Audio Review: By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

Posted January 18, 2013 by Jennifer in Book Review | | 6 Comments

Audio Review: By a Thread by Jennifer EstepBy a Thread by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #6
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
Published by Audible on February 28th 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Audio | Goodreads

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.

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Gin has been busy the last few weeks after she finally took down Mab Monroe (Hey I’m not spoiling you, points up to the book summary). Every scum bag in Ashland that’s trying to make a name for themselves has been trying to take out the Spider. Gin is sick of the constant death threats…yeah right, they’re not really threats since she kills all the lowlifes that is too stupid not to learn from other’s mistakes. Come on, the Spider was the only one that could kill the big bad fire elemental, Mab Monroe and you think that you can take her out with your pea shooter. Please! Then you are too stupid to live.

Gin realizes that the attacks are not going to stop anytime soon, so she finally agrees to take that vacation that Finn suggested to her. What could go wrong when Gin decides to go on a short weekend getaway? A fun road trip with her little sister, Bria? The Snow sisters make Thelma and Louise look like a Disney flick.

Gin takes her assassin show on the road in By a Thread. Hoping to have a little sister time with Bria the two drive down to the beach getaway a day earlier than Finn and Owen since the boys had business to wrap up. Gin really tries to relax on her first ever vacation, but she doesn’t know how to enjoy a vacation like “normal” people. She tries to do the tourist thing with Bria but that doesn’t last long.

Bria picked the vacation spot, the place she grew up after the death of hers and Gin’s mother and older sister. Bria takes the chance to catch up with her best friend. Gin tags along to get Bria’s BFF, Callie. But feels left-out and comes off a little bitchy to Callie at first. But then that’s when a local thug comes into Callie’s restaurant to threaten her. Yeah, Callie is the friend that Gin reminds her of…she runs her own restaurant and she happens to look a lot like Gin….. (wait for it)

So Gin steps in to help Bria’s friend with the thug. But little did Gin know that the thug is a low man on the totem pole that works for the big bad guy in town who happens to be a vampire. Now up to this point in the series vampires have been around but we get the low down on Estep’s version of the creatures in By a Thread. They are just like humans expect they need blood along with regular food. If they drink from an elemental they get that person’s power for a short time and they live for a long time.

So this vampire has a few tricks up his sleeve and he’s not as easy to kill as Gin first thought. Killing Mab might have made Gin a little too cocky and she quickly rethinks her approach to killing the bastard. And he’s a real bastard but I won’t going into too much deals.

Remember when I said to “wait for it” (points to earlier paragraph about Callie’s similarity to Gin). Well hello Mr. Dick-tective Douche Bag. That’s right, if you couldn’t tell by the book summary, Donovan is back. It just so happens that Bria took his spot on the Ashland police department and he took hers when he left town. And what has that self righteous prick been doing? Getting engaged to the safe version of Gin, Callie. That’s right Gin’s ex-lover is engaged to her baby sister’s BFF who happens to look a lot like Gin. Mmm….

And things only get more awkward when Finn and Owen finally make it into town.

Need less to say By a Thread is full of bloody good times and wrapping up a few loose ends in Gin’s love life.

Narration Note: Lauren Fortgang is on my top 5 favorite narrators list. She does an outstanding job with Gin and all the other characters. I’ve done this whole series on audio with the exception of Thread of Death (novella) and the arc of Deadly Sting and when reading I have Fortgang’s voice in my head.



Series reading order:


About Lauren Fortgang

Lauren Fortgang lives in New York City where she currently works as an actor and voiceover artist. Born in DE, she alternated between the metropolis of Wilmington and a rural upbringing in a variety of northern California towns. She had early training at A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory and is a graduate of Fordham University: College at Lincoln Center, where she majored in theater. Her curiosity for finding new niches in the industry has afforded her a broad career spectrum, both in and out of the spotlight as actor, singer, spokesperson audiobook narrator, podcaster, and even costume designer.

About Jennifer Estep

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books and the Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. Dark Heart of Magic, the second book in the series, will be released on Oct. 27.

She is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series and Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. For more information on her books, visit Jennifer’s website at

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Owner/Blogger at The Book Nympho
I coexist with my husband of 15 years, our 11-year-old son and two chilled cats in the Deep South.

After 17 years I've finally finished my BA in English (no I do not want to be a teacher). Before majoring in English I would not have touched anything labeled "classic", but I have enjoyed a few along the way in my college career.

While I hated to read growing up, I am now an avid book reader and audiobook listener. I love rejecting reality one book at a time. I only read fiction within my favorite (at least to date) genres which include: most romance (paranormal, contemporary, D/s, BDSM, M/M)Urban Fantasy, and a few YA (mostly PNR or UF from favorite adult authors, but I'm slowly stepping out of my comfort zone after enjoying a few contemporary YA novels in adolescent literature class I took).
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6 responses to “Audio Review: By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

  1. I hate Donovan, I cringed when he walked on scene. I always feel like Gin gets treated bad by Bria. Someone needs to get off her high horse!

  2. Bria was such a bitch in this book. it really lowered her in my opinion. I just couldn’t believe she blamed Gin for the Mab thing. It was really her and Finn’s fault for getting distracted during dangerous times. And Donovan such a douche.

  3. I totally has Fortgang’s voice in my head too when I read Deadly Sting. LOL I hated Bria in this book and when Donovan makes his entrance it feels like two douche-bag cops for the price of one. Loved the big bad though, that vamp was seriously twisted.