Welcome to the second edition of Pack Review hosted by
This is the second edition of the Pack Review, featuring WEB OF LIES by Jennifer Estep. Though one of our pack members couldn’t participate this time around, she’s here in spirit! Rather than divide the review into three portions, we’ve done it in two so please remember to stop by Braine @Talk Supe to see our final verdicts and what we selected as our favorite scenes and quotes from the book.
PLOT & CONFLICT
I just can’t get enough of this series! I mean I’ve only read two books so far but I’m loving the pace and the flow of the plot as a whole. I love how the Mab Monroe arc is steadily throbbing in the background, building up slowly, and I can’t wait until it becomes the main plot. That would be so interesting.
Back to the main plot. WEB OF LIES is carefully and cleverly plotted like its predecessor, Spider’s Web. Again, the story has a feel of continuance because of Mab and Gin’s personal story but at the same time, I also liked how WEB OF LIES flowed and tied up with Spider’s Web. Unlike other series where it sort of jumps, WEB OF LIES to me feels like an actual chapter sort of in Gin’s life as a whole. So Gin is now running the Pork Pit and enjoying her retirement sort of but she really can’t stay away from trouble plus, in a way, she also craves the excitement. I’m just a little bummed about the mystery behind her sister, Bria. There’s not a lot of clues given about her except for Gin’s hazy memories about the night her family got attacked. Other than that, it’s all up in the air.
Man! The conflict is so layered! Even if this was a 400-paged book, it feels shorter because something is always happening. No dull moments and I was simply flying through the pages. You have Mab, you have this dwarf, Tobias, and his beef against Warren T. Fox, Fletcher’s ex-BFF and his granddaughter Violet. Then there’s Donovan Caine and Gin and their insatiable attraction to each other. Then there’s Gin’s flashbacks, father and son, Jake and Jonah McAllister (Mab’s lawyer), who’s making trouble for Gin, attempted robbery and assassination at the Pork Pit and a new love interest. One needs a healthy heart to read through WEB OF LIES.
Lee, She-Wolf Reads:
The plot in WEB OF LIES is not what I expected. I had in mind something a bit more action packed but instead got something a bit more emotional. And I liked it. After the death of her handler, Gin decides to finally take the retirement Fletcher always wanted for her. But trouble seems to find Gin no matter where she goes. We have three plotlines here…the first is the main one, Gin takes a pro bono job to assassin a coal mining tycoon who is terrorizing Fletcher’s best friend, Warren Fox, and his granddaughter; the second is the overarching plot of the mystery of her family’s murder and the file of information Fletcher left her; and then there is the minor plotline that I think is setting the seeds for something in the future of an attempted robbery of the Pork Pit by Jake McAllister, Jonah McAllister’s (a.k.a. Mab Monroe’s consigliere/lawyer) son. Conflict abounds as Gin tries to do right by Fletcher’s friend, give Jake what’s coming to him, and figure out what to do about tracking down her family’s murderer.
The Warren Fox storyline is what really gave me an emotional punch. As Fletcher’s former best friend, Gin sees in him what she saw in Fletcher – family man, a curmudgeon, a “tough old coot.” She connects with him and decides immediately she will help him defend himself against someone trying to takeover his land. I liked that through Warren she is able to understand Fletcher at a deeper level and come to terms with what she thought was at first a betrayal, the withholding of information about her family. We see a softer side to Gin, someone more vulnerable, which in turn created a deeper heroine.
Braine, Talk Supe:
Aside from the ones we’ve already been introduced to, the new and secondary ones are just as vibrant. I love how despite Fletcher already dead, we still get to read about him, his past and how he’s still an active part in Gin’s life. I’m just a little sad about Donovan Caine’s farewell but I sort of liked how his character stayed true to himself so to speak and I appreciate JEstep keeping the detective’s integrity. Now Owen Grayson, this violet-eyed, metal elemental, piqued my interest. I might be wrong but I guess he’s going to be Gin’s new love interest and I’m actually excited how it’s all going to play out. I’m a sucker for arrogant, anti-heroes, and Owen Grayson seem to fit the bill.
Lee, She-Wolf Reads:
“Finn was probably just upset. He tends to be emotional in times of crisis.”
“And what do you do in times of crisis, Gin?” Grayson asked.
I stared at him. “I survive.”
Gin Blanco is, once again, a badass. But I think we see a side of her that we only got a hint of in the first book – her vulnerability. Nowhere is this more apparent than in her relationship with Donovan Caine. They have something, an attraction, but he’s so wrapped in guilt, right vs. wrong, that he can’t look past Gin’s former profession. Through his hot and cold game, we do see how vulnerable and lonely Gin is and how much she craves something meaningful in her life. I, personally, think he’s an a**hole. I was hoping that Estep wouldn’t try to make a tortured relationship with these two over the course of the series. Donovan is not that likeable. Instead, she gave him some delicious competition in the form of Owen Grayson, successful businessman with some magic ability of his own. He’s a great counterpart to Gin. Grayson is smart, uberconfident, and wholly without judgement.
Other characters make appearances – JoJo, Sophia, and Finn. All are back in full force, doing what they do, and showing once again why they’re all family. We also finally get a scene with Mab. She is one unsettling mofo. I cannot wait for the showdown that will eventually happen between her and Gin.
Please stop by and visit my fellow host, Braine of Talk Supe, to read our views on WORLD-BUILDING, and, of course, our FINAL VERDICTS!
with BRAINE, Talk Supe
Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.
I’m Gin Blanco.
You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.
**Source: Purchased Copy**