Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Elemental Assassin Series (#1-15) by Jennifer Estep

Elemental Assassin Series (#1-15) by Jennifer Estep
Published between 2010-2016
Summary on Goodreads
Wow, 15 books, where do I even start?  First of all, I just want to be clear that book 15 is not the last book.  In fact, book 16 is currently available however one of my library is showing that the copy is missing and my other library doesn’t even have any of her books.  So.  I also think I have given this book way too much attention – I mean, 15 books?  That’s a lot of dedication on my end.  Also even though I think the way how book 15 ended with that major cliffhanger, it was also a good way for me to wrap up the series.  Mainly because now Gin is going on another huge mission on taking down another whole organization altogether.  So I should probably get out before she even starts because knowing Jennifer Estep, she’s going to milk another 10 books just to defeat them.

So first things first, I did enjoy the series otherwise I would not have spent so much of my time listening to all 15 books and yes, I had them via audiobook.  I really did enjoy the narrator as well because she did the Southern accent so well with all of that “sugar” endearments being thrown in.  And let me tell you, it got thrown in quite a bit.  I know the author was trying to emphasize that the characters are all from the south but I think she overdid it.  Everyone literally had an intense southern drawl and their voices were either gravely or nasally.  There was nothing in between.  So obviously the narrator did as told and while doing a fantastic job in the voices, it was also difficult sometimes to distinguish some of the characters.  I mean, from what I know, not everyone in the south have gravely/nasally voice.  And apparently they’re all either super grumpy or super sugary.  Also no in between.  Are there no normal people in the south?  According to Jennifer, apparently not.

That being said, I’m also not sure if it’s a grammatical error or a regional difference because Gin would often say “he/she got dead” and in the north east, that is so wrong grammatically that I would honestly cringe every single time she would say something along those lines.  You don’t “get” dead – you “become” dead or you “get killed”.  It was something small but as an assassin, she would cause other people to “get” dead on such a frequent occurrence that it started to really rub me wrong.

Another thing that got annoying after a while was all of the flashbacks and dreams that Gin would have.  And it was so forced that I really hated it.  I mean, most of these flashbacks and dreams just happened to occur right when it was actually relevant and she would somehow remember something from the past that would help her figure out a certain problem or answer questions.  Out of all the books, I don’t think there was even one of them where Gin figured things out for herself if it didn’t pertain to actual fighting but problem solving – she would “somehow” fall asleep and get some wisdom-filled dreams that would “miraculously” save the day.  In the beginning of the series when Fletcher was killed, it made sense for Gin to have some recurring dreams about him and what he had said but after a while, it became a little redundant and in book 15, she was remembering things that happened to her over 20 years ago.  Not sure about you but that seems highly unlikely.

One other issue (last one, I promise before I am basically just venting) was the same problem that occurred in the Anita Blake series where the author seemed to copy and paste certain sentences/paragraphs in each book.  For example, every single time before she would sleep with Owen, her lover, she would say something about the little white pills and always using extra protection.  And it was the same line, over and over again.  Thanks for the sex education, Jennifer but 15x in 15 separate books?  That’s a little excessive.

Even though I have basically been ranting, I truly did enjoy the books.  Despite Gin’s shortcomings (she was a little slow at times), I found her resourceful in times of need and admired her loyalty and ethics.  She was an assassin but she was an assassin who cared.  She had these moral codes that were embedded in her and I was pleased to find that she never broke them even though there were times when it certainly would have been easier.  Her friends and family were always loyal to her and even though they argued at times, at the end of the day, they remained true as well.  Those were relationships you can’t really find anywhere and I’m glad to find that Gin managed to pick up really grounded connections as the series went on. 

The plots were usually different in each book but there were a lot of previous references scattered throughout so I would definitely recommend reading them in order for a reader to really get the whole picture.  I was also intrigued by how much underworld dealings were going on in Ashland which seems like a normal southern small-town but apparently that was not the case because once Gin would take down one of them, another one would show up.  It was like whack-a-mole all over again. 

I would recommend this series to people who would be okay with an overall interesting plot and intriguing characters and wouldn’t mind the tendency to rehash things again and again. 



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