Monday, March 25, 2013

REVIEW: Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Deadly Sting (Elemental Assassin #8) Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book was exciting as promised.

+ Gin
She was badass as ever. I definitely liked this book better than the previous volume because Gin was all tough in spite of a personal setback that occurred in the previous volume, i.e. Owen. In Deadly Sting, Gin was on the offensive and ready to take down bad guys.

However, to say I’m irked by Gin’s lack of magical prowess is an understatement. The heroine controls two major elements of magic, Stone and Ice. The series perpetually suggested she was possibly one of the strongest Elementals around, that she was mightier than Mab, the late Big Bad from book 1 through 5 who was powerful because she literally threw firepower. Yet, the only times I ever see Gin unleash her magic to her fullest, extraordinary potential is when she is near-death and desperate at the end of the book. This happened here in book 8, and I continue to be disappointed.

I know not all battles require blunt, brutal magic for victory, but I find that some of the time, if Gin didn’t use her magic as a last resort weapon or a defensive move, she would have won more quickly and easily. For example, Gin had the capabilities to freeze air and people as if time is standing still, which is highly convenient in a hostage situation. Half of what I read in book 8 would have been resolved neatly, imo, if Gin thought to use her magic in that way. Sure, it would have tired her out quickly and left her vulnerable but that’s what family and friends and disgruntled ex-hostages are there for — to kill who is left.

Granted, this is not really an issue of book 8, but instead is of the heroine and the series overall. But still, it’s book 8 already. Where is the magical asskicking festival I was promised?

+ Owen
The romance resolved itself, uh, somewhat. I wanted him to grovel; he didn’t grovel enough. Just barely. The silver lining side was that despite the issues, they didn’t dominate the plot because more important things were happening at the moment, ie.. people being held hostaged, bombs being set — not the time for a relationship talk. The romance was appropriately placed, and I was very glad for it. Nevertheless, I remained disenchanted with Owen. The next book need to have him make a grand gesture for Gin in order to redeem him in my eyes.

+ McAllister
He was Mab’s surviving henchman, her sleazy lawyer. I knew sooner or later Gin would tie up the little, slimy loose end that was McAllister. Finally in book 8, it happened and it was better than I expected. The confrontation between Gin and him at the end was sweet, revengeful-sweet. It was the perfect case of bad karma making its well-deserved appearance.

+ the plot
The flashbacks unnecessarily continued. This is one of the better books in the series where the flashbacks weren’t burdensome, there were only two scenes of it, but still. I didn’t think the flashback enhanced the plot, and if anything they interrupted the rising tension to the climax.

The good news is that the plot was full of great action, almost movie-like. I feel like it’s been awhile since I felt this high level of suspense from this series.

In Conclusion

I rate Deadly Sting 3-stars for I liked it. There is still no apparent story arc since book 5, for me at least, but the series hasn’t become stale. In fact, it seems to be climbing up on the rollercoaster of awesomeness because of a revelation in Deadly Sting which may or may not hearken a new Big Bad.

Goodreads | Amazon

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