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Actress Lauren Fortgang does a fascinating balancing act voicing Gin. There's ample southern lilt and sly naughty charm to bring the material to life, and there is considerable music and imagery to be mined here in the writing. Yet her voice has enough bite and gravel to ground our no-nonsense morally ambiguous anti-heroine. The challenge for any good book in the urban fantasy genre is the paradox of making wildly fantastical worlds believable. Estep manages to take Ashland — this world of troubled souls, dwarfs, giants, and vampires, as well as human elementals who can tap into the very forces of nature — and make it all seem part of the everyday grind. With Spider's Bite you feel as if you could really walk these streets, but you'd also immediately feel the dirt on your skin and the hairs rising on the back of your neck as you hear noises in the shadows. Fortgang completes the task, making Gin a very believable character, somehow part embittered hard-ass, part loyal friend, and vulnerable lost soul on occasion.
The book takes a cue from its main character. It is patient, carefully spinning a web of atmospheric settings and carefully observed characters — then like a spider it jumps into action from the dark. Ashland is a tricky place and you can never judge anyone by appearances, especially Gin, and it seems there's a long line of those who have died underestimating her. One should be wary, though, of any sexy southern charmer who can not only summon razor-sharp ice daggers from thin air, but also control the very bricks in walls, rocks, and stones, and the very ground beneath her. —Cleo Creech
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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Brian Rygaard Jensen on 06-06-13
How I got to loathe the story
This book was one big cliche. The story was predictable. The characters were caricatured and without any depth.
I had quite a few laughs listening to this story. I do not think that it was intentional for the writer to make me laugh as reader/listener. And they were not laughs based on humour, more of a "I don't know what else to do" kinda laugh.
The constant use of...
"I looked at him with my grey eyes".
"His green eyes squinted"
"His hazel eyes met my grey steely eyes".
The description of the eyes kept popping up, and I was both laughing and thinking what a waste of my money each time it happened (and trust me it happens a lot). Who keeps describing herself looking at things with her eyes and the colour of her eyes? Noone.
it does not stop there:
"Guilt and grief racked my heart" is heard more than often.
"Cold rage in my heart" likewise.
The writer just tries too hard to make the persons in the story interesting and ends up making them shallow, and stupid.
Some might feel that the narrator is good. I am not one of them. Whenever she was trying to make someone sound sexy and persuasive they sounded like stupid braindead pornstars. When the rugged detective (and you will hear that a lot) is "talking" it sounds more like a person on drugs, than a person rugged and tough.
Add a story that is neither good nor interesting, and you get to waste a lot of hours you will never get back. None of the heroes or the main bad guys/girls have any flaws. They all belong in a model magazine.
I was left with a feeling of this becoming a teenage girl fantasy novel, and if that is your age you might enjoy this story. Everyone else should avoid it.
I will not be spending any more money of credits on this series, and you might be wondering why I bothered listening to the story until the end - if you have the answer please share because I do not know. Might be that I just hoped something remotely interesting would happen.
74 of 77 people found this review helpful
By Alex on 06-06-11
... I paid for it. Is it wrong to listen to a whole story only for that reason?
It's the only thing that has gotten me through this book anyway. I hope for the sake of anyone who chooses to go on with the rest of the series that the author doesn't continue to remind you every couple of chapters that Gin looks at things with her grey eyes... Nobody ever describes the colour or their own eyes when they are looking at something. Let alone every single time. It's irritating. Self-absorbed.
There's a difference between a strong character, and a boastful, arrogant character. I found myself rolling my eyes over and over again when Gin was going on about her own endless awesomeness. Sorry, I found myself rolling my BLUE eyes over and over again... (You can see how that's irritating, yes?) Not to mention how often she repeats herself about where she keeps her five knives, how the spider runes ended up on her hands, and the exact same aspects of different characters' appearances . There's no need to remind your readers of trivial details over and over again.
Bad writing is even worse when it's read out loud.
166 of 180 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By N on 12-23-12
I was originally sceptical and was doubtful about the narrator, but i have to say it grew on me, the action and storyline moved on at a great pace - i have now listened to the next 3 books - The stories have a good link maintained through the books and you find yourself cheering for the Heroine -
A thumbs up and my advice order it up
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Helen Candlin on 03-24-16
worth persisting with
Took a bit to get into but glad i am persevered as I enjoyed it in the end.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Lynne Hopkinson on 09-08-14
Would you listen to Spider's Bite again? Why?
I enjoyed this book, the story of a female assassin with magic elemental powers was out of the ordinary.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I enjoyed all the characters, they all bought something to the story.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
I think I enjoyed the scene in the Asylum the most. It was such an unexpected way to begin a story.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Fire, Ice, Air, Stone - Which Element will win the battle for supremacy?
Any additional comments?
Can't wait to listen to the rest of the books now.