Widow’s Web is the seventh book in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. The fact that I have gotten that far into a series should hint at my ardor for these books. After a few weeks of crashes and burns I needed something fun and familiar and I picked up where I had left off in this series. For the future I’ll have to remember my new mantra – When in doubt, read Jennifer Estep books. They always do the trick.
Which means I have to read her Young Adult series. And soon.
The city of Ashland has changed considerably since Mab Monroe’s death. Gin Blanco is still growing accustomed to the fact that everyone suspects that she is the Spider, the deadly assassin responsible for Mab’s death. Gin, who is the Spider, is trying to lay low but that is an impossibility. Into this environment walks Salina, a seemingly perfect Southern Belle with water magic abilities. Salina presents more of a threat than Gin could possibly verbalize – She used to be involved with Owen, Gin’s current lover. After her entrance Owen seems withdrawn and distracted and its all Gin can do to concentrate on her newest assignment, which could damage everything that Gin has been trying to build.
I love these books, passionately love them. That said, this one seemed a tad old hat. Here’s a villain for Gin to take out and here’s the complications doing so presents. I never developed a particular hatred or fear of Salina or her powers, so the story arc with her seemed a bit lackluster to me. She was the current villain that Gin had to take out (or try to) and that was fine, but there wasn’t as much tension as I am accustomed to. She just felt very flat.
What really sucked me in were the character dynamics between Owen, his sister Eva, Gin, and Phillip Kincaid, a circle of people who have all been affected, in one way or another, by Salina. While Salina’s powers presented little tension her presence certainly threw a wrench into everything character wise. It’s one of those books where new threads begin here and end in later books, and I am very much looking forward to seeing how Estep ties up those threads. I think the results from Salina’s inclusion will be much more entertaining later than in this book. But I know that Estep will turn this plot into something grand, so for reason I cannot wait for the next book… and luckily I don’t have to. The eighth book, Deadly Sting, just released last week and I will be starting it this evening.
For now, 4 out of 5 stars. And onto book eight.