By a Thread
Goodreads ratings
4.17 / 5

Estimated read time: 7 min read

One Sentence Summary

A skilled elemental assassin navigates a deadly web of lies and betrayal to protect her family.


"By a Thread" is a thrilling urban fantasy novel written by Jennifer Estep. It is the sixth installment in the Elemental Assassin series, which follows the adventures of Gin Blanco, an assassin with a unique elemental power. In this action-packed book, Gin finds herself facing a dangerous enemy who threatens everything she holds dear. With her skills and determination, she must navigate a treacherous web of deceit and fight to protect the ones she loves.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set in the fictional city of Ashland, where Gin Blanco operates as the notorious assassin known as the Spider. Ashland is a gritty and crime-ridden city, divided into various territories controlled by powerful crime families. Gin, a skilled elemental assassin with the ability to control stone and ice, uses her talents to eliminate the city's most dangerous criminals.

In "By a Thread," Gin's peaceful life is shattered when a new enemy emerges. Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who killed Gin's family and tormented her for years, is seemingly dead. However, Gin soon discovers that Mab's legacy lives on through her son, Jonah McAllister. Jonah is a sadistic and power-hungry Fire elemental who seeks to avenge his mother's death by destroying Gin and everything she holds dear.

As Jonah's relentless attacks escalate, Gin realizes that she must gather her allies and fight back. With the help of her sister, Bria, her lover, Owen, and her loyal friends, Gin embarks on a dangerous mission to defeat Jonah and protect Ashland from his destructive plans. Along the way, Gin faces numerous challenges, including deceitful allies, deadly traps, and heart-wrenching betrayals.

Main Characters

Character NameDescription
Gin BlancoThe protagonist and assassin known as the Spider. She possesses the power to manipulate stone and ice. Gin is determined, resourceful, and fiercely protective of her loved ones.
Owen GraysonGin's lover and a powerful Fire elemental. Owen is a wealthy businessman with a heart of gold. He provides emotional support and strength to Gin.
Bria CoolidgeGin's younger sister and a detective in Ashland's police force. Bria is strong-willed, principled, and has a complicated relationship with Gin.
Jonah McAllisterThe main antagonist of the story and the son of Mab Monroe. Jonah is a sadistic Fire elemental who seeks revenge against Gin for his mother's death.

Summary of Story Points Over Chapters

Chapter 1-5: The Return of Jonah McAllister

  • Gin's peaceful life is interrupted when she discovers that Jonah McAllister, Mab Monroe's son, is alive and seeking revenge.
  • Gin reconnects with her sister Bria, who is torn between her loyalty to the police force and her love for Gin.
  • Gin gathers information and prepares to confront Jonah, but he always seems to be one step ahead.

Chapter 6-10: The Battle Begins

  • Gin and her allies launch a series of attacks on Jonah's operations, disrupting his plans and weakening his forces.
  • Gin's relationship with Owen is tested as they navigate the dangers and uncertainties of their mission.
  • Jonah retaliates by targeting Gin's loved ones, putting them in grave danger.

Chapter 11-15: Deception and Betrayal

  • Gin uncovers a web of deceit as she discovers that someone close to her has been secretly working for Jonah.
  • The traitor's actions put Gin's life and the lives of her friends in jeopardy.
  • Gin must confront the traitor and make a difficult decision that will have far-reaching consequences.

Chapter 16-20: The Final Showdown

  • Gin and Jonah engage in a climactic battle, using their elemental powers to unleash destruction.
  • Gin's determination and resourcefulness are put to the test as she fights for her life and the safety of Ashland.
  • The battle reaches its peak, and the fate of Gin and her loved ones hangs in the balance.

Main Events

  1. Gin discovers that Jonah McAllister, Mab Monroe's son, is alive and seeking revenge.
  2. Gin gathers her allies and prepares to confront Jonah, launching a series of attacks on his operations.
  3. Gin's relationship with Owen is tested as they navigate the dangers and uncertainties of their mission.
  4. Gin uncovers a traitor within her inner circle, leading to a confrontation and a difficult decision.
  5. Gin and Jonah engage in a climactic battle, using their elemental powers to unleash destruction.

Themes and Insights


  1. Revenge and Redemption: The theme of revenge is explored through Jonah's relentless pursuit of Gin. It delves into the consequences of seeking vengeance and the possibility of redemption.
  2. Loyalty and Betrayal: The novel explores the complexities of loyalty and the devastating impact of betrayal. It highlights the importance of trust and the consequences when it is broken.
  3. Power and Control: The theme of power is prevalent throughout the story, with characters vying for control over Ashland. It delves into the corrupting nature of power and the lengths people will go to obtain it.


  1. Strength in Unity: The story emphasizes the strength that comes from working together and relying on the support of friends and loved ones. Gin's allies play a crucial role in her fight against Jonah.
  2. Consequences of Actions: The novel explores the far-reaching consequences of our choices and actions. The characters must face the fallout of their decisions and confront the impact they have on those around them.
  3. Growth and Resilience: Gin's character demonstrates growth and resilience as she faces numerous challenges. She learns from her mistakes, adapts to new situations, and becomes stronger as a result.

Reader's Takeaway

"By a Thread" is an exhilarating addition to the Elemental Assassin series, delivering a thrilling blend of action, suspense, and emotional depth. Jennifer Estep expertly weaves a tale of revenge, loyalty, and the enduring power of love and friendship. The story keeps readers on the edge of their seats, eagerly following Gin's journey as she fights against formidable enemies and confronts her own inner demons. With its engaging characters, intricate plot twists, and themes that resonate with readers, "By a Thread" is a must-read for fans of urban fantasy and gripping storytelling.


"By a Thread" by Jennifer Estep is a captivating urban fantasy novel that continues the thrilling adventures of Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin. With its gripping plot, well-developed characters, and exploration of themes such as revenge, loyalty, and the power of resilience, this book is a must-read for fans of the genre. Estep's skillful storytelling keeps readers hooked from beginning to end, and the exciting action sequences and emotional depth make "By a Thread" a highly satisfying read.

By a Thread FAQ

  1. What is the genre of 'By a Thread'?

    The genre of 'By a Thread' is urban fantasy.

  2. Who is the author of 'By a Thread'?

    The author of 'By a Thread' is Jennifer Estep.

  3. What is the main storyline of 'By a Thread'?

    In 'By a Thread', the main storyline follows the adventures of Gin Blanco, an assassin known as the Spider, as she battles against a new enemy who is targeting her friends.

  4. Is 'By a Thread' part of a series?

    'By a Thread' is the sixth book in the Elemental Assassin series.

  5. Do I need to read the previous books in the series to understand 'By a Thread'?

    While 'By a Thread' can be enjoyed as a standalone book, it is recommended to read the previous books in the Elemental Assassin series to fully understand the characters and their backgrounds.

  6. What are some other books by Jennifer Estep?

    Some other books by Jennifer Estep include 'Spider's Bite', 'Web of Lies', 'Venom', 'Tangled Threads', and 'Spider's Revenge'.

  7. Where can I purchase 'By a Thread'?

    'By a Thread' can be purchased from major book retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, as well as online platforms like Kindle and Nook.

  8. Is 'By a Thread' available in ebook format?

    Yes, 'By a Thread' is available in ebook format for Kindle, Nook, and other e-readers.

  9. Are there any movie adaptations of 'By a Thread'?

    As of now, there are no movie adaptations of 'By a Thread' or the Elemental Assassin series.

  10. What is the average rating of 'By a Thread'?

    The average rating of 'By a Thread' is 4.2 out of 5 stars.