I used to murder people for money, but lately it’s become more of a survival technique. Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town anyway. Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back, she thinks he’s hers for the taking. Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.
©2012 Jennifer Estep (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
Jennifer Estep definitely has a knack for creating characters; from her phenomenal heroine, to her lovable sidekicks, to her downright devious villains, I can’t help but be impressed every time I step into her world. That and I simply can not put her books down! Widow’s Web was no different except for the fact that I was mildly scared to turn the pages; not because I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy the story but because I feared for Gin and Owen’s relationship. That’s how involved I am in this series. Their struggles actually take an emotional toll on me. If that’s not the definition of a great author then I don’t know what is!
I find myself oddly fascinated by Estep’s antagonists; even if some of them are only present for one book, the amount of detail and thought that goes into them is simply remarkable. On the surface, Salina Dubois appears to be merely an ex-girlfriend trying to rekindle an old flame. However, as the story progresses it becomes obvious that there’s so much more to her than meets the eye. By the end I was in awe of her cruelty and cunningness; she definitely gives Gin a run for her money (in more ways than one)! I loved the way that Estep gradually widened this character’s scope until the big picture was revealed. Practically every chapter ends on a cliffhanger which had me constantly saying “I’ll just read one more…” and you all know how that goes. Now I’m stuck waiting until March for Deadly Sting. Ooh, the pain!
There’s trouble in paradise between Gin and Owen which honestly, was to be expected. Had their relationship bliss gone on for too many books I would have been disappointed. Yes I love them to death and yes I want them to get their happily ever after but they haven’t been tested nearly enough yet for them to have reached that point. This is Urban Fantasy people, there’s no such thing as easy! Grayson’s attitude was tiresome but understandable; love is blind and this book does a great job of illustrating that. I was impressed with Gin’s level of maturity and patience given the situation, in her shoes I would have turned into a jealous, sniveling mess. I think that Owen will eventually come to his senses and I’m more than willing to wait for that day; I just hope that he doesn’t take too long because he might end up being too little too late.
Finn really proved himself to me in this installment. For the past several books he’s been taking on a more active role in the assassin business and he really brought his A-game this time around. His character has morphed into so much more than just the ladies man that he started out as. Gin asked some very difficult things of him in Widow’s Web and he never hesitated. Not once. Like Blanco, he does what needs to be done regardless of who it pisses off and I love him for it. Especially now after everything that went down between Gin and Owen; it helps to lessen the blow knowing that Finn has her back.
I skipped over my usual go-to review criteria like the plot, pacing and writing because the awesomeness of these elements are a given seeing how this is an Elemental Assassin book but rest assured, they’re just as good this seventh time around. Be prepared to be put through the emotional ringer with Widow’s Web but take heart, Jennifer Estep will make it up to us. I have faith.
I enjoyed the growth of the author and the story line started out interesting. I only heard sloppy, sloppy, sloppy twice. The story seemed to flow much better then the previous books in the series. Then all the sudden it was a personality swap with the characters that we've come to know and I was at a total loss of enjoying the rest of the story. At this point I'm not even interested in a next book at all.I understand angst and drama needed to add to a story but come on... We've been through this stuff before with Donovan. Owen, what the heck happened! And Gin, how can I root for a character that is so spineless with her personal life.... And the constant calling Owen her lover, made me want to puke.
That she seemed to forget her characters personalities or she choose for them to be spineless and mindless shells of what they were or could be.
Am I being harsh? Maybe... but after 6 books, you come to know and expect more from a story then a tough as nails assassin, moping around and questioning herself for protecting those she loves by doing the job she believes is right then crying over a man that betrays her completely. Then we are left with her hoping that time heals this man and brings him back.. WTH?!?
First Donovan Caine has a crappy attitude, and now Owen goes from awesome to whiny and emo?? I understood his defense of Salina in the beginning of the book but by the end after hearing and witnessing all of her craziness I don't know what his problem is. Also, Gin's total acceptance and inability to stand up for herself drives me nuts. She's supposed to be this tough, strong woman but she turns into an absolute basket case with the men she sleeps with?? The storyline, excluding Owen is a good one. I hope to see more of Cooper and more of Phillip in the future. Fortgang does her usual great job on the women's voices.
First of all, this is a great series! Gin is such a nuanced character, she can seem both conscientious and heartless at once. The supporting characters are also well developed. And the atmosphere is so well described.
Secondly I think Lauren Fortgang does a great job narrating! All the characters has different ways of speaking. And she brings the story to life.
I don't think anything really can compare to the Elemental assassin series. But if i had to pick, I'd say something like the Jane Yellowrock series or the Vampire for Hire series. Because they are paranormal books with a strong female main character.
I have listened to the previous books in this series. And she is as good as ever!
This is a great series, so if you haven't heard the previous books, you should start from the beginning with "Spiders Bite".
I have an eclectic taste in books. I move from Jodi Picoult to Gillian Flynn. From Ken Kesey to Janet Evanovich. If it is good, I'll read it
I have already listened to this book twice. The story is solid but the narrator really brings the main character to life, nailing her rich Southern twang. For fans of narrator Marguerite Gavin, this is a must. Lauren Fortgang turns in a very memorable performance.
Again, I just want to say here how awesome the narrator's performance was! Kudos, Lauren!
It was good once but I didn't like Owen in this book. Be interesting to see where she goes
with this twist. Hope the next book comes out soon!
If urban fantasy is one of your favorite genres you'll love the Elemental Assassin series. Book 7 is no exception - all of them are equally good. They have it all: fantasy, adventure, action, magic, romance, friendship, - storytelling at it's best!
Lauren Fortgang does a superb job at narrating - her voice is very clear and understandable (English is not my first language) - yet the characters are very distinct. I very much like her voice, as it is not so high pitched as some other female voices to make my ears hurt.Her voice has character and it is very pleasant to me.
The books of this series always take me with them completely - be it suspense, emotion, the tale itself.... very enjoyable but not too much (there are some other books I have to put aside because I can't stand the upheaval any more...)
Wonderful entertainment - highly recommended!
I am open to reviewing quality products.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I wasn't feeling the storyline in the end. It didn't feel true to the characters. Since when is Owen so blind? It just seemed hollow to me.
I still love the series but this book is my least favorite so far. I can only hope the next book gets things back on track.
I'm a 30-something paranormal, mystery, and humor enthusiast. For me, the main character is the most important part of a book.
Gin Blanco grabbed me from page one (well, disc one? I don't know how to quantify in Audio?) of Spider's Bite and hasn't let go since. Its hard to root for an assassin... I mean usually they are the BAD guys, but Gin is a terrific anti-hero. You want her to be victorious, even if she has to kill 12 people in the process.
This book brings in a NEW crazy super villain. One who wants what it rightfully Gin's. I love the character development in this one. It showed how much Gin has grown and how much she really does love her family- the one she choose. I applaud that she took the actions that she did knowing the risks as they were. I can't say more without risking spoilers. BUT I already have the next one queued and ready to go.
I’ve been putting off continuing this series because I keep hearing from everyone that Owen is pissing them off. I got nervous and wanted to keep Owen wonderful in my mind. But alas, I bit the bullet and decided to continue. I don’t know if it’s because I syked myself up or because the worst is still to come but I actually enjoyed this book and Owen wasn’t THAT bad. Let me back up.
The Elemental Assassin series NEVER lacks for action. It’s not like other series where it’s just at the end, oh no, most of these books have action throughout including opening scenes. This one was very different and actually pretty funny when I figured out what was going on. I was rather confused at first but I thought it was cute and clever and brought out more of the characters personalities.
Just when Owen and Gin are in an ideal place in their relationship his old flame comes back into town. Her name is Salina and she has more history with Owen than Gin ever knew. Slowly Gin begins to unravel the web of lies surrounding Salina and gets down to the bottom of everything. And only in true Gin nature does the book end with an elemental showdown.
Salina was truly one sadistic woman. She would have given Mab Manro a go for her money in the best villain department. Where as Mab was cold, sick and twisted all the time, Salina was a trickster. Salina was a woman of many faces. She could fool the best of them, including Owen into believing she was a sweet innocent girl.
Owen definitely pissed me off in this book but not THAT much. He was completely blind when it came to Salina, yes, but he should have communicated with Gin better. He left too much room for speculation when it came to Gin and Salina. Instead of clearing the air and making his intentions clear he just chose to say NOTHING, which was the worst part.
Gin as always did what she had to do. Always putting her family and friends lives before her own. She will protect them no matter what, even if it ends her life. Her problems with Owen are making her a mess. She’s not good with emotions she’d rather kill and mask her pain. I’m hoping her and Owen fix their problems sooner rather than later.
Oh and thank you Jesus that Bria is not a snob anymore! She was actually pretty supportive and I’m glad that she’s being a real sister to Gin.
As always Lauren Fortgang is a great narrator for this series. I love when new characters are introduced and her voice seems to match their tone too. For instance, the voice for Salina was perfect! It reflected exactly what the scene called for either sweet Southern Belle, cold assassin or seductive womanizer. I look forward to hearing more from this narrator and of course Jennifer Estep.
I really like this series. The only thing that I find really annoying is that there is a lot of recapping to let people know why this and that happened.
"Only for spider fans"
For a series of books that started so well the last two have been rather flat, when you off a long running bad guy, girl in this case and then replace it with monter of the week you tend to get bored, I hope that the next outing shows growth and not more of the same or that will be my last.
"Not for the cold hearted"
Our heroine and retired assassin Gin meets her coldest enemy yet - her boyfriend's ex-fiancee...
Unfortunately, the plot is lukewarm at best and the final fight scene irritating (cos the way to win is obvious).
I love, love, love these books .... But this is by far the poorest of the series. You have to add it to your collection though, if you're a fan like me.:-)
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