Jul 22, 2014

Posted by in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #11)

poisonpromise4 star

Urban Fantasy
July 22 2014
416 pages
Mass Market Paperback
Pocket Books
Received from publisher via NetGalley

Kick Ass Chick – Gin Blanco

From Goodreads –
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…


Poison Promise is the eleventh book (eleven!) in Jennifer Estep’s excellent Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. I always look forward to reading a new installment from this series because, simply, it’s excellent. I love these books, these characters and these stories.

I am always amazed how easy it is to fall back into one of these books. Part of that is how wonderfully these characters are written and how they grip you completely while you are reading. It’s also due to the fact that Jennifer does not spend 1/3 of a new book rehashing events from past books. I am grateful for that because if you are a religious follower of a series, you don’t need to spend that much time being reminded of things.

Gin is such a great character. We have watched her grow and mature so much over the course of the series. It takes strong writing chops to make readers not only sympathetic towards but also adore a character who is an assassin. Jennifer does just that. Gin is one of my favorite characters to read because she is very intelligent, loyal, independent and strong.

Finn is always a character I look forward to running into. He is serious when he needs to be but most of the time he provides the comic relief. Owen is yummy as always and all of the other supporting character we look forward to seeing are all accounted for and still doing great. Well, there was one character I wanted to
smack a time or two…and it’s not who any of you would expect.

Bria was dealing with some pretty insane resentment and revenge issues and was so not herself in this book. I actually didn’t like her much in this installment. At all. No, she was not supposed to be liked or anywhere near her usual self so in that respect, she was written well, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to shake her and ask her what the hell. She was completely selfish and I think Gin was a bit too forgiving of her. I’m curious to see if any of this will appear in the next book, but I feel not.

A new character is introduced in this book. Silvio is his name and man did he turn out to be a complete surprise. And it looks like he’s sticking around. I am very interested to see what he brings to this close knit circle of friends and to Gin’s life in general. It will be interesting to say the least. But he is a solid character that I enjoyed reading and I am glad that his role is going beyond this one book.

As with any Elemental Assassin book, the pace is crazy-excellent in this book. And of course, there is a ‘final showdown’ near the end. I did find this dual to be a bit cartoonish but it was very entertaining nonetheless. I will say that how Gin er…’took care of things’ shall we say, was done in a way that was never seen before. Gone are the days of complete secrecy. And the way the final fight is done is all in an attempt by Gin to curve the attempts on her life. She is getting a bit tired of that and wants to do something about it. Not sure if it will work – we’ll have to wait until the next book, Black Widow, to see. But it was nice to see Gin try to take matters into her own hands. Not that she doesn’t do that normally…it’s hard to explain without giving too much away so to know what I am talking about you’ll all just have to read the book. 😉

The first five books in the series followed a very distinct story arc that finished in a climactic way in Spider’s Revenge. Since then each book has focused on discovering a popular supporting character’s backstory, developing Gin and Owen’s relationship and/or learning more about Gin all while solving a mystery or two. Well, it looks like that newer direction the series took is about to change. We have finally met a mysterious character who, up until know has only been known by their initials and never in person, and it looks like this might be the beginning of a new storyline – one with long-ish term potential. It will be interesting to see how Jennifer distinguishes this arc from the one in the first five books because on the surface, much seems the same. But when you look at clues here and there you see that things can get so much worst for Gin than ever before. Should make for some excellent reading.

Overall, I was very pleased with Poison Promise. Things are definitely not going to quiet down for Gin and her friends any time soon and I for one, am grateful for that. Is it bad that I want Gin to have crap to deal with? The more crap Gin encounters, the more books there will be and where Jennifer is contracted for 12 books total right now (so if you do the math, that makes the next book the end of her contract), I would not mind seeing this series go well beyond that.

4 stars

Books in the Elemental Assassin series –
Spider’s Bite
Web of Lies
Tangled Threads
Spider’s Revenge
By a Thread
Widow’s Web
Deadly Sting
Heart of Venom
The Spider
Poison Promise
Black Widow (November 2014)


  1. Can’t wait to get to this on audio.

  2. Melanie – I’ve heard it’s amazing on audio. I’ll have to do my re-read that way, I think.

  3. You’re making me seriously consider returning to this series. I read the initial 5 book arc last year and stopped because the repetition of details not only between books but between chapters was getting to me.

    Reading the short story between 5 & 6 a few months ago was pushing me back to the series… this might be the final nudge I needed.

  4. I agree with you, the showdown was a bit cartoonish.
    I’m afraid that the new arc is going to be something like first books, only this new version will be something like Mab on steroids, I hope I’m wrong.

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