Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: December 24, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 10th book in the Elemental Assassin series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
This is the tenth book in the Elemental Assassin series. The eleventh book will be titled Poison Promise and is scheduled to come out in July 2014. Estep has 12 books contracted in this series. I haven’t enjoyed the most recent books in this series as much as earlier ones and this book continues that trend for me.
This book is a prequel about a time when Gin was training to become The Spider. Fletcher gets a job to do a hit on a the owner of a large construction company, Cesar Vaughn. But Fletcher just has a bad feeling about this job. When Gin finds out that Cesar has been abusing his daughter, Gin is determine to do the hit and talks Fletcher in to it. Of course, things aren’t as they seem and there is important background involving this job that kind of blows up.
Estep did a good job of portraying a younger and slightly more innocent Gin. Gin is a lot more vulnerable and angry than the Gin we know and love. She is also surprisingly…uh…stupid about everything given her life experience to this point and her line of work.
It was also nice to read about Fletcher and about Finn when he was younger. We get a better feel for Fletcher as a man, although he is in the background for most of the story. Finn is very much the same as he is in all the other books in this series. We do get to see Bria as a young girl, before Gin knew Bria was alive. There is even a cameo by Owen.
However, the plot is incredibly predictable and simple. By the second chapter I was able to predict everything that would happen; I hoped that I was wrong but I wasn’t. It was like absolutely no effort was put into creating this plot. There are no twists, no turns. Estep foreshadows everything so heavily in the beginning of the book that she might as well just tell you everything that’s going to happen in the first chapter. So, this book was very much an exercise in just sitting there watching everything play out exactly how you expect it to.
As with other books in the series there is way too much recapping and things are over-explained. The book is decently written, but it is also a bit simplistic. I feel like more recent books in this series have been like this. The writing is simple and straight-forward, the plot is incredibly simple too. These last few books have been more like short stories drawn out into book length…and this book is the same.
I guess it is decently written and the story was okay. I am just really starting to wear out on this series; more recent books have been too simplistic and the written hasn’t been as good. There are some good action scenes in here and I did enjoy cameo appearances by some of the characters we have seen in previous books in the series. It was interesting to find out how these characters came into Gin’s live. Still we already know a lot of background on Gin, and this book doesn’t add much to that.
Overall an okay addition to the series. The writing and plot are very simple and predictable. The story doesn’t add as much to Gin’s background as I had hoped. It was somewhat interesting to read about Fletcher a bit more and to learn about Bria’s past some. All in all I thought this was a pretty disappointing book. I would recommend the first six or so books in the series to fans of urban fantasy, they are very creative and well done. These last few books though have been disappointing to me.