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Poorly written, poorly plotted and poorly researched
Web of Lies
(Elemental Assassin, Book 2)
Jennifer Estep

I read this and the previous book after my wife (or my step-daughter, i forget) picked them up used because they sounded interesting.

I mostly read this one to see if it got any better than the first. It didn't.

The protagonist (and most everyone around her) is less than bright. (Unless the author is a lot sneakier than she appears to be, Gin should have solved the Big Horrible Mystery Of Her Life on about page seven of the first book.) The characters pretty much range from unappealing to actively annoying (and those are the "Good Guys").

The setting is a would-be clone of Covington Kentucky or Phenix City Alabama in their "glory" days, just not very convincing. (Look them up if you don't know about them.)

The writing ranges from workmanlike to ludicrous - about the second or third time i ran across the first-person protagonist saying things like "My grey eyes narrowed as I glared at him...", i was about ready to giggle semi-hysterically.

The "elemental powers" of many of the characters are pretty much "she can because I say she can" on the part of the author without much rhyme or reason behind them.

And, worst of all, is the fact that the author doesn't know what she's talking about, and hangs the whole story on something that just flat can't happen - and i don't mean something magical. I mean something real, physical, and easily researched. It took me less than five minutes on line to find the proof.

Basically, the main McGuffin of this story turns on something that could only happen in one, small, specific spot in North America. To even say *where* would be a major spoiler, so all i'll say is that that one specific spot is not within a thousand miles of the setting of this story. And the details of the story make it clear that even if that weren't true, it couldn't happen where the story is set and in the way it's described.


Not possible. We're talking penguins-at-the-North-Pole, wild-elephants-in-South-Dakota type impossibility.

I do plan to glance into the next book (in the bookstore, i'm certainly not buying it) to see if the Incredible Surprise is what it looks as if it's going to be.

Avoid this. Buy some Maryjanice Davidson or Charlaine Harris instead.

(I gave it two stars, because {since i can't give less than one star on Amazon} i reserve one-star ratings for books that are 100% unreadable; thus two stars is the lowest i give books that can actually be read, no matter how un-rewardingly.)