Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep
Gin’s loyalty to her family has been proven over and over again. But will they be just as loyal when push comes to shove? This is a great addition to the Elemental Assassin series!
Publisher’s Description: 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.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Invested Ivana says…
So… I’ve mentioned before how much I love Gin Blanco, right? Well, if I haven’t, I LOVE GIN BLANCO! I love that she can run a barbecue restaurant, make an awesome lasagna, and slit the throats of bad guys all in the same day with equal amounts of contentment.
In Bitter Bite, Gin’s adopted brother, Finn, meets the mother he thought long dead. Gin suspects she’s a bad guy, and has to be the one that breaks the news to Finn.
BIG SPOILER HERE: I was kind of hoping Finn would save himself in this story. It has to suck for Gin to be the bad guy all the time, first with Owen and his former girlfriend, and now with Finn and his mother. I was hoping Finn, even though he *wanted* his mother to be good, would have prepared for the worst and had plans to take her down if she showed her true colors. But, that’s not what happened.
The more I think about and write about this series, the more I recognize the characteristics it shares with comic adaptations like Batman and Gotham— a highly stylized, highly corrupt town where a few honorable people are trying hard to fight the good fight. Yes, there is some realism in the story, but in what other environment can you kill the bad guys so blatantly and often without consequence? I caught myself wondering, “Why hasn’t some kid come after Gin yet for killing his daddy, who was some underling in a crime family forced to work off debt, but deep down was just a good guy? She’s killed enough people, there should be orphans everywhere!” But in a world like Ashland, or Gotham, minions don’t have families. They’re expendable, nameless, and replaceable, but oh-so satisfying to pick off.
If you like this book…