Reviewed by May
Gin Blanco aka the Spider is not just a famous assassin – due to her taking down so many crime lords she’s the unofficial head of the underworld. A job she doesn’t want full of people she doesn’t want to spend time with. But with so many assassination attempts she figures it is better to take on the roll and do what she can to have some semblance of a normal life.
Well, normal for Gin.
That is until someone tries to kill her at a meeting and she’s got to figure out who this newest threat is – and why they’re coming for her.
“I thought I told you to take good care of my girl.”
Phillip shrugged. “Kind of hard when she jumps overboard with a bomb in her hands. I can only do so much, you know.”
Owen, Phillip, Finn, and the whole gang are back to back Gin up and I love spending time with all of these characters. I am such a fan of this series – and there is none I can think of to have this many books and have me as invested as I am in it.
Estep is a masterful storyteller, and what I love most about this series is how she weaves past and present, and how with each story we get more information about every important character. Whether it is depth about Gin and her love interest or we find out the origins of a longtime friend like Sophia – each book adds and enriches the series.
This is probably why I’m finding this review incredibly hard to write. In this story overall everything felt a bit stagnant. It lacked the wow factor I’ve come to expect from this series. Gin gets hurt, Gin almost dies, Gin needs to be healed, Gin is so tenacious and tough she outlasts her opponent… the action components were not especially exciting, nor was the story itself memorable. I had to go re-read parts of the book to try and remember what happened that was unique to this story. (never a good sign)
Our villain Pike was quite nasty – Estep never fails to make them really earn the title villain.
“Did he just…” my voice 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.”
Our metal twisting villain aside, the basic story components reminded me of things I’ve seen before, things I’ve read before, and I kept feeling like I had been with Gin on a journey like this before. The girl that she meets and helps in this book does add a new and interesting back story to Gin – but it doesn’t change Gin’s story or explain anything that needed it. It simply added a “Gin and Fletcher” tale that could have been handled perhaps in a novella format and been more satisfying.
I suggest that because at the end there was a “oh whoa” tidbit released that I believe sets us up well for the next story and gives me hope I’ll like the next book a lot more. I like the twist that Gin is embracing her role (in her own way) in the underworld, and my hope is that in the next book we don’t just see her facing down with yet another nasty person in need of a deadly lesson from the spider. I hope there is more to it, and perhaps more history or a compelling tale that enriches one of our favorite characters.
While this is a very hearty series I really believe it is worth beginning back at #1 – and I definitely recommend it. I’m just hoping either Estep has some new tricks for Gin or that we are going to see an Ashland version of happily ever after for her. Even with all my complaints, this book was still well done and this series remains a favorite.