I used to murder people for money, but lately it’s become more of a survival technique.
Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town anyway. Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back, she thinks he’s hers for the taking. Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.
Review: I freakin’ love this series. Most people that read my reviews know that I don’t often gush over books. Instead, I tend to be overly critical. And in fact, some of my past reviews of Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series I often whined about the repetitiveness of Gin’s thoughts and even some descriptions (especially when it came to Gin’s knives and their locations on her body!). However, I think with the focus of this series veering away from Gin’s vendetta with Mab Monroe (books 1-5) it’s setting stronger and is breaking away from that mold it had found itself in.
When Ms Estep sent the book out for review, she said that there was going to be a surprising twist in this book and she hoped that her fans would stick with her as things would resolve in future books as there are 10 planned. So I went into this book wanting to know what the heck she did that she would share this mini spoiler. Obviously, I’m not going to tell you more other than to say that while I wasn’t terribly happy about the turn of events, the whole book really did set it up.
As I’m sure you’ve read the blurb before moving on to the review, you know that Gin is an assassin and since her showdown with Mab, everyone has been gunning for her. So imagine her surprise when the newest threat is Salina… a water elemental (first one we’ve met in the series) and Owen’s ex-fiancee. So there are all kinds of complications in Gin’s life now.
Pluses with this book… the use of the water elemental. Wow! Ms Estep found some awesome ways for Salina to use her elemental talent. Each one seemed to be more creative than the last and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how Gin would outmaneuver Salina. And the book caught me from page one as Gin was giving the reader her background while on a “job”. It was an effective intro that hooked me almost immediately and kept me guessing.
I think the weak point was Owen. My feelings here are hard to express without spoilers. So, you may want to skip over this paragraph if you don’t want anything given away. You’ve been warned… Yes, I know first loves have a special place in many people’s hearts but when it came to Salina, Owen seemed to be completely blind. And even when confronted with her, well let’s call them faults, Owen still didn’t seem to see the light and continued to see the “best” in her. In other books, I think I had a bit of a crush on Owen over the way he loved Gin… but in this one, I just wanted to reach into my e-reader and strangle him. The complete change in Owen’s personality just drove me crazy.
Possible spoiler over…
Outside of my issues with Owen, I really did love this book. I think Ms Estep’s writing is getting tighter and just plain better as the series goes on. She’s getting more inventive and descriptive. And I for one can’t wait to see what happens next in Ashland.