They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.
Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.
Gin Blanco is a deadly assassin but her latest job is a set up which leaves her out to clear her name and get revenge on her enemies.
The plot had pretty much everything that you want in your urban fantasy books. Kickass female assassin and sidekick working with an honest cop who is attracted to her but bears a grudge because of one of her murder victims. We have the added interest of the supernatural characters having added magic powers connected to the elements. I found this to be interesting and it was fun to see how the elements were used during fights to take on your enemies. There is a hint at romance, strange supporting creatures to help Gin, fights, betrayal and the evil bad guys. Pretty good mix!
Gin is a great character. She kills people for a living and she is good at it-no questions and no regrets. Yet she never comes across as an evil person and she has her own morals. She charges a lot of money for her skills but will do a free job for the community if it is a paedophile or rapist. She has a few trusted friends and associates, she hangs out in a bar for fun, has a crush on a celebrity cop on TV and is loyal to those she cares about. It makes her quite a complex character and it is fun to see her being normal one minute and dealing out death another. Fletcher and Finn are her closest friends and are both good characters. Finn is a great sidekick with his smart comments. Gin admires Donovan as an honest man trying to keep the streets safe and her attraction to him is obvious yet she infuriates me by not telling him the truth about his former partner. Jeez girl, his whole attitude will change when he learns the truth so DO IT!!!
So what did I love about the book? The beginning was brilliant and was the perfect introduction to have you rooting for a killer. The mixture of fighting and magic was nicely done and the fight scenes themselves were exciting to read. The emotions and motivations of the characters are nicely developed and you do care what happens to them. That is a massive bonus in this genre. There is a mixture of humour, intensity and romance which all work perfectly together. The bad guys are nicely written with the uber bad girl of Mab Monroe hovering in the background and I expect that we will see more of her in later books. The big finale was good and leaves enough unfinished business for me to look forward to book two.
I'm left debating about 4 or 4.5 stars for this book but either way it is a great urban fantasy read and I recommend it. For those like me who hate sex filled UF/PNR, try this one as there is only one heated scene and it fits perfectly into the plot.