Wednesday, November 26

Review: Black Widow by Jennifer Estep

Black Widow

Elemental Assassin, #12
Jennifer Estep

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books
Date of Publication: November 25, 2014
Number of pages: 384

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe     eBooks

There’s nothing worse than a cruel, cunning enemy with time to kill—and my murder to plan.

With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit.

The thing is, I’m not the only target. I can see through the tangled threads enough to know that every bit of bad luck my friends have been having lately is no accident—and that each unfortunate “coincidence” is just one more arrow drawing ever closer to hitting the real bulls-eye. Though new to Ashland, this M. M. Monroe is no stranger to irony, trying to get me, an assassin, framed for murder. Yet, as my enemy’s master plan is slowly revealed, I have a sinking feeling that it will take more than my powerful Ice and Stone magic to stop my whole life from going up in flames.

It's hard to believe that there are now a dozen full length novels in the Elemental Assassin series and that I have reviewed the last 4 on my blog, this one being number 5.  Most books start to get a bit stale this far into a series. Repetition sets in. The series starts to stagnate. You get bored with it. It feels like the author is going through the motions.... Yeah, that's NOT this series. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

I will admit that I was a bit hesitant going into this book.  After all, Mab was gone, her giant bodyguard Elliot Slater was gone, and only a humiliated and powerless Jonah McAllister is left.  And here comes Madeline, Mab's daughter, with her giant bodyguard & cousin Emory Slater and Jonah McAllister is once again attorney to a powerful Monroe.  It felt like deja vue. Didn't we just spend 7 books getting rid of that evil witch? Yet here we are, right back where we started. Except this time the Monroe is younger, stronger and sneakier.

Yeah, hold that thought. Not quite. See, Gin has much more of a support system in place now, bigger too. And although in some ways it makes her more vulnerable to attack; it also means that she will fight smarter, dirtier and meaner than any time before. I was blown away by how good this book was. I literally could not put it down once I started reading it.

Do NOT start with this book.  There is literally 11 prior books full of back story that lead us into this book and to truly understand the scope of the world that Ms. Estep has created, you should read them all - in order preferably. I felt incredibly lucky to get this book early through Netgalley, but will still be purchasing it in dead tree version for my Keeper Library.  For me, this was a 5 star read.

Other books reviewed in the series:
The Spider - #10

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