RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep

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Title: Spider's Revenge
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publication Info: Simon & Schuster 2011
ISBN: 978-1439192641
Genre: Paranormal

Spider's Revenge This review was written by Jan Lorman. This story was nominated in the Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category.

The summary:       

Killing used to be my regular gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spider, assassin-for-hire. And I was very, very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly matters: Mab Monroe, the dangerous Fire elemental who murdered my family when I was thirteen. Oh, I don’t think the mission will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more problematic than expected. The bitch knows I’m coming for her.

So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters Mab hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keeping Bria safe is my first priority. Taking Mab out is a close second. Good thing I’ve got my powerful Ice and Stone magic—and my irresistible lover, Owen Grayson—to watch my back. This battle has been years in the making, and there’s a good chance I won’t survive.

But if I’m going down, then Mab’s coming with me . . . no matter what I have to do to make that happen.

And here is Jan's review:

Spider’s Revenge is the fifth book of six so far in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. It is not the book to start with if you are considering reading it as each book in the series builds on the previous one. You will want to start with Spider’s Bite ( A | BN | K | S | ARe ), then Web of Lies  ( A | BN | K | S | ARe ); Venom  ( A | BN | K | S | ARe ); Tangled Threads  ( A | BN | K | S | ARe ); Spider’s Revenge  ( A | BN | K | S | ARe ); By a Thread  ( A | BN | K | S; and the soon to be published Widow’s Web  ( A | BN | K | S.

The books are set in a fictional Ashland in the corner of TN, VA, and NC. The world Estep creates is filled with humans, dwarves, vampires, giants and forces of magic keyed to the elements: earth, air fire and water. These abilities with magic are genetically passed within families. Others have side branches of magic: metal, ice, and wind. These forces can be developed and used for good or evil. People holding opposite elemental forces can magically battle to the death. Spider’s Revenge is the culmination of an escalating battle with a major evil player, who, by the way, killed our heroine’s mother and sister. Along the way, there have been loves, losses, injury, family death, family conflict, and enough tense moments to fuel several additional books.

Gin Blanco is a deceptively snarky heroine. She is a mild mannered restaurateur and community college student by day and the notorious, deadly assassin the Spider by night. How she got that way and why she continues even in retirement from the paid assassin role is the background story of Ashland itself, full of magic, violence, greed, and a few good people struggling to succeed and live in peace.

The romance between Gin and Owen Grayson evolves over several books, not unlike J. D. Robb’s Eve and Roarke and has several other commonalities as well: he is hella good lookin’ (natch), rich, suave, deadly, and supportive of our heroine. This is probably the main reason I knocked the grade down a bit. The romance seemed a little too familiar if you’ve read Robb’s series.

The books are all great urban fantasy reads filled with magic, good versus evil, a heroine who’s tough but not invulnerable and adversaries who are smart and capable. The plots are intricate and well crafted. The characters ring true and are unique. The books are written in Gin’s point of view and the inside of an assassin’s mind is sometimes a violent place to explore. Good thing she has a snarky sense about life. She has surprising periods of deep introspection as well.

If you like the work of Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews, you’ll love this series. You’ll need a tolerance for blood, guts, and the expert use of knives. Personally, I can’t wait for the next book.


This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    MarieC says:

    Great review! I love this series (in fact, any J. Estep book is an auto buy for me). I love that Gin is true to what she believes is right and wrong, willing to put herself in harm’s way for that ‘truth’ and her friends.

  2. 2
    Patrice says:

    I also love this series and thought Spider’s Revenge was excellent. I thought I’d be done when “the major evil doer” conflict was resolved, but no! I want MORE. :)  I have enjoyed how Gin developed throughout. I cried when her foster father was murdered and love the way we still see flashes of how he continues to influence her life. I enjoy seeing how she has grown into her feelings for her little group of friends/family. I haven’t read all of the In Death series, so maybe that’s one reason I cheered for Owen and enjoyed all his “dishy” attributes. But most of all I love the way he accepts and supports her, after all the grief she previously endured Gin deserves a man like Owen. (and his weapon making skills) ;-) Jennifer Estep has great world building skills and her character development really makes me think of them as real people, with dimensions to their personality. I love so many of them, the darwf sisters, her foster bro, Bria. Her villains are as fully realized as the protags, not cardboard evil, but with some traits that allow you to empathize with them or their situations while still wanting them to get the smack-downs they so richly deserve! Pacing flies along and each book’s plot is satisfying while the overarching theme progresses. These are stories I reread and still clamor for more!

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