How did I end up in a career where I always have blood on my hands? Well, let me tell you a story about an assassin who thought she could do no wrong. . . .
Ten years ago. A blistering hot August night. I remember like it was yesterday. The night I, Gin Blanco, truly became the Spider. Killing people is what I do best, especially now that I’ve honed my Ice and Stone magic. But back then, I had yet to learn one very important rule: arrogance will get you, every single time.
This particular job seemed simple: murder a crooked building contractor with ties to ruthless Fire elemental Mab Monroe. My mentor, Fletcher Lane, had some misgivings, but I was certain that I had the situation under control . . . right up until I exposed my weaknesses to a merciless opponent who exploited every single one of them. There’s a reason assassins aren’t supposed to feel anything. Luckily, a knife to the heart can fix that problem, especially when I’m the one wielding it.
(Photo and blurb courtesy of netgalley.com)
Kindle File Size: 7120 KB
Print Length: 401 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (December 24, 2013)
Publication Date: December 24, 2013
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Links to my reviews of previous books in series ~
Spider's Bite, Book 1:
Web of Lies, Book 2:
Venom, Book 3:
Tangled Threads, Book 4:
Spider's Revenge, Book 5:
By A Thread, Book 6:
Widow's Web, Book 7:
Deadly Sting, Book 8:
Heart of Venom, Book 9:
The Spider begins the same way as the rest of the books in the series but quickly changes gears. After receiving a mysterious delivery, Owen, Gin's boyfriend, questions the origins (not in a jealous manner but inquisitive). Gin flashes back ten years prior to a time in her life where she thought she was invincible and knew everything. She, unfortunately, learns the hard way that patience is a virtue, not everyone is nice, and that when your gut (or Fletcher or Fin's) says something is wrong, step back and reassess.
Gin and Fletcher's newest target is Cesar Vaughn, owner of Vaughn Construction. The person/persons that set up the contract with the Tin Man seamlessly deposited money in their bank account but didn't provide any details. Fletcher is unable to trace the money thereby he's a tad uneasy with the hit. The only thing that can be found about Cesar is that a stone terrace built by Vaughn Construction collapsed and killed some patrons. Could it be the family members of one of those that was killed?
As the case progresses and Gin stalks her prey, she develops a romantic interest, as well. One that has her feeling loved and important. - Here is where we discover that hard-as-nails Gin is a product of what happened 10 years prior. Here is part of my review from Book 9 that is totally relevant to this book:
"As in the last book, Gin really impresses me in Heart of Venom. Some have said that Gin is a pushover, that she's so desperate for love that she clings or ignores or grasps as whatever scraps she's thrown. I'm hear to state that's a load of crap. If you've read the other books, especially those where Owen fell off the sanity wagon, then you know that she didn't drag her ass over to Owen begging to be forgiven for killing Salina. She didn't grovel at his feet and ask him to take her back. She stayed away from Owen, giving them both the space they needed to deal with what Salina had brought to Ashland."
Just an FYI ~ I figured out who the villain was almost from the very beginning. Even knowing far before I'm sure the author had planned for anyone to pick up on it didn't at all ruin this novel for me. I really find that this novel is a great mid-series U-turn that does include information not previously known about Gin.
I didn't find the fact that 95% of the book takes place in the past to be a detraction and thoroughly enjoyed seeing an earlier version of Gin. We also get glimpses of other characters that are part of Gin's modern day crew as they cross her path early on. One my favorite parts of The Spider is that we get to see Fletcher again. His demise was rather unfortunate and I wish Jennifer Estep would find a way to bring him back (like pretend he's been in the witness protection program or something) - a girl can dream....can't she??
The Spider is another fantastic installment of the Elemental Assassin series. The entire series has pulled me in and kept me engaged from the very beginning. These are the types of books that have me longing for the next one. They are written with vivid descriptions and genuine feelings, allowing the reader to become totally immersed in this world.
My review copy was courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley, at no cost in exchange for an honest review.