Monday, November 05, 2012
Book Review: Widow's Web by Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Pocket Books
Review source: Library
Reviewed by: Kathy Davie
Seventh in the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series about a former assassin under attack from all sides in Ashland, North Carolina.
I did like the start of this story as Gin stalks a target. Most of the story is Gin's quandary over Owen's behavior. She wants to be as fair as Owen was in By a Thread and it is damned hard. It's relationships, memories, expectations, and revenge. One relationship that has really done a 180 is that between Gin and Bria. Wh-o-a. I never expected Bria to get that relaxed! Nor for that book club to start up, LOL.
I will admit that I had encountered some spoiler threads which came down hard on one of the characters and it did affect my apprehension level in reading Widow's Web. But I find that I cannot agree with their conclusions. It's not fair to expect someone to switch their emotions off like a light switch. It's too much. Too much time and too much emotional investment when one is blindsided by too much life-changing information.
As much as I hate how Estep left us hanging at the end, I think she did an incredible job of portraying all this emotion. A very real interpretation. Although, it did remind me of my ex-husband's susceptibility and reactions to an old, lyin', cheatin' girlfriend.
Estep strolls a fine line between lost love and crazy as she slowly, oh so slowly, spins out the truth. I do not agree about having to know a boyfriend's back history with lovers. Each person in a relationship has a past and they are entitled to share what they want. Although, well, I do want to know about any women they've married and why they split up as it would give me a better idea of what kind of person the guy is. It's not a sure thing, but it's something. But I am not going to be offended because I didn't get the full spiel!
We do learn quite a bit about how Owen got his start to riches. NOT what I was expecting. Nor was I expecting to find him thinking more with his little head. It all leads to Gin having to make one of the world's hardest decisions. It's enough to make you cry.
One last annoyance...if Estep is gonna torture us with descriptions of Gin's cooking damn it, I want some recipes! Those apples pies are still making me hungry! It's bad enough I crave barbecue and potato salad.
It's the past come to life when Salina Dubois strolls back into town. She's determined on revenge against all the people who stood aside and allowed Mab to torture her father to death.
It's a set-up from the start when Kincaid strolls into the Pork Pit and hires Gin to cater a fundraiser aboard the Delta Queen. One in which the ramifications are still reverberating at the end.
Meanwhile, Kincaid has several propositions for Gin, all of which hinge on his past history with old friends.
Gin Blanco, a.k.a., the Spider, is a retired assassin who wields Ice and Stone. Now if only everyone would believe she's retired! She'd rather enjoy running her restaurant, the Pork Pit. Sophia Deveraux is a Goth dwarf who is the head cook at the Pork Pit. She's also Gin's backup and great at making bodies disappear. Jo-Jo Devereaux is Sophia's sister. An Air elemental, she specializes in beauty.
Owen Grayson is a blacksmith who works Metal and he's wealthy. These days. He's madly in love with Gin. Has wanted her since the beginning of this series. Eva Grayson is Owen's nineteen-year-old sister; Violet Fox is her best friend. Turns out that it's their fundraiser that Kincaid is hosting at on the old paddle wheeler. Warren T. Fox is Violet's grandfather. Cooper Stills is a renowned dwarven blacksmith with Air magic who took in the three of them on Fletcher's recommendation.
Finnegan Lane is her "brother", Fletcher's son. He and Gin grew up together when Fletcher took Gin in and trained in as an assassin. A self-obsessed man, he quite finicky, LOL! He's got more cars and suits than some nations. He trades information by night and is an investment banker by day. He's still seeing Bria, Gin's sister.
Detective Bria Coolidge is Gin's baby sister. Her partner is Xavier, a giant who is with Roslyn, a vampire who runs an exclusive club called the Northern Aggression.
Arghh, Jonah McAllister, the late Mab Monroe's greasy lawyer, is still alive. And still looking to put Gin under.
The thirty-year-old Phillip Kincaid is strictly human and yet leads one of the crime factions in Ashland. He is mostly found at the Delta Queen, a riverboat casino. Not one of Gin's friends. And certainly not someone that Owen wants hanging with his little sister. Antonio Mendez is a giant and Kincaid's second-in-command.
Salina Dubois is a water Element and an old girlfriend of Owen's. She's got plans. Benedict Dubois was her father.
The cover is icy with a mostly pale gray background with streaks of gray and cracks in its surface. Faintly superimposed is a...a web?...a fingerprint? while a sliver of black on the side has a smoky outline. A woman's profile? Smoke rising up? Of course, these are just a few possibilities.
The title is too true for there is a Widow's Web being spun and its aimed at Owen.