Two Blogs and a Book – Review – THE SPIDER by Jennifer Estep

October 1, 2014 3 Star Reviews, General, Reviews, Two Blogs and a Book 2 ★★★½

Two Blogs and a Book – Review – THE SPIDER by Jennifer EstepThe Spider by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #10
Published by Pocket Books on December 24, 2013
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Fiction, General, Romance, Urban, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 381
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
The tenth book in the bestselling and “outstanding” (Romantic Times) Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series finally reveals for the first time the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadliest of assassins.

For the first time, the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadly assassin “the Spider” are revealed in full. In a story that pre-dates the other nine books in the series, Gin Blanco goes through her paces to become the most feared assassin in the Ashland.


My buddy, Braine, of the spectacular blog Talk Supe, and I are doing a buddy read of the entire Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep.  So don’t forget to head over to Talk Supe and read the first half of our talk.  Check out the links at the end!


Note:  Though this review is spoiler free for the current book, it does assume a knowledge of the previous books in the series.

Check out Part I of our discussion at TALK SUPE!

TS: I have to give it to Gin though, her taste in men is spotty at best. Ayayay! Sebastian! This guy takes the crown for Supreme King of the Douche Bags!

SWR: I know! I think this aspect of the story was one of the hardest pills for me to swallow but also one of its best aspects. I just couldn’t reconcile the Gin I know (shrewd and always a step ahead) with this trusting, lovesick young woman we meet in THE SPIDER. I mean WTF, come on Gin, you know better! But at the same time, given what she had been through I guess someone comes along and says all the right things, and she’s only human. And when you find out the truth about the father….devastating. These elements made for such good understanding about Gin. What did you think about the young Gin?

TS: I liked Young Gin, she’s like an eager beaver, itching to prove herself to Fletcher but lacks that cynical edge which is how Sebastian managed to one up her. Goodness, I felt Regret wash over me when things unraveled. Now I saw this coming from almost the beginning, like you said THE SPIDER is a catalyst for Gin in terms of character development.

I always wondered how Gin would fair against a fellow Stone Elemental. What are your thoughts about the villain here?

SWR: Great! I just wanted her to stake the Elemental’s whiny ass quick like. It was a nice touch to make it a true power struggle on par with Mab.

TS: Uh-huh! Oh and Young Owen is sooo cute!

SWR: Very cute but I just couldn’t believe they wouldn’t remember each other. This was one of those “winks” or connections that I thought was kind of a fail. One thing that stood out to me was that at one of the parties at the Vaughn mansion, there is a Monroe on the guest list that wasn’t Mab. I was so hoping we would get a glimpse of the new nemesis! Do you remember this?

TS: I might have missed that, great catch though!

SWR: I think overall I enjoyed THE SPIDER. It was an effective origins story that gave some real understanding into how Gin became, well, the Spider. But I have to be totally honest here: I’m starting to feel a little uninterested in the series; I’m starting to feel like something big has to happen in the next one to keep me along for the ride. Do you know what I mean? Now that we’re almost caught up (only one book away from the new release in November), how are you feeling thus far about the series?

TS: It’s been a helluva ride so far and JEstep has been consistent for the most part. That said, I think you and I have been spot-on on some of our observations like some parts feel redundant and I would like to speculate further that the reason why there’s Monroe 2 is (maybe) because she wasn’t really able to top Monroe 1. I mean Mab’s arc was. Just. Epic. How can you top something like that?! Gin’s whole purpose was to avenge her family’s death and squash Mab and since we got that early on in the series, I felt things plateaued after. JEstep has yet to deliver on the “what now?” part, you know what I mean?

SWR:  Completely.  Each story tends to be pretty solid but in terms of the overall series, you’re absolutely right about it having reached a peak early and then kind of staying the same since Mab.  I’m really hoping for some major shift in the next book.  I give THE SPIDER 3.5 Howls but I have some reservations about the future of this series.



Hop on over to Braine at Talk Supe to read the first half of this review!




About Jennifer Estep

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series for Pocket. Books in the series are SPIDER’S BITE, WEB OF LIES, VENOM, TANGLED THREADS, SPIDER’S REVENGE, BY A THREAD, and WIDOW’S WEB. THREAD OF DEATH, an e-novella, is also available.

DEADLY STING, the eighth book, is set to be released on March 26, 2013.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington.

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