Next SFF Author: Dennis Etchison
Previous SFF Author: Ian C. Esslemont

SFF Author: Jennifer Estep

Jennifer EstepBy day, Jennifer Estep is an award-winning features writer and page designer. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and journalism, and a master’s degree in professional communications. She currently works for a daily newspaper. By night, Jennifer is an author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next super idea. Learn more at Jennifer Estep’s website.



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Karma Girl: Surprising Depth

Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep

After Carmen Cole finds her finance in bed with her best friend, she makes the startling discovery — thanks  to the suits they are wearing — that they are in fact a superhero and an ubervillain. She snaps some photos of them with a handy camera and unmasks them both — thus launching her unmasking career. In Bigtime, New York, superhero battles level buildings on a regular basis. When you go shopping at Oodles-o-Stuff, you’re likely to encounter superheroes, because they get special discounts in exchange for protection against superfights.


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Hot Mama: Book candy

Hot Mama by Jennifer Estep

Settling down to read Hot Mama was like settling down to have a piece of book candy. (I didn’t originate this term; I discovered it on Jennifer Estep’s Blog.) You know it is going to be a fast read with lively, snappy dialog and laugh-out-loud humor. And Hot Mama did not disappoint!

It begins with Carmen Cole’s wedding to Sam Sloane, the uberdude in Karma Girl.


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Jinx: A delightful morsel of a novel

Jinx by Jennifer Estep

Jinx focuses on Bella Bulluci, who was Fiona Fine’s fashion designer rival in Hot Mama. Bella comes from a family of superheroes — both superpowered and otherwise — and she’s quite frankly tired of the whole gig. She’s had superheroes out the wazoo, especially since her family became closely affiliated to the Fearless Five in the previous novel. She has a power that is more of a curse, and it causes her endless embarrassment when the strangest things happen around her.


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Spider’s Bite: Southern-fried noir

Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

The atmosphere of Spider’s Bite might be described as “Southern-fried noir.” The setting is Ashland, an Appalachian city where magic is openly known and a ruthless magical mobster has her fingers in every pie. Most of the cops are corrupt. The hair is big and the food is gloriously unhealthy.

Gin Blanco is an assassin. She takes pride in her skill and doesn’t waste a lot of time brooding about her chosen career. Her profession makes her an unlikely heroine, but her tough,


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Web of Lies: Proceeds in rather obvious ways

Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep

Web of Lies is the second book in Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series about Gin Blanco, a young woman with elemental powers who was orphaned when she was a girl and was found and raised by an assassin who taught her the tricks of the trade. She’s known as The Spider — the best assassin in the city — and is now wealthy enough to retire, which she is trying to do. She spends her days running a barbeque restaurant,


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Venom: Fun plot if you don’t think about it too much

Venom by Jennifer Estep

Venom is the third book in Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series about Gin Blanco, an assassin who runs The Pork Pit, a barbecue restaurant in Ashland, Tennessee. My review will contain spoilers for the previous books, so you might not want to read it if you haven’t yet read Spider’s Bite and Web of Lies.

Gin has been trying to retire from her assassin’s trade, but as long as the Fire Elemental Mab Monroe runs Ashland as if she’s a crime boss,


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Tangled Threads: Big changes in Gin’s personal life

Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep

In Tangled Threads, the fourth volume of Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series, the plot advances satisfactorily. Since you’re reading this review, I’ll assume you’ve read the first three books, Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, and Venom. I’ll also assume you still like the series if you’re interested in a review of book four.

So, as I said, the plot advances, mostly with Gin’s relationships with both her new boyfriend,


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Spider’s Revenge: Somebody, just shoot Mab now!

Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep

Spider’s Revenge is the fifth book in Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series. You probably shouldn’t be coming to this book without reading the previous four books, so I’ll assume you’ve done that already if you’re reading my review. If not, beware of spoilers for the previous books.

In Spider’s Revenge, Gin Blanco finally decides it’s time to kill Mab Monroe, the evil Fire Elemental who destroyed Gin’s family decades ago and is now the crime boss of Ashland Tennessee.


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By A Thread: Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy!

By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

Stop here if you’re planning to read Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series and haven’t read books one through five yet. This review is for book six, By a Thread, and will contain spoilers for the earlier books.

In the previous book, Spider’s Revenge, Gin Blanco (as the title implies) took care of Mab Monroe, her nemesis and the crime boss of Ashland Tennessee. At this point, Estep’s fans have got to be wondering “now what’s Gin gonna do?” It seems like her life is set;


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Widow’s Web: This formula seems to be working for Estep

Widow’s Web by Jennifer Estep

Widow’s Web is book seven in Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series. I wasn’t too impressed with book six, By a Thread, but I continue to read the series because I’ve already purchased most of the books at Audible and, even though I recognize the problems with the plot and the writing, the truth is that I like Estep’s setting and characters well enough that I don’t mind reading the books in order to get them reviewed for FanLit.


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Deadly Sting: A museum heist is a nice change of scenery and pace

Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Deadly Sting is the eighth book in Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series. Anyone who has made it to this point in the series probably doesn’t care what I have to say about it, so I’ll make this short.

Gin and Owen are taking a break from each other after the events of the last book, Widow’s Web, so Gin accompanies Finn to a fancy party at an art museum on an island where Mab Monroe’s stuff will be on display for all the wealthy folks in Ashland to see.


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Heart of Venom: Pretty much the same

Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep

Heart of Venom is the ninth book in Jennifer Estep’s very popular ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series. I skipped it a while back because I’m not crazy about this series and I didn’t want to purchase it. I had the later volumes and went on. (I’ve only continued to read ELEMENTAL ASSASIN because I already owned most of the books and I wanted to report on it for FanLit.) However, a copy of Heart of Venom fell in my lap recently,


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The Spider: A prequel to the ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series

The Spider by Jennifer Estep

The Spider, the tenth book in Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series is actually a prequel in which we learn about Gin’s life and training before she became the infamous assassin, The Spider. Readers who haven’t been following the series could read The Spider with no problem, but they’d be missing a lot of the Easter Eggs that Estep leaves for her fans.

The story starts when adult Gin (the one we know and maybe love) is talking to her boyfriend Owen at The Pork Pit.


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Poison Promise: Ready to give up on this series

Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep

I’m not sure that I should continue reviewing Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series. My goal has been to get the entire series reviewed for this website because that’s one of our visions for Fantasy Literature, (get everything reviewed), but it occurs to me that it might be pointless. This series gets high marks at GoodReads and Amazon, so why would anyone who’s interested in Poison Promise, book 11, be reading my reviews when I’ve been kind of down on these books for quite a while now?


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Cold Burn of Magic: Power struggles in the magical Mafia

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

In Jennifer Estep’s Cold Burn of Magic, a 2015 young adult fantasy novel and the first book in her BLACK BLADE urban fantasy series, the world is divided into mortals and magicks, humans who have some type of magical power. The southern U.S. town of Cloudburst Falls, a hotbed of magical power, caters to tourists who want to see magical people and creatures. It’s reminiscent of Harry Potter World, except that it contains real magic,


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Dark Heart of Magic: A fast-paced teen fantasy adventure

Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Note: Some spoilers for the first book, Cold Burn of Magic.

In Dark Heart of Magic, the second book in Jennifer Estep’s BLACK BLADE teen urban fantasy series, the adventures of seventeen year old Lila Merriweather ― orphan, ex-homeless person and pickpocket, current bodyguard, and swordfighter extraordinaire ― continue. In a world that contains both normal mortals and magicks, humans endowed with different magical powers,


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Bright Blaze of Magic: Monsters and magic spice up a deadly feud

Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Note: some spoilers for earlier books in this series.

The hair-raising adventures of Lila Merriweather conclude in Bright Blaze of Magic, the third volume of Jennifer Estep’s BLACK BLADE young adult urban fantasy series. Lila, age seventeen, is not only a highly skilled thief, but also has amazing sword-fighting abilities and extraordinary magical powers, not to mention championship snarking abilities. In the town of Cloudburst Falls, where magical power is so prevalent that the town attracts tourists who want to see magical people and creatures,


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Kill the Queen: A YA type of fantasy with adult content

Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

Lady Everleigh Saffira Winter Blair is a member of the royal family (seventeenth in line for the throne of Bellona, to be precise) and has lived in the royal palace for fifteen years, since her parents were murdered when she was twelve. But this position of access hasn’t exactly translated into a life of privilege for Everleigh, or Evie. Partly because she lacks the powerful offensive magical powers that most royals have (she does have a super-sensitive sense of smell), Evie is treated just a few steps above a servant.


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Next SFF Author: Dennis Etchison
Previous SFF Author: Ian C. Esslemont

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