ARC Review: The Spider by Jennifer Estep

Posted November 25th, 2013 in book review / 14 comments


Elemental Assassin Series #10

by Jennifer Estep

Publisher: Pocket Books (Dec 24, 2013)
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Adult
Format: eARC (400 pages)
Source: Free book from publisher (Netgalley) for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)

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.

At A Glance
Liked the story, action, and characters, but Gin lost major cool points for me.

The Good
First off, let me correct the blurb. This is not about the origins of Gin’s assassin career. We pretty much got that in the other books. This is about a pivotal kill/assignment in Gin’s life and how it taught her a very hard lesson.

I really, really liked this story (even if it was one big flashback). Gin is 20 and still pretty green with the whole assassin thing. She has a few kills under her belt but she still lets her emotions rule her. She is impatient and wants fast gratification even though Fletcher is trying to teach her to be calm and patient. Gin makes some quick decisions and ends up killing someone who might or might not be the bad guy. Now she has to find out what’s really going on and how deep a revealed conspiracy goes.

Twenty year old Gin is not the Gin we know now, so be prepared. She makes some bad decisions, but I still loved her tenacity. It’s nice to know she wasn’t always perfect. She still knows how to kick ass and take names. But I found it hilarious how lustful and starved for attention Gin was. I was completely surprised by that which was a nice change. This story shows the important moment when Gin realizes what it means to be a responsible assassin.

I loved all of the characters, even the bad ones. The best part was seeing all our favorite original characters pop up in Gin’s life in odd ways, especially knowing how they will all be friends in the end. The action was amazing as ever and the fighting made my heart race.

The ending was awesome. Gin really owned up to her mistakes and tried her damndest to make them better. I just can’t wait to get back to the main story to see who Gin’s new enemy is.

The Bad
I don’t know why but I can’t get over that this whole book was a flashback. I really, really, disliked that. I felt a little cheated because I can’t be for sure but I feel like this story does not move the series forward at all. The Spider would have been better as a side novella.

This is a little spoilery:
Also, I lost respect for Gin in this book. I know she has to have made mistakes when she first became an assassin. It’s not that. It’s that she fell for a guy that, to me, was obviously bad in some way. There were so many signs and she brushed them off, taking the whole ignorance is bliss thing to heart. An average person, let alone an assassin, would see that this guy is a jackweed with ulterior motives. I literally thought this guy must have a special power to make people fall in love with him or find him charming because I never thought Gin would be that stupid.

The Snuggly
There is a sex scene but not very graphic. Very simple. Wasn’t to my taste since I hated the guy getting the action. The romance in general was annoying because I felt like it was fake and Gin just seemed like a lovesick puppy.

Final Thoughts
Not sure why we needed a whole flashback book with Gin being an idiot, but I must admit, it was an exciting read. I am happy we have the Gin we know today even more after seeing what she was like back then. I am excited for the next book, that’s for sure. Recommended.

Can’t quote from The Spider until I check it against the published book. Sorry, peeps.
Elemental Assassin Series (My Reviews):
Book #1: Spider’s Bite
Book #2: Web of Lies
Book #3: Venom
Book #4: Tangled Threads
Book #5: Spider’s Revenge
Book #6: By a Thread
Book #7: Widow’s Web
Book #8: Deadly Sting
Book #9: Heart of Venom
Book #10: The Spider
Be on the look out for my interview with Jennifer Estep in December 16th. There will also be a GIVEAWAY!
Review #19 done for NetGalley November.

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14 Responses to “ARC Review: The Spider by Jennifer Estep”

  1. Sarah Elizabeth

    I can totally see why you feel cheated. Flashbacks can be annoying, and if the main character starts acting unlike herself that would be annoying too! So sorry that this one wasn’t so good for you 🙁

  2. Elisa

    huh, a flashback sound like fun, but I am surprised it is part of the main story arc of books too. Still have to read it! 🙂 Great review

  3. Jaclyn Canada

    LOL How dare she have a romance with a jackweed! That’s one I haven’t heard before. Jackhole, yes, but not jackweed. I’m gonna have to steal that one. Man, I get a kick out of your reviews. I have to agree though. If this was a flashback, I would be really disappointed in the midst of a series to read it expecting a furthering of the story. It should certainly a side story prequel so that you know what you’re expecting. Great review! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

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