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Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep

Ongoing series with 17 books, 4 novellas and 10 short stories
Genres: urban fantasy

Blurb:

Gin Blanco is an assassin. She wasn’t always called that, either. After Mab Monroe murdered her family, she lived on the streets, the last of her family. Gin has the duel powers of earth and ice magic, while Mab has the most powerful fire magic the city of Ashland has ever seen, and perhaps the world. Even though Gin is semi-retired, she still knows she has to avenge her family, or she’ll never feel at peace.

Reading Order:

1. Spider’s Bite
2. Web of Lies
3. Venom
4. Tangled Threads
5. Spider’s Revenge
6. By a Thread
7. Widow’s Web
8. Deadly Sting
8.5. Kiss of Venom
9. Heart of Venom
10. The Spider
11. Poison Promise
12. Black Widow
13. Spider’s Trap
14. Bitter Bite
14.5. Unwanted
15. Unraveled
15.5. Nice Guys Bite
16. Snared
17. Venom in the Veins

Series Review:

I really enjoyed this series until the main plotline (Mab Monroe) is solved. Then it flounders around for absolutely forever with dull, single novel stories. Then it tries a few times to start an arc that ends up just not having any power behind it. Now Estep is on what is probably the last arc of the story, and I just don’t care.

How many times can “the most powerful ever!” come up in one series. I don’t know but it feels like it has happened 17 times now. Gin always has to beat the most powerful person ever, who just always happens to be a bad guy. Now, with the last arc, it is an entire cabal of secret, previously unknown bad guys she just happens to uncover one day. Give me a break.

I cannot wait for this series to end. Too many things have been kept in limbo because Estep wants them to be there at the end. Her relationship has been in holding mode for at least 10 books now. It is in a nice place, but eventually they’re going to have to move that relationship forward. Her life is in a holding mode, though it only got there a few books ago, and it only got there because she just had to keep fighting the most powerful evers. Nothing ever seems to happen.

The worldbuilding is alright, just it has no range. What is introduced in the first two or three books is all that is introduced. Ashland feels like the entire world most of the time. No place else is ever mentioned, not in any real way. The idea that Ashland can be this corrupt and this powerful without some kind of bigger government that runs a country is absurd. Like I don’t understand how this world is supposed to work at all, politically.

While I still read this series, I’m looking forward to it ending. I don’t always get to the next release right away, but I will get to it eventually.

Currently, the series has turned from traditional publisher to self published. If the series continues past the current arc I will be surprised, but not that surprised. It is the series the author just couldn’t let go of.

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