I'm not really sure how I feel about this one. It was an interesting story, with a labyrinth of a plot. The characters, on the face of it, were interesting. Assassin chick. Heart-of-Gold homicide detective. Rich best friends with connections in diverse industries and undergrounds. Magic and supernatural beings of all sorts. But really, Gin was barely fleshed out, Donovan even less. So the romance is what did me in here.
The romance was just... all off for me in this book. It didn't work. I felt like too much time was spent repeating things about the Elements (which are hardly used at all) instead of giving me a reason to believe Donovan is the one guy that would be able to crack hard-as-rock Gin. And seriously, when Gin dry humps him at the club, that made me feel totally awkward. I was like "If that were a guy doing the same to a girl, it would be sexual assault." I didn't like it at all. They didn't have fun banter or anything, mainly them just reminding each other that they have to wait until they finish their mission before they kill each other.
I'm really stuck on Gin not explaining to Donovan her reasons for the hit on his partner. It's like she enjoyed torturing him, forcing him to feel terribly guilty and upset over his feelings for her. She thinks about explaining... "I could explain why I murdered his partner, but..." - THREE FUCKING TIMES. And she notices his self-recrimination numerous times. He freaks out over it repeatedly. It's obviously a big freaking deal, so I don't understand why she doesn't just explain things to him.
The romance was so unbelievable and picked at my patience, while the plot was twisted but unsurprising, I had a difficult time with this one. I ended up skimming a few times until there was dialogue.
Also, how the hell are you gonna name a series "Elemental Assassin" and then have your assassin retire at the end of the first book?! God damn.
AND! What kinda bullshit pseudo-cliffhanger ending is that? Am I the only one that saw that coming a mile away? Estep is no good with surprises. Foreshadowing was poorly executed here.
So yeah, I'm really frustrated. I've been putting off reading this because it's written in first person from Gin's point of view and I have a hard time with those. But I read friend's reviews and they all loved it so much, I gave it a shot and now I'm kinda bummed. Partially because it's an established series and I would have had a nice chunk of new reading material, but also because I'm in the mood for lady-assassins right now.
I'm not writing the series off, but I'm in no hurry to continue anytime soon.