26 September 2011

ARC Review: Jennifer Estep - Spider's Revenge

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439192642
ISBN-13: 978-1439192641h
Title:Spider’s Revenge
Series: Elemental Assassin #5
Characters: Gin Blanco, Owen, Finnegan Lane

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 me...no mat­ter what I have to do to make that happen.

My Review

!!Warning: If you haven’t read the previous books this review may contain spoilers!!

A long time ago a prophecy changes the course of so many people and now the reader is given the ultimate showdown. With the beginning of Spider’s Revenge, Jennifer Estep immediately sets the tone for the rest of the story. There was no gradually easing in to it with easy banter between characters. No, this time I was thrown smack-dab in the middle of a tension rife scene instantly elevating my blood pressure. I got a taste of the diabolical scheming of Mab Monroe and the singular drive of Gin Blanco for revenge.

One of the things I noticed was that the rekindling of information was kept to a minimum and was much more affective this time around. It didn’t hinder the pace of the actual story and only refreshed the memory. While first time readers might still enjoy the story I would say; why start with Spider’s Revenge? The major and some minor plotlines will have so much more punch to them if you start at the beginning!

The first half of the story I was going back and forth between familiar elements and a gradually increasing tension. I was intrigued by the suspense, got lots of acerbic witty dialogues between the group of characters and action filled scenes. It was something I’ve come to expect from Jennifer Estep. She has kept the Elemental Assassin series on a 4 or higher star rating for me and I was ready to be blown of my feet again in a roller coaster ride of plot, action and romance. Let me say that the first half of the book is only warming up the reader. It’s kind of going up the track in a roller coaster ride. Adrenaline starts to pump in your veins, butterflies grow to the size of bats fluttering in your stomach and you heart is slowly getting to beat a mile-a-minute for that moment you tip over. That’s how I experienced the first half as it prepares you for all the things that are to come in the second half and I got what I wanted; I was blown away!

I will look at Gin Blanco, aka The Spider, and see an assassin with heart. She can be lethal with the flick of a wrist and have no scruples about it. Still, over the course of this series some characters have niggled the way in to a small corner of her heart, making her care deeply about them. Ever since Spider’s Bite, Gin has been on a collision course where her deadly skills would threaten all she holds dear. In Spider’s Revenge the stakes are higher than ever before and it demands all of what Gin has to give.

Gin has a no-nonsense attitude, she has her own moral code and an inner core of steel. The fierceness of her love and loyalty is shown to the reader with the very select group of characters who love her and who have become her family. As always Finnegan ‘flirts-with-everything-that-has-a-skirt’ Lane brings humor to the story. Owen who was sexy from the first moment and surprised me in more than one way with his layered personality. The romance may not be the main course in this series but it struck a chord with me in the depth and beauty of it between Gin and Owen.

There are more supportive characters like sturdy, ‘I’ll have your back’ Sophia, who doesn’t say much but each expression or muffled sounds is quirky but meaningful. Her sister; ‘I’ll take care of you’ Jo-Jo is home, pure and simple. Bria is very much like Gin in love, loyalty and backbone. They all burst of the pages with their bold personalities and the dialogues between them speak of a very strong connection. Over the course of this series I got attached to this core group of characters. In Spider’s Revenge I got to become a part of their small family again and I didn’t want to see any of them hurt, or worse! In doing so it made fighting scenes filled with nail-biting tension. Because who were to say the good side wouldn’t lose a few in the end?

Gin was going to face her nemesis, Mab Monroe in the ultimate showdown which made Spider’s Revenge jam-packed with action and verbal taunting between the two powerful women. Mab Monroe was a worthy adversary and just a character I loved to hate. She reeked of power and evil but it made me root for every plan or fight gone right against her. She elevated the mystery in her scheming and raised the stakes in her raw power to kill. Even with all of the tension going on where lethal action ruled it was the love in all its forms and the family that gave it all meaning. I was tumbling from edge-of-my-seat moments to ones where I was gasping, crying or laughing. It is Jennifer Estep’s writing style that has the ability to let the reader absorb all that is going on and she made me live every moment with Gin & Co.

With each novel in the Elemental Assassin series I feel more invested. Even though major plotlines get resolved in Spider’s Revenge, believe me when I say that by the end you know there is room left for more. The kill or be killed fights and the increasing dangers coupled with the emotion rife interaction between the characters make Spider’s Revenge one whopper of an Urban-Fantasy no one should miss out on! I can’t wait to find out what the next chapter of Gin Blanco’s life entails!

4.5 stars

Quotes for you to sample:

1: In that moment, without a doubt, I knew that I loved owen—loved him with every bent piece and warped shard of my heart, black, brittle, and broken though they might be. The knowledge left me dizzy and breathless, and I had to grip the counter to keep from falling off my stool.

2: Genevieve Snow, Gin Blanco, the Spider; whatever I called myself, one thing remained the same—Fletcher Lane had fiercely loved me, and I’d loved the old man just as much in return. Enough to follow in his footsteps as an assassin. Enough to avenge his murder. And more than enough to take on this final impossible task of killing Mab Monroe.

Jennifer Estep on the www:
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  1. I love this series, and I am looking forward to reading this book. There is a great interview and give-away on Amberkatze's book blog.

  2. Lots of Spider reviews today ;) And peeps are liking it

  3. Love, love, love, this series and can;t wait for the next instalment.

    Glad to hear Jennifer Estep is keeping the flame on high with Gin and her crew.

  4. @Aurian - Jennifer Estep is touring around blogland...she is one author who turns the release of her book in to a true fun-fest ;)

    @Blodeuedd - Yeah, there is a lotta lurv going on for this series and it deserves every bit of it. Gin & Co are awesome :)

    @Sasha White - the stories this woman puts to paper is definitely enough fuel for the addictiveness of this series ;)


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