. We get yummy men, a heroine who never quits, and writing that tantalizes the senses. If you haven’t read this series yet than I don’t think we can be friends. Just kidding (not really). Highly recommended.

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3 Responses to “Review of Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep”

  1. Sarah (saz101)

    So glad you enjoyed this! I seriously struggled with these books and the ruddy re-caps. Because it’s not just a page or two of infodump–it’s over and over throughout the whole book.

    I think it was especially bad as I read them all back to back in the space of a week? Maybe if I was reading them 6 months apart, when they released, it wouldn’t be an issue.

    But I mean, I wouldn’t have read them all back to back if I hadn’t have loved them, so I can’t really complain too much there 😛

    You’re so right, though: the action is fantastic, and I LOVE the characters. I was dying to know more about Jo-Jo and Sophia, and I was so tied up in the side thing going on with Bria and Finn. Not to mention Finn! I love this man!

  2. Jennifer L. Bielman

    @Sarah: I agree. The recaps are probably worse to us because we are reading them back to back. It’s so hard to rate these books because technically there are some serious issues, but you can’t help but love reading the book as a whole.

  3. Sarah (saz101)

    I completely agree… and in hindsight, I wonder if I rated these too harshly when I read them a month or so back. I LOVE the story, love the characters, but the recaps drove me nuts. I’m looking forward to reading the next book with a bit of space between 🙂

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