Wednesday, August 31, 2016

ARC Review and Giveaway: Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

Series:     Elemental Assassin #15
Pub. Date:August 30, 2016
Publisher:Pocket Books
Length:400 pages
Source:NetGalley

I am always so happy when a new Elemental Assassin book comes out - I know what to expect from this series and author, and I am never disappointed. This series is one of the more gritty urban fantasies, with an assassin heroine and lots of death and magical destruction. And the FOOD... barbecue and baked beans and macaroni and cheese with buttery crackers crumbled on top for crunch.  Good grief - I am always so hungry after reading one of these books!

Unraveled starts a new story arc with a whole new band of villains - the Circle. A mysterious group of shadowy individuals that apparently run the criminal underworld from behind the scenes in Ashland. While The Circle was mentioned in Bitter Bite, it was only a minor plot point as the focus was on Finn's mother, Deidre Shaw.  So that's why I say that this is really the beginning of the story arc. I am continually impressed by Jennifer Estep's ability to craft new villains that don't pale in comparison to the earlier baddies.. and I am so happy that she has not ended the series. I would be totally happy to still be reading about Gin and gang five years from now.

Our favorite assassin, Gin Blanco, has begun her investigation into the mysterious Circle. She has very little to go on... and is getting aggravated fast. So when Finnegan Lane conveys that he has inherited a Wild West theme park and hotel from his deceased horror of a mother, Gin allows herself to be talked into a "vacation" to check the property out with Finn, Bria and Owen. Only Gin remembers what happened in the last "vacation" the group took down to Blue Marsh, so she doesn't relax her guard when departing for this trip.  The threat level rises almost immediately upon the group's arrival at Bullet Pointe, and I was happy to see that everyone trusted Gin's judgment going into this story.

The setting of this story at Bullet Pointe, Georgia was cute. It's in the vicinity of Stone Mountain, Georgia, which has its own park full of Confederate history... and I could totally see a Wild West theme park fitting right in. The thought of Gin Blanco in a saloon dress created a vibrant picture in my mind, and the hokey aspect of the park balanced the gritty aspect of the death and mayhem. The hunt for Sally Sue's missing gems and the constant threat from minor villains, Roxy and Brody, kept the story moving along at a nice pace. The action in this installment of the series is a bit lower than some of the most memorable books... but I can tell that this story arc is leading up to several big booms. I expect scary dangerous villains and huge destructive fights where Gin will inevitably win by the skin of her teeth.

I just love Finnegan Lane so I hated to see that he was still dealing with the aftermath of Diedre's betrayal in this book. I hate how the coworkers at the bank have been treating him, adding insult to injury, as if it was his fault that his psychotic mother returned from the dead to play him for a fool. Poor Finn. While I didn't like seeing Finn still down in the dumps, I was happy to see Gin and Owen have a little romantic time as a couple in this story. The romance usually takes a back seat to the urban fantasy aspect of the series, so its a nice to have a little sexytime treat here and there.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars / 2 flames.




Giveaway


About the Author

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. Unwanted, e-novella #14.5 in the series, will be released on July 18. Unraveled, book #15, will be released on Aug. 30.
Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series. She is also the author of the Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series and the Bigtime paranormal romance series.

For more information on Jennifer and her books, visit www.jenniferestep.com or follow Jennifer on FacebookGoodreads, and Twitter.

Elemental Assassin