Title: Tangled Threads
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publication Year: 2011
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Source: E-book borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings.
But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past — or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead. Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur — or die trying — because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too. The only problem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sibling . . . or that I’m the murderer she’s been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead. . . .
Up until this point in the series, the emotional conflict has mostly been things in the past – remembrances of Gin’s family being killed – or detached moments in the present, like the aftermath of Fletcher’s death or Gin seeing her surviving sister, Bria, from afar. But in this book, Gin and Bria have to get a lot closer to each other, and the emotional turmoil both with her and with Owen is palpable throughout.
Of course, there’s still lots of action and fight scenes in Tangled Threads where Gin really thrives. It’s the first time she’s faced all that powerful of an elemental, especially one who’s gifted in an offshoot like electricity, so the fighting is also a lot different and more challenging. It’s a lot of fun to read, though, and you feel almost as though you’re rooting for Gin to finally reach the end of her mission, to get to Mab.
Lots of this book feels as though it’s a stepping stone to later events in the series, but Estep does a great job of keeping things interesting and working on important issues as though it’s a standalone story. I really enjoyed it, and it paved the way for things to really move forward in the series.