My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this book, and plan to go on to the next book in the series, Web of Lies. I’m hoping that Jennifer Estep grows as an author, though, as the foreshadowing regarding the real “big bad” as well as the revelation of a fact important to the main character were both rather clumsily done, in my opinion.
I’m aware of another series by Estep, Bigtime. I was thinking of reading it, but it was written earlier than the Elemental Assassin series, and now I’m not so sure about whether I want to read it or not. Estep’s characters are interesting, but I’m not sure that they’re interesting enough to hold me through writing that’s less polished than Spider’s Bite. Then again, I’ve certainly read worse. I suppose it all depends on what I happen to have in hand at any given time. I’d be more likely to read it if there were short stories available similar to the ones on Estep’s website that drew me into this series.
I didn’t do reviews for them, but there are three stories that occur chronologically before Spider’s Bite: Poison Web of Deceit and Spider’s Bargain. Reading them certainly isn’t necessary to enjoy the novel, and it’s definitely better to avoid reading Web of Deceit first. They are good stories, though, and I do recommend that anyone who enjoys Estep’s work seek them out in order to enjoy the additional bits of information gained in them. For instance, Spider’s Bargain is the story of an event that is pivotal to Gin and Caine’s relationship, and its consequences are likely to continue echoing through the next few volumes of the series.