Books Magic Urban Fantasy

Black Widow: A good and fun but rather quick read.

Black Widow (Elemental Assassin #12) by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 8 out of 10 starsBlack Widow

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.

I was afraid that this book was just going to be Mab Monroe all over again and I guess that, to some extent, it is but I am happy to say that I found it sufficiently different for it to be fun to read. I like Gin. I like that she is a good kick-ass character that does not have seconds thoughts about giving the bad guys the treatment they deserve and who requires some serious “bad-assery” to be knocked off her feet herself. Although I have to say that she sometimes is a bit slow to see the obvious.

The book starts off bad, really bad. The first parts of the book starts with M. M. Monroe screwing over both Gin and her friends with real low, despicable tactics. This part has a lot of deceit, backstabbing, legal bullshit, corrupt cops and so on and so forth in it. At one point I was almost feeling that I did not really want to go on reading. I so hate that stuff.

Luckily the book picked up after the first third or so when Gin starts to bounce back. From there on it is a lot of the usual preparations, investigative work, smart-ass dialogue and bickering between friends. In short, the things those of us who have staid with this book series for 12 books like to read. Or at least I assume everyone else likes that stuff just like me. Why else would one still be reading after 11 books after all?

Naturally the book builds up to the big confrontation between M.M. Monroe and Gin and it is a quite good one. None of those half assed things where the baddie escapes and the entire thing drags over to yet another book. I really liked the fact that for once our heroine really dropped the surprise on her adversary. That does not mean that it was a walk in the park to be the last woman standing of course but for once it was not the hero getting into a pickle and barely managing to overcome. I so loved this little exciting surprise party at the end.

If I should complain about something I have to ask why the bad guys always have to be the stronger elementals? After all, Gin are supposed to be somewhat unique. Could we not have her become really really pissed off and just vaporize the criminal mastermind, or something, at least once?

Anyway, this was a good and fun read even though it was somewhat predictable and a rather quick read.

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