Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Rating: 4.5 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: 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 love the sweet rhythm of a new Gin Blanco book. Jennifer Estep’s witty, biting style of humor suits me to the bone, and I’m always utterly captivated by her world’s shiny urban sprawl, with the characters and places I’ve grown to savor. I think the reason I’m so intrigued and yet so comfortable in Estep’s world is because it has so much in common with things I hold close for comfort–food, family, and touch. These are all so visceral in her writing, and the stories she builds around Gin are always brimming with emotion. You really feel what she’s feeling and you understand what she’s going through, which is part of the magic for me. Each book is a journey into learning more about a close friend…
For Gin, life is pretty simple. She enjoys spending time with the people she loves. Good equals alive. Bad equals dead. She’s got a moral code she learned from her mentor, Fletcher, and she’s trying hard to stick to it. But unfortunately, something from her past has come back to bite her–again. Fletcher had always refused to kill children, and someone they’d left alive–even though they knew he’d be a dangerous enemy–had returned to town with revenge on his mind.
Gin attends a riverboat meeting to arbitrate a deal between two rival bosses and discovers a plot to blow up everyone on board–just in the nick of time. They all assume Gin is the target, but is she? Gin and gang investigate, setting off more than one explosion in their hunt for a powerful metal elemental with dangerous strength. Finding the elusive Pike and settling the score makes Gin finally step up to the plate of being the boss of Ashland, brings back memories from the past, and nearly costs her the one thing she values above all else–and reminds her why she’s been doing this from the start. Connection and protection.
This book wasn’t as “big” as the previous couple of Spider books, but that’s okay. From what I read in the last chapter, there’s a whole lot of stuff to come in the next couple of books. Perfect set up and presentation for the new plot line that is going to be EXPLOSIVE. I’m hoping she’s also found both a new friend/ally and a new perspective on how to take advantage of being the boss of Ashland to help her in what’s going to be a monumental challenge ahead. Forget about Mab–this is going to be HUGE! I’m snapping on my seat belt because I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride! Thanks, Jennifer Estep!