Review: Spider’s Trap by Jennifer Estep

Spider’s Trap by Jennifer Estep
Series:  Elemental Assassin (# 13)
Release Date:  July 28, 2015
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Pages:  401
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review



Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…


Review:  I’ve been a faithful fan of the Elemental Assassin series since book one.  And now we’re at book thirteen.  Has the series been perfect?  No.  There’s been a lot of repetition.  And let’s be honest.  Thirteen books in, it is to be expected.  Bad guys start to blend together.  Fight scenes aren’t as fresh as they were in the beginning.  But when I’m in the mood for something action packed with a paranormal twist, this series is where I go.

Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin Spider, is now the reluctant queen of the Ashland underworld.  This time around Gin’s enemy is a metal elemental.  One of my favorite parts of this series is how Ms Estep plays around with the different elements.  For example, Gin has ice and stone elemental magic.  She can harden her skin with the stone magic or she can create ice picks with her ice magic.  Over the years, Gin has fought against fire, acid, ice and so on.  Metal magic was first introduced with Gin’s significant other, Owen, who wields the magic and uses it in his weapon making.  However, our new villain has much stronger magic.  Here’s a short excerpt that illustrates how powerful her new foe is:

“Did he just…” My voice just trailed off.

“Use his metal magic to reshape that spoon into a dagger?” Owen finished my thought.  “Yeah.  That’s exactly what he did.”

“Cool, ” Finn chimed in.

Owen and I both turned around in our chairs and gave him a look.

“What?” Finn protested.  “It is cool in a completely sneaky, underhanded, deadly sort of way.  I admire such things.”

Gin has to rethink the way she’s going to challenge a magic elemental.  She can’t go running in with her daggers and hack and slash her way through a fight.  It was a refreshing change and made for some interesting battle scenes.

Once again, the flashbacks that Gin experiences tie the current situation with something that happened years prior when her mentor was still alive and shaping her into an assassin.  And all the supporting cast are accounted for and helping Gin  along the way.

This book is meant to be read as part of a series and not a stand alone.  Ms Estep does not really spend the time re-introducing characters or settings.  I feel she is assuming you’ve been following the series and don’t need the recap.  So, if you’ve not read other books in the series, you might feel you’re missing important information.  But that said, this was a much needed change in the series and I can’t wait to see what comes next.