Title: Poison Promise
Series/Universe: Elemental Assassin #11
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: July 22nd 2014
Page Count: 416 pages
Age Rating: Adult (blood, gore, violence, and a semi-explicit sexual scene)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
Publisher’s page: Poison Promise
In book eleven of her New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series, author Jennifer Estep continues “one of the best urban fantasy series going on the market” (Fresh Fiction).
Gin Blanco is hard-nosed, sexy, and lethal. Nicknamed “The Spider,” she’s a stone elemental assassin who brings her unique mix of magic and tact to every assignment, no matter the target.
There’s a new drug on the streets of Ashland, and its name “Burn” sums up the potent effect it has on its users. When one of her restaurant employees is threatened by dealers of the drug, Gin steps in to set things straight…
The Elemental Assassin series is an Urban Fantasy set in the fictional town of Ashland where corruption runs rampant and vampires, dwarfs, giants, and elemental magic wielders are all common place. In Poison Promise, Gin Blanco, main character and certified badass elemental assassin wielding the powers of stone and ice, is trying to get things back to normal after her latest bout of assassinating (I don’t want to say straight up murder, because these people kind of had it comin’- but yeah, she kills a lot of people. Be warned) and struggling to get over the recent loss of a loved one. But there’s no rest for the wicked; even though Gin killed the old Big Bad Bosswoman of Ashland’s underworld, ten more crime lords are standing in line to take her place and they all seem to be gunning for Gin. One of these is vampire drug lord Beauregard Benson (I love that name) who’s willing to do anything to cement his bid for the throne – including releasing a potent new drug called “Burn” onto the streets and coming after people Gin cares about.
Poison Promise is the 11th book in the Elemental Assassin series and the first one I’ve read. Stepping into this universe at the eleventh hour, so to speak, one would think I’d be completely lost – but I wasn’t at all. From fairly early on the author does a fabulous job of letting the reader know the key events that have gone down in the series so far and who all the important players are (including physical descriptions and how they’re connected to the main character). This “catching up” was well done and didn’t feel heavy handed to me at all and I really appreciated the effort.
The first part of the book is pretty much establishing the who’s and what’s of the series so far and setting up to the main meat of the story. When the important stuff goes down (around the halfway point) everything comes together and events hit hard and fast, an exhilarating, action-packed ride culminating in the requisite showdown. The last part of the book basically sets up for the next book (Black Widow coming out November 2014).
I loved the main character in this (but we all know about my love of badass chicks, so of course I loved her). The thing that made Gin Blanco such a standout character to me was that she isn’t just an assassin. She’s a sister, a friend, a business owner/ restaurateur (She owns and operates the Pork Pit – a barbecue joint that sounds delicious), and a fantastic cook (there’s a scene where she makes sloppy joes that can pretty much be used as a step-by-step how to recipe). The secondary characters are pretty interesting as well – they had great names and unique traits, like her foster brother Finnegan Lane, an investment banker who’s also a very talented sniper.
With great characters and an addictive storyline I’ll be sure to catch the next book in the series – I may check out some of the older books as well if I come across them since after reading this one I’m pretty confident I could pick up any book in the series and dive right in.
Gin Blanco is an elemental assassin with rare dual elemental abilities, a special talent for killing, a heart of gold, and a protective streak a mile wide. Someone as unique as all that needs a coffee that’s just as unique and interesting: I recommend Honeybird Coffee Velvet Assassin – a little honey sweet and a little lemon sour, plus a light almond flavor, really make this strong, bold coffee something special .