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ARC Review: Black Widow by Jennifer Estep

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Black Widow
Author:
Jennifer Estep
Reviewer:
Jen Twimom
Rating: A+

What I’m Talking About:

Black Widow just blew me away. Not only does it have all the usual parts that make the Elemental Assassin series one on my favorites… tough as nails Gin, witty banter, the love of family and friends. But it has so much more than any of the prior titles. MMM is unlike any villain Gin has faced before. She is one that enjoys the games and her machinations. She tears Gin apart by attacking her family and friends with red tape and legal problems, something Gin doesn’t have the means to deal with, right away at least. Gin is a “hands on” assassin, and she is made helpless by MMM. It KILLED ME to see Gin so helpless. But then MMM takes something from Gin that I wasn’t expecting – something that brought tears to my eyes and made me genuinely weep. It’s moments like these that elevated this good book to a great one. Ms. Estep has created an amazing, likable character in Gin Blanco – one that feels like a friend. I feel fortunate to see into her world, and because I feel this way, Gin’s suffering is also my own at times.

The author touches on such an array of intense emotions. But the story is equality as strong. It’s not unlike previous tales, in that Gin must overcome several obstacles to triumph in the end. But I feel like it’s the first time that Gin did so feeling completely and utterly comfortable with her friends and family. They were like a well-oiled team, something that hasn’t really happened since Gin took down Mab back in Spider’s Revenge – and even then, she included her family reluctantly. This time, there was no hesitation, they are part of her and the Spider.

And I adore every single one of Gin’s makeshift family. It’s grown over the course of a dozen books, but each character is important in his or her own way. I never feel like any of the characters are superfluous, and in fact, enjoy spending time with every single one of them over the course of a story. Especially this time around, when her family is there to support Gin, and not the other way around.

I also enjoyed the full-circle nature of the story, and I hope that now things will start anew. And based on how the book concludes, I would say yes… things are definitely changing for Gin. There is a twist revealed very late in the story – one that I guessed at, but was still pleasing nonetheless, and I hope Ms. Estep weaves it into the future stories.

Honestly, I can’t say much without giving spoilers – and if you are like me, you don’t want to know what’s going to happen before you read this one. But for fans of the Elemental Assassin series, you best carve out a chunk of time to read Black Widow because if you are like me… you won’t want to put it down until the crazy roller coaster ride has come to a complete stop.

My Rating:  A+ Personal Favorite

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In addition, Black Widow is one of…

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About the Book:

With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit.

The thing is, I’m not the only target. I can see through the tangled threads enough to know that every bit of bad luck my friends have been having lately is no accident—and that each unfortunate “coincidence” is just one more arrow drawing ever closer to hitting the real bulls-eye. Though new to Ashland, this M. M. Monroe is no stranger to irony, trying to get me, an assassin, framed for murder. Yet, as my enemy’s master plan is slowly revealed, I have a sinking feeling that it will take more than my powerful Ice and Stone magic to stop my whole life from going up in flames.

Release Date: November 25, 2014
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Series:
Elemental Assassin #12
ISBN: #978-1476774541
Genre:
Urban Fantasy
Format(s):
paperback (400 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Edelweiss

Purchase Info:
Black Widow (Elemental Assassin #12)

Reviews in the Series:
Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #1) – Audio review
Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #2) – Audio review
Venom by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #3) – Audio review
Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #4) – Audio review
Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #5)
Thread of Death by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #5.5)
By a Thread by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #6)
Widow’s Web by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #7)
Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #8)
Kiss of Venom by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #8.5)
Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #9)
The Spider by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #10)
Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #11)

Be sure to see my interview with Jennifer Estep and enter the GIVEAWAY for Poison Promise & Black Widow (open until 11/24/14).

  • Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

    Well put!! I loved this one too!

    • Thanks! It was a joy to “text-read” it with you! 🙂

  • Melanie

    I’m going to listen to the audio. Show me you’re surprised face. 🙂

    • O.o LOL! I plan to listen to it as well. it’s definitely a “re-read” for me, and I enjoy the narration on this series.

  • This one is the best EA book I have read in a long time. 🙂

    • I didn’t mind as much as you and some others the last few – in fact I’ve liked them a lot, but this book was simply amazing and heads above the rest!

  • Pingback: Jen’s Best of 2014 | That's What I'm Talking About...()

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