Dec 27, 2013

Posted by in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Spider by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #10)

thespider4 star

Urban Fantasy
December 24 2013
Mass Market Paperback
400 pages
Pocket Books
Received from publisher via NetGalley

Kick Ass Chick – Gin Blanco

From Goodreads –
For the first time, the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadly assassin “the Spider” are revealed in full. In a story that pre-dates the other nine books in the series, Gin Blanco goes through her paces to become the most feared assassin in the Ashland.

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The Spider is the tenth installment in Jennifer Estep’s excellent Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series.  This one takes us back ten years before now and we follow along as Gin takes on a job as a young and a little more impatient assassin.

How did Jennifer fit this flashback flawlessly into the story and the series?  Gin receives rare and very distinctive flowers at the diner while Owen is visiting her.  This makes her take a trip down memory lane and she shares that story with Owen.  Simple and effective, I liked how Jennifer did this.

I found it was a neat idea for Jennifer to bring us back in time.  From book one we have seen Gin as the patient and professional assassin who is both tough as nails yet vulnerable and relatable.  It was nice to see a younger and less mature Gin.  This way, we witness her transformation without actually having to be by her side for the past ten years.  Jennifer wrote ‘this’ Gin well.

The story was quite interesting even though I knew from pretty much the very beginning who the ultimate bad guy was.  I was surprised that Gin didn’t see it too but when thinking about it, it made sense because this younger Gin was seeking approval and love from wherever she could find it…even if it was from someone shady to everyone else.  I still enjoyed the ‘final battle’ and seeing how Gin ultimately defeats them.  I also really liked what happens after Gin finishes telling her story to Owen.  Her visiting a certain someone really brought a nice closure not only to the book but to that part of Gin’s life.

For those of you who notice the repetition in this series let me give you a heads up:  it is quite obvious in this intstallment, with many details repeated that I didn’t find needed it.  But other than that, I liked the pace of the book.

I was surprised to see many characters that we have gotten to know and love in the first nine books make an appearance in the story Gin was telling.  Remember, this story takes place ten years ago and many of her friends were not part of her inner circle back them.  While it was neat to see Bria’s father, for example, and other characters we would actually expect to see in this book (like Finn and Fletcher) it was almost odd to see some others.  Where I can see the appeal of seeing almost all of our favorite characters making cameo appearances in this latest book, some of their scenes felt a bit forced to me.  All in all though, I found most ‘appearances’ were fun and made me smile.

I liked knowing a bit more about Gin and Fletcher’s relationship and seeing Gin and Finn ten years ago when their relationship was blossoming.  I also liked seeing Gin open up to Owen about this ‘not too pleasant’ part of her life.  It helped show how they are building trust and coming back to where they were before ‘the incident’ a couple of books back.  Overall, a neat concept for a book in a long term series.  It made me look even more forward to coming back to the present for the next book, Poison Promise, July 29th 2014.

4 stars

Books in the Elemental Assassin series –
Spider’s Bite
Web of Lies
Venom
Tangled Threads
Spider’s Revenge
By a Thread
Widow’s Web
Deadly Sting
Heart of Venom
The Spider
Poison Promise (July 2014)

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