Title: The Spider
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publication Year: 2013
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Source: E-book borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
How did I end up in a career where I always have blood on my hands? Well, let me tell you a story about an assassin who thought she could do no wrong. . . .
Ten years ago. A blistering hot August night. I remember like it was yesterday. The night I, Gin Blanco, truly became the Spider. Killing people is what I do best, especially now that I’ve honed my Ice and Stone magic. But back then, I had yet to learn one very important rule: arrogance will get you, every single time.
This particular job seemed simple: murder a crooked building contractor with ties to ruthless Fire elemental Mab Monroe. My mentor, Fletcher Lane, had some misgivings, but I was certain that I had the situation under control . . . right up until I exposed my weaknesses to a merciless opponent who exploited every single one of them. There’s a reason assassins aren’t supposed to feel anything. Luckily, a knife to the heart can fix that problem, especially when I’m the one wielding it. . . .
(This is the tenth book in the Elemental Assassin series, after Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, Tangled Threads, Spider’s Revenge, Thread of Death (novella), By A Thread, Widow’s Web, Deadly Sting, Kiss of Venom (novella), and Heart of Venom.)
I’ve been starting to wonder how much longer the series can go on now that Gin’s been exposed as the Spider, but flashing back to an earlier time in her life hadn’t even occurred to me. But that’s what happens in this book.
The Spider gives readers of the series a chance to see Gin, Finn, and Fletcher in a much earlier time in their lives, in more depth than the dreams and flashbacks that Gin normally has. It was really cool for me to get to see an early job of Gin’s, and to really get to know how she developed into the character that we met back in Spider’s Bite.
It was actually kind of amusing reading about Gin’s mistakes as a young assassin in this book. There were moments where, like when watching a horror movie, I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her or tell her not to do or believe something. But since it’s in the past, I knew that everything would turn out okay … though it was a nice window into learning why she is the way she is in later books.
I also liked the way that Estep wrote these little bits into the book where Gin had met most of the main characters in the series earlier on, especially her encounters with Owen and Bria. It was a bit unbelievable that she wouldn’t have remembered any of those moments until retelling this story to Owen in the Pork Pit, but that’s okay. I can suspend my disbelief for a little while to read a good story. And The Spider was definitely that.