Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: Black Widow by Jennifer Estep

Black Widow
by Jennifer Estep
Series:  Elemental Assassin #12
Pub. Date:  Nov. 25, 2014
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Pages:  385
Format:  eBook
Source:  Purchased

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

There’s nothing worse than a cruel, cunning enemy with time to kill—and my murder to plan.

With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit.

The thing is, I’m not the only target. I can see through the tangled threads enough to know that every bit of bad luck my friends have been having lately is no accident—and that each unfortunate “coincidence” is just one more arrow drawing ever closer to hitting the real bulls-eye. Though new to Ashland, this M. M. Monroe is no stranger to irony, trying to get me, an assassin, framed for murder. Yet, as my enemy’s master plan is slowly revealed, I have a sinking feeling that it will take more than my powerful Ice and Stone magic to stop my whole life from going up in flames.

When I started this book, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I was afraid that the villains were gonna be too similar to past evildoers, and I would have one of those "been there done that" feelings. Well I will just go right ahead and insert my foot into my mouth now. Because I really liked this book. How much? Enough to sacrifice sleep and getting to work on time.

You see, because I was procrastinating with that "not gonna like it" attitude, I didn't start reading this until I got into bed around 10:30 or 11pm. Needless to say that when the book started hitting it's stride, it was 1am. My friend Deanna, who lives in the future (15 hours ahead) is messaging me on Facebook telling me to go to bed. And I am all "just one more chapter!" Well, I "one more chaptered" it all the way to the end around 4:30am. Just in time for a nice 2 hour nap before dragging my butt up for the workday. Priorities, I have em.

I am still trying to figure out what to say about the book other than "der, I liked it. I liked it a lot." I don't want to give you any spoilers, so I'm having a hard time putting anything else about the story into words. Let's see. People go to jail. People die. Other people don't die. There is some life-affirming nookie. Gin scrapes by with barely the skin on her teeth. The main villain has acid magic, and it's particularly nasty. Jonah McAllister continues to be a cockroach. And there is a new queen of the underworld. This may have been the most intelligent review I've written (snicker). But what do you expect? I've had less than 2 hours of sleep.

So if you were reluctantly trudging forth like me whining that you wanted brand spanking new villians, not ones tied to the past, well go ahead and keep reading. You won't be disappointed. And I will never doubt Ms. Estep again. 

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Elemental Assassin Series