Review: Spider's Trap

Spider's Trap (Elemental Assassin, #13)

Just when I thought my addiction to this spider is done, I'm hooked again @Jennifer_Estep #bookreview

Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just when it seems as if this series jumped the shark, Ms. Estep hits readers with a new arc in this series which pulls me right back in. Gin is stuck as the queen of Ashland's underworld.  She grudgingly holds this title because she's taken out all the heavy hitters.  Unfortunately, Gin is no queen.  She doesn't know how to run a criminal empire because at heart, she's a troubleshooter.  She is the one who gets the job done.  Trying to strategize and navigate the political waters is beyond her skill set.  Unless, someone steps in to mentor her.

In Spider's Trap, Gin's past comes to haunt her again.  It seems the life of an assassin is filled with those who want to kill you.  Gin's latest blast from the past is one she forgot and it is biting her big time.  I really enjoy how Ms. Estep keeps fleshing out Gin's character with historical events.  The flashbacks are well done and easy to follow.  As the reader learns more about Gin's experiences and mistakes, it shows how Gin came to be the strong ruthless killer she is today.  And even then, Gin's killing is a still with a gentle touch - a kiss of a spider.

What I like most about this character is how Gin is flawed.  She's not a character with more supernatural abilities than anyone else.  In fact, in this one, her abilities work against her and make her weak.  This plot device is used quite frequently by Ms. Estep and each time it's refreshing and different.  The way Gin overcomes her obstacles is through a combination of her brains, elemental strength, experience and friends.  Even though each of these stories features Gin, none of it would work without her supporting cast of friends, family and lover.  This is another reason why I love these books.  Gin makes genuine connections with males and females alike.  She is also loyal and always does the right thing, even when it is easier to turn a blind eye.  Gin is the type of person who will be there to help in time of need.  In return, everyone who's been helped will want to return the favour.

The villain in this story is psychotic.  What is amusing is the secondary characters who are also in the way and try to take Gin down.  They are a mild distraction that Gin ties up in her thread and comes back to when she's finished setting her trap for the main event.  Everyone's motive is different and when there are competing priorities, it seems Gin is the one who will trump all.  With this new group of villains, a new character arises who may be more friend than foe.  She may even provide some helpful influence and guidance for Gin.  Ms. Estep does a nice job of setting up for the next book with this new character.  Right after finishing this satisfying book, I'm already yearning for the next one.  Just when I thought my addiction to this spider is done, I'm hooked again.  This urban fantasy is highly recommended to those who love an assassin with a heart of gold.

*provided by Edelweiss

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