Review: The Spider
The Spider by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
How did Gin become the Spider? How did she become such a good assassin? Anyone really good at their job learns from experience and mistakes. What kind of mistakes did Gin make? In The Spider, it's a painful read from beginning until close to the end. It's difficult because Gin is exposed as a young, arrogant and self-righteous avenging angel.
Ms. Estep does a great job at filling in Gin's early years as she learns to be a killer. It's done very well because it shows how a cocky person can fall so hard. Fortunately, Gin's fall from grace occurs when she is young enough to pick herself back up. The storyline is tight written and well done. There are no surprises to the big reveal. There are very pleasant Easter eggs with unexpected character cameos. Xavier, Owen and Brie all show up in Gin's life when she was in her early twenties. It isn't until her trip down the memory lane where she remembers it all.
This story gallops at a fast pace, keeping up with Gin's youthful impatience. It's not often an author will take a well-established character and unmake the person a bit. When I say unmake, I mean show us the character before a life changing moment hardens the character. Gin's mistake forces her to grow up and learn a very difficult lesson. The reader is dragged along witnessing this grievous error which results in a complete cluster fuck. It's an interesting lesson because basically, it teaches Gin that making the job personal can result in severe unintended consequences. In addition, it's sad to see a young girl experiencing the thrill of first love to be completely crushed. In this story, what doesn't kill you, will make you stronger. Gin definitely became stone cold out of this lesson.
The ending is really what makes the story good for me. I'm not sure if the reveal of Gin's ugly secret is because the person Gin wrongs is out to get Gin. When Gin confronts the person who reminds her of the FUBAR she made ten years ago, it's a happy reveal. It appears, Gin's penance over the years have not been unnoticed. It's sweet and completely in character with Gin's personality.
Overall, Ms. Estep does a pretty nifty twist by presenting Gin in her younger years, this late in the series. She also ties up several loose ends which makes a reader wonder if this is nearing the end of the series. It's been a spectacular run. Recommended for paranormal readers who enjoy learning about a heroine's difficult past.
*provided by Edelweiss
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