Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Spider (Elemental Assassin #10) by Jennifer Estep


From Goodreads:

The tenth book in the bestselling and “outstanding” (Romantic Times) Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series finally reveals for the first time the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadliest of assassins.

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.

About this time last year I read the first book in the Elemental Assassin’s series and inhaled the next 7 in very short order.  # 9 came out shortly after and I immediately read that one too.  For some reason I had The Spider on my TBR pile for several weeks before picking it up to read.  I think maybe I was worried that this would be one that I did not like.  I do like it but with some reservations.

This story is set in the past, long before the events in the previous books.  For the first time we see Fletcher alive and working.  Gin and Finn are getting over sibling rivalry and working out their relationship.  Gin takes a job Fletcher has questions about and the story unfolds from there.

You might think starting here with a prequel would be the best way to get into the series but I do think you need some back-story before you read The Spider.  Hints are dropped into the story but you will miss some of the small things if this is your first book in the series.

Some of those include the introduction of characters that will play an important part in the series.  They are just side characters here and without the knowledge gained from the first 9 books you will not see how important they will become.  Even Owen has a bit part here.
For me the story divided into two parts:

Part one is a train wreck waiting to happen.  You can see it from Gin’s actions.  She thinks she knows it all and it is a set up for part two.  I really did not enjoy that part.  In fact I almost skimmed thought it because I could see what was about to happen.  I read really fast get to part two.

Part two was where all the action happened.  Gin realizes that she was set up and takes revenge.  Here Gin really comes into her own as an assassin.  She learns and uses what she learns about herself to really fully grow into The Spider.

While this is listed as telling the origins of Gin Blanco’s career what it really tells is the job that happens after she had started her career.  It tell a lot about how she accepts jobs in the future and shows that she is more than her job makes her.

The Spider is not my favorite book in the series but it does play an important part in the series.  If you have started this series The Spider is an important book to read.  If you have not started the series you have 10 books ready to read.

Pocket Books published The Spider by Jennifer Estep in 2014.

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