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.
I always thoroughly enjoy each new installment in the Elemental Assassin series as every book provides a solid block of action packed entertainment, and great character dynamics. That being said some books shine more than others, and others just aren't quite as bright. BITTER BITE, while very good in its own right and full of intense action and really impactful character dynamics, I found the latter to be rather frustrating. While Gin's love life has been up and down and back up again throughout the series, the one constant has been the bond between her and Finn. While foster siblings, they have always been thicker than any blood relation. And yet, at the first sign of a blood relative to Finn he loses his head and turns against Gin. While this made for a very intense book, it didn't sit right with me. I'm sure that was the point and I commend the author for being able to play with my emotions so much. But the fact remains this turmoil in an area I considered to be an unbreakable bond lessened my enjoyment of the book. That being said, hopefully future books will be able to rebuild my faith in Finn, but it's not going to be an easy road.
Disappointment in Finn aside, this was one heck of an intense read. I feel like I say this every time I review a new Elemental Assassin book, but somehow Jennifer Estep was able to yet again top her previous villian with the current one. I really don't know how she does it. By sheer logic they should have a "been there done that" or just too over the top feeling by now as they've had to continually outdo the previous. And yet, that's the furthest thing from the case, as each new villain brings a new angle of threat and keeps me practically biting my nails off to see how Gin and co will survive the latest catastrophe. It truly is impressive and is what keeps me coming back time and time again to this series.
Full of action, suspense, drama, betrayal, and an overall intense read, BITTER BITE is sure to please fans of the series.