Reviewed by May
Gin Blanco is a stone cold assassin, known for her patience, skill, and absolute control when it comes to her work. It turns out though, that there was one event that really made her how she is today. Gin faced one job so pivotal in fact, that it made her embrace her mentor’s lessons absolutely and never again try to rush into anything.
This is the story of the Spider.
“Gin,” I finally said, nodding my head at the glasses. “My name is Gin, like the liquor.” I hesitated. “Well not this liquor, exactly, but you get the idea.”
His face cleared. “Oh, that makes sense.”
Well, if I’d known it was that easy, I would have started introducing myself like this to people years ago.
I was not sure about this story going in – why would we need or want to go back and read an origins story so far into this series? Would it be interesting? Also, it made me cranky to think about going back when I really want to see what comes next!
Really though, I should have had more faith because Estep delivers an intense ride through Gin’s past as we see her stumble, fall, and pull herself up and into the person we know she becomes. This is a great read for anyone who has not yet read the series, someone who has only read a few of the books, and a real treat for long time fans like myself who will get to see glimpses of all of our favorite Ashland characters.
The story is told as current-day Gin has some mysterious roses delivered to the Pork Pit (her BBQ joint) with a note about it being a ten year anniversary. As Gin walks down memory lane we can see that once upon a time she wasn’t the patient assassin that never hesitated to wait a bit more, to look at more intel, or to call off a hit simply because something feels off.
Fletcher put his foot down, talking about “procedure” and “caution”. Whatever. I gave in, if only because I knew that he would cancel the hit entirely if I didn’t, and I wanted to protect Charlotte from her father.
It was bittersweet to see Gin with her mentor, to watch her before she turned her heart to ice and became so untouchable. Estep really did a great job of showing us the Gin of the past, while (I think – we shall see!) sharing details that may be of interest to us in future books in this series.
If I have a complaint it would be that I wish the problems and eventual reveal of how Gin was missing some key elements to the hit had not been so obvious. That there had been more of a twist, and perhaps just a bit more going on in general would have been nice. I enjoyed this story tremendously but it was instantly apparent to me what was happening and what Gin wasn’t seeing.
That said, by the time I finished the story I was tremendously satisfied and as anxious as ever for more from Ashland’s greatest (semi-retired) assassin.
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