Review: Deadly Sting

Reviewed by Jen
I still love you, Jennifer Estep.  And I still love the Elemental Assassin series.  But Owen… I feel like my longstanding and overwhelming love for Owen Grayson has suffered irreparable damage with this book. Which makes me both a little bit angry –and sad.

The following will contain spoilers for anyone who has not already read Widow’s Web.

As the story begins, Owen and Gin are still apart, as he deals with the fact that she killed his ex-fiance.  Nevermind the fact that Selina tried to kill his sister. Nevermind the fact that she was going to kill Gin and was obsessed with the idea of getting him back.  Oh yeah –and let’s not forget her big evil plan to kill all those folks with her big revenge plot.  But still, he’s off “thinking about things.” For three months now.  Gin is hurting (which I hate) but she is trying to soldier on.

Finn gets the bright idea to drag Gin to a huge party to showcase all of Mab Monroe’s treasures at an art museum.  He even talks her into getting a fancy new dress. But nothing is ever simple for Gin.  First of all, Owen is there. With a date.  Then the party turns into a huge hold-up as a group of giants plot to steal Mab’s fortune for themselves.  And Gin must find a way to take them all down before any harm comes to her loved ones who have been taken hostage.  Kind of like Die Hard. In a red dress.

As always, the action was great. I love that Jennifer Estep is always coming up with new ways for Gin to kill people.   While many of the last books focused on her ice magic, this book was more focused on the stone.  There were tons of cool fight sequences and big stuff with Jonah MacAllister.  Plus –a great setup for where the series is likely headed next.

If you’re anything like me, however, what you really care about is what’s happening with Owen.  Sadly, this was the only part of the story that I didn’t enjoy.  Owen was one of my favorite characters in a series filled with amazing characters. He came around on the heels of weenie-toad Donovan Caine, who made Gin feel damaged and unworthy –and he loved her for who she is.  He accepted her. And now, HE is making Gin feel small. And alone.  He is indecisive. He is a wuss.  And a stupid-head.  And honestly, no matter what happens in future books, I question whether I can ever see him the same way again.  Scratch that.  I know I can’t…. which really stinks.

Where do they end up?  You’ll have to read the book, of course.  I will tell you, though, that it is not a fun ride.  At least, it wasn’t for me.

This all leaves me with mixed feelings at the end of the book.  The parts that weren’t about Owen were everything I have come to love about the series.  I liked the plot, the villain, and the growing overall arc.  But the romance…. fail.

*ARC Provided by Pocket Books

Click to purchase: Amazon
Deadly Sting
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Books


  1. Sounds like I’m going to have to read Widow’s Web!

  2. “weenie-toad” LOL. That’s to nice.

    Yeah Owen failed in this one. If he doesn’t get his act together in the next one, I want a new love interest. There I said it.

  3. Owen is most definitely being a stupid-head. Reading other peeps reviews about this book makes me mad at him all over again!

  4. This review made me smile. I haven’t read the series; I have no idea who these characters are, but this:

    “If you’re anything like me, however, what you really care about is what’s happening with Owen.”

    I *am* like you! WTF is wrong with Owen? Sounds like the author doesn’t know how to keep stretching the romantic conflict. Either give them an ongoing HEA or end the series. This is why I don’t read UF. You make me kind of curious, though 😉

    Damn you, Owen!

  5. LOL!

  6. I don’t like it when guys are stupid-heads. 🙁

  7. I have to say, that I stopped reading this series a few chapters after the dinner where the “Evil one” shows up and interrupts the Owen and Gin. Right then I began to wonder what was JE thinking. Good authors of this genre understand that a safe harbor is critical, especially when there is so much death and destruction in the plot. So what did JE do? She pulled the safe harbor out from under Gin and added more death and destruction without a replacement. I happen to resent it when an author does that, it shows disregard for her character and for her reader.

    Heaven knows there is plenty of great series in the genre where the author understands that concept of safe harbor and respects it so they can “World build” around it. To name two that do this extremely well, Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh. Their series and world building are extraordinary and there are more out there that understand that very basic, great-story-telling marketing strategy. JE needs to be reminded that even if her characters do not have a control as to what happens next, her readers do. I simply quit buying her books.

    I read this review hoping that there had been some redemption, but clearly, JE continued on the same path. Oh well, like I said, plenty of other fish in the sea.

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      She is working to redeem Owen now, but I feel like he is irreparably damaged. I am trying to work though my feelings towards him, but I feel like it will be a hard road.

      • I will wait for your review of the next book before I decide if it is worth downloading. It will have to be an “A” though 🙂

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