Books Magic Urban Fantasy

Unraveled – The Spider goes west (kind of). Great book.

This is a great book in the series for several reasons. The writing, characters and action is generally good in the usual Jennifer Estep way. However the author makes a welcome change of scenery which gives the book a certain freshness and the usual all powerful elemental bad guy have now been replaced by a shadowy organisation, The Circle.

Unraveled (Elemental Assassin #15) by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 9 out of 10 stars

unraveledAfter the shocking revelations of the previous book, Bitter Bite, the world of Ashland’s become even more sinister, and Gin Blanco (aka Ashland’s most fearsome assassin, the Spider) no longer knows who—or what—she can count on. Only one thing is for certain: danger and new enemies await Gin in Unraveled.

What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy?

As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter.

So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected.

Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight …

This is a great book in the series for several reasons. The writing, characters and action is generally good in the usual Jennifer Estep way. However the author makes a welcome change of scenery which gives the book a certain freshness and the usual all powerful elemental bad guy has now been replaced by a mysterious and shadowy organisation, The Circle.

Gin takes a vacation with her friends. Well if you believe that then you are not as smart as you think. Gin believed it…for about five seconds. Naturally the vacation turns into something else and Gin will have to make good use of her elemental powers and her knifes.

The fact that Gin leaves Ashland for a quaint tourist attraction in the form of an old western team park injected a bit of much needed freshness in the book. The change of scenery is quote welcome and adds quite a bit to the enjoyment of the book.

The other change is the introduction of The Circle. Actually that happened already at the end of the previous book. The previous books in this series tended to become a bit stale as it felt like it was the same thing over and over again with Mab just being replaced by a new and more powerful elemental bad guy. The Circle is different. It is a mysterious and shadowy organisation with long reaching tentacles. It is also clear that Gin’s mother had a part in it. It is now a whole new game than just running down the next bad guy that pops up.

Gin has not changed of course. She is still the sharp tongued assassin that we have come to love and her friends and the bantering between them are ever present. The introduction of the grumpy old dwarf made for some fun reading. The book is the usual sneaking around looking for clues, taking down the bad guys in various subtle and less subtle ways. There are a few twists of course and then the usual grand finale and showdown between Gin, her friends and the despicable bad guys.

One thing that annoyed me a little is that Gin has blasted some of most powerful elementals off the planet and now she seems to have difficulties taking on a second rate elemental who’s only advantage is that she learned to infuse her weaponry with her elemental powers. Sure Gin had just taken out more than a dozen of said bad elemental’s cronies but still. It felt like she had much more elemental power in previous books.

Still, this was a great book. Not simply more of the same but a new fresh story arc has begun with this book and the ending of the previous one. I am looking forward to the next one.

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