Series: Elemental Assassin, Book 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
(c) May 2010, Pocket
Rating: 4 stars
Available at Book Depository (print).
Gin is the infamous Spider, the most dangerous and ruthless assassin in the South. In her last assignment, her mentor was murdered and she was framed for his death. Gin was able to take her revenge and prove her innocence. At the end of the book 1 (Spider's Bite, our review here), Gin decides to retire and take ownership of the Pork Pit but in Web of Lies we find that not even the Spider can stay away from the danger for long. Welcome back to the web Gin, they've missed you.
Gin, a somewhat retired assassin, is going about her daily business at the Pork Pit when two punks decide to rob the wrong bbq joint. Gin can't seem to stay out of retirement these days. She decides to take on a case, pro bono, to help out Violet Fox and her Grandfather from an evil dwarf, who thinks he is a cowboy. And yes, sexy, morally self-righteous, Detective Donovan is working with Gin again.
The relationship with Donovan has become a negative aspect to this book. His constant fighting with his morals 'to be with the assassin, or not to be with the assassin' is too Anita-Richard-esque for my liking. Thankfully, Estep figured this might happen so we are introduced to a new possible love, okay lust, interest for Gin (and the reader) to enjoy: Owen Grayson. Love triangles are considered possibly over done but this one is hot, tension-filled and done just the right way.
Now that the semi-negative aspect of this book is done let's talk about when Web of Lies is at its strongest; which is when Gin is doing what she does best: going on reconnaissance, assailing magically and physically fortified buildings, and killing bad guys so egregiously evil you cheer when they hit the floor (or get run over by a car. Twice.). Estep did a wonderful job of making the reader feel like they were at Gin's side, listening to her threat assessments and problem solving. (Though there were times when Gin would finish tallying up the attributes of a giant and move on to how she was going to kill him and I was still back on, "Wait, he's 7 feet tall, he can survive a direct shotgun blast to the chest and could break your neck with one punch? And you're going to attack?! Shouldn't we talk about this?") In Gin's world, local politics is a near-constant stream of graft, murder, and exploitation, allowing the reader to support her murderous justice wholeheartedly and enjoy the mayhem that ensues.
The repetitive descriptions can cause the book to feel bogged down at times but Gin's wit, Estep's overall writing, and the fast moving plot make this one of hell of a good read. Can't wait for Venom (Elemental Assassin #3).
Reviewed by Kyle Borland
Note: This book was provided courtesy of the publisher/author.
Come back tomorrow for the review of Venom and a fantastic giveaway by Jennifer Estep. Jennifer will be by the blog, too, so if you've any questions for her, now is the time to ask her!
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.