Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series is by far one of my absolute favorite Urban Fantasy series that I’ve ever read. Each book is packed with lots of bloody action, a red-hot romance, cold-blooded murder, strong family bonds and the most kick-ass heroine bent on getting vengeance for those who can’t get it themselves. And By a Thread was no different.
When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation.
Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.
I can’t say if By A Thread was my favorite book out of the Elemental Assassin series or not, but I can say that I gave the loudest/most vocal reaction to it. I lost track of how many times I groaned in frustration, gasped in surprise or screamed (very loudly, I might add) “Oh, HELL NO!!!”
By A Thread was a very emotional book; yet at the same time, I think it was almost more violent/bloody/gory than the last couple of books in the series. Gin had to deal with so much emotionally, trying to connect with a sister who wasn’t exactly reciprocating and the reappearance of her ex-lover Donovan Caine, that I think it came out in her fighting. To me, the fights were much more brutal than what Gin normals delivers but it completely balanced out the emotional side of By A Thread.
I’m going to be very ambiguous here and say that nothing in the plot went the way I thought (or wanted) it to go, but the way it did turn out was amazing. I won’t explain the what or why because to do so would give away too much of the plot. But the new villain that Gin had to face was more bloodthirsty (pun intended) and possibly smarter than Mab Monroe. Those qualities made him the most dangerous villain Gin has faced yet and it also made him my favorite villain.