Friday, September 30, 2011

ARC Review: Spider's Revenge by Jennifer Estep

Book: Spider's Revenge by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #5 

Previous Books in Series: Spider's Bite (#1), Web of Lies (#2), Venom (#3), Tangled Threads (#4)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
Available Formats: Print / Ebook
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011

First Sentence: "Old habits die hard for assasins. And I planned on murdering someone before the night was through."
How Did I Get This Book: For review, from author
Old habits die hard. And I plan on mur­der­ing some­one before the night is through.

Killing used to be my reg­u­lar gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spi­der, assassin-for-hire. And I was very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly mat­ters: Mab Mon­roe, the dan­ger­ous Fire ele­men­tal who mur­dered my fam­ily when I was thir­teen.

Oh, I don’t think the mis­sion will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more prob­lem­atic than expected. The bitch knows I’m com­ing for her. So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters she hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keep­ing Bria safe is my first pri­or­ity. Tak­ing Mab out is a close sec­ond.

Good thing I’ve got my pow­er­ful Stone and Ice magic — and my irre­sistible lover Owen Grayson — to watch my back. This bat­tle has been years in the mak­ing, and there’s a chance I won’t sur­vive. But if I’m going down, then Mab’s com­ing with mat­ter what I have to do to make that happen.

In Spider’s Revenge readers finally get to see Gin battle it out with the infamous Mab Monroe. We’ve been working up to this since the series began and Estep certainly pulls out all of the stops for this elemental showdown.

While I have enjoyed all of the previous four books, Estep breathes some new life to Gin this time around that is utterly refreshing. In the past, I’ve had a difficult time connecting with the heroine; she’s always intrigued me, but I found her difficult to relate to. She blocks herself off emotionally, and unfortunately that makes it rather difficult to completely understand her.

In Spider’s Revenge, we are still treated to the tough as nails assassin, but we also are exposed to a softer side of Gin. Estep puts a great deal of effort into exploring Gin’s personal relationships and it really fleshes her out.  I was particularly happy to see her relationships with Bria and Owen grow – there are a number of scenes that I might even call heartwarming.  

With Spider’s Revenge, Estep finds to perfect balance between action and emotion - we begin to see Gin really let people in. That’s not to say that Gin loses her edge, because if anything, she puts more on the line than ever.  This time around, she’s not just battling for her own life; she’s battling for her friend’s and family’s.

The only problem I had with Spider’s Revenge is the same problem I’ve had with all the books. There is just too much repetitiveness. Whether we are flashing back to Gin’s past again ( I usually just skip over all the italicized passages), recapping past storylines and information, or Gin is talking about her cold, dead heart again, I must admit it tends to get under my skin.

But honestly, that’s a small price to pay. All in all, Spider’s Revenge is rather amazing – and we finally get some closure. After completing the book, I must say, I find myself extremely curious about where Estep will take things next. A major story arc comes to a close at the end of Spider’s Revenge and I am not sure how things will play out in the future.  Whatever happens, I am always down for another gritty adventure with Gin Blanco.  

Favorite Quotes:
Damn and double damn. And then some.
Finn regarded pesky little things like wedding bands, engagement rings, and jealous, hulking menfolk more as amusing challenges than immovable obstacles that could be hazardous to his health.
Instead, I cut him. Not deep, but there was enough of a sting in the wound to remind him of what I'd done to the dwarven mobsters in the parking lot - and that I wasn't just some chick with a knife who looked good in black.
I couldn't let him walk away. Nobody hurts the people I care about and gets away with it - nobody.
We always met in public places, like the Pork Pit or Northern Aggression, usually with Finn, Xavier, Roslyn, or one of the Deveraux sisters in attendance. Self-imposed chaperones to keep the long, awkward pauses to a minimum.
Moonlight slipped in through the lace curtains, slicing everything with its sliver cracks. That's how I felt right now - cold and cracked and hollow and empty.
In that moment, without a doubt, I knew I loved Owen - loved him with every bent piece and warped shard of my heart, black, brittle and broken though they may be.
Her small wistful gaze hurt worse than a knife ripping into my heart.
For a moment, I clung to him, letting him hold me, letting him be the strong one.
One by one, the others all nodded their heads again, as if we were talking about having a spring picnic instead of going up against the deadliest woman in Ashland and all of her men.
Rage filled me at her words - cold, black, unending rage. Whatever happened to me, Mab would not hurt my sister again. She would not.
You're Gin Blanco, Genevieve Snow and the Spider all rolled into one. You can do whatever you want to, sweetheart. 


_yay_ said...

Sounds like such a great book, but I have to agree. Too many flashbacks can get annoying fast. I'd skip pver them, too.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Stop by BookthatThing! anytime...

Chrissy Peebles said...

Awesome review! I want to read this book. : )

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