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Monday, December 16, 2013

The Spider by Jennifer Estep

Can you believe that THE SPIDER is the tenth book in Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series? And that it's still so good? Not many series make it to double digits and stay fresh but Estep's managed to do it with Gin and her increasingly dangerous lifestyle. But in THE SPIDER we see something a little different since the bulk of the story is a flashback to one of Gin's early assassinations and the fallout that ensued. It's fairly obvious that she survives since it's a flashback but it's also a seminal moment in Gin's development as an assassin so it's pretty cool to be able to see a younger, less experienced Gin getting her feet wet. What should be a straightforward assassination ends up being something much more layered and complex and it puts Gin through the wringer, both physically and emotionally. (One of the trademarks of an Elemental Assassin novel!)

For me, the best part of THE SPIDER is the opportunity to see Fletcher Lane in action. He's one of the major influences in Gin's life and it's really cool to see him doing his thing as the Tin Man. I've always wanted to know him better since what we've seen of Fletcher (primarily through Gin's memories) thoroughly intrigued me and THE SPIDER finally gives us the opportunity to see Fletcher Lane in his prime. We also get to see Finn when he was a bit more brash, which was a real treat since he's so suave and composed during most of the series.

There are some great little cameos in THE SPIDER. Some of them were quite unexpected so I don't want to spoil it but I will say that some familiar names will pop up outside of Fletcher, Finn, Jo-Jo, and Sophia. It's great to see some of the first meetings between characters and it's fun to see the threads that Estep is able to sew into the series with this novel.

As always, kudos to Estep for crafting a delightful novel. THE SPIDER is a really fresh entry into one of my favourite series. It puts the ongoing mystery of M. M. Monroe on hold but it gives us a great opportunity to delve into Gin's history and see just why she's so good at what she does. Origin stories are always a lot of fun and while this doesn't tell the full story of Gin becoming the Spider, it does give the reader a great deal of insight into how she went from an angry teenager to an incredibly patient and lethal assassin. I truly hope there are more flashback stories in our future.

Jenn

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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