Elemental Assassin #13
Available July 28th
Source: eARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.
One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.
My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…
Ms. Estep never fails to impress with the Elemental Assassin series, pitting Gin against foes with varying levels of villainy that test her on all levels, forcing her to never rely too heavily on any one of her innumerable assets. While Spider's Trap feels a bit like an in-between installment–the epic showdown with Madeline Monroe in the previous book a tough act to follow on an emotional and physical level–Gin's world is never anything other than hugely entertaining.
With her takedown of Madeline, Gin is now the reluctant head of Ashland's criminal underworld, required to put her knives aside, much to her chagrin, and practice the art of mediating disputes between the more humorous of her city's bad guys. Thanks to their antics and Gin's attempt to be a more hands-off boss of bosses, this installment has a lighter overall feel, even when a shadow of Gin's past finds his way out of the dark corners of her memory and into the light. It's more of a quick, light (light being a relative term of course) read than some of its predecessors as a result, Gin's general badassery on a lower setting as her team and a couple of newcomers help her solve a new metallic problem, our emotional investment in this particular tale perhaps not quite as strong as when Madeline targeted everything Gin holds most dear.
That being said however, we find ourselves catching a sneak peek in the concluding chapters at what the next installment promises, a beloved secondary character clearly going to have a long awaited moment in the spotlight (not that he needs one, Finnegan Lane shines brightly whether he appears on two pages or two hundred). As always, Ms. Estep makes our time with Gin and company fly by, leaving us satisfied with a complete story while hinting at things to come, and this series continues to deliver action, humor and a touch of romance in every installment.
This book was sent to me by the author free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.