Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Review: Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep

Web of Lies
(Elemental Assassin #2)
Jennifer Estep
Release: May 25, 2010
Add to Goodreads | Buy at Amazon
Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.

I'm Gin Blanco.

You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.

Web of Lies is the second book in Estep's Elemental Assassin series, a dark urban fantasy following Gin Blanco. I listened to the first in the series on audio and loved the narrator, but I had previously purchased #2 and #3 for my Kindle during a sale so I'm being fiscally responsible and reading those two rather than listening.

The darkness in this series comes from Gin's long time job as an assassin and, unlike other books where the assassin has a heart of gold or something equally as unlikely, Gin does her job with little apology for who and what she is. While others might call Gin's character unlikable, I find it refreshing to have someone like Gin in the urban fantasy genre. Often UF sees heroines that go out of their way to not kill the bad guy for whatever reason. Gin's plan at the beginning is often, "I'm going to kill him. We just need to figure out how.".

Now that's not to say Gin doesn't have a heart or anything like that. She doesn't kill children or upstanding citizens and her loyalty to her friends and those she considers family trumps everything else. She often doesn't even realize the good deeds she's doing for others. She's a very damaged yet strong woman and she is super complicated. I'm excited to learn more about her and see more of her as the series goes on.

Police detective Donovan Caine is back in this sequel and man does he make me mad. Estep writes him sexy as hell, but he just can't get over what Gin is. At least we get some hot sex out of it, but Donovan emotionally hurts Gin in ways we don't see anybody else hurting her and these encounters also help to peel back Gin's layers a little bit and let us understand her better. In this book we meet another hottie, the charming Owen Grayson. Dare I say it...I smell an alternate love interest to Donovan Caine? God I hope so. I look forward to where things will go between the two of them in future books.

We get to see more of Gin's abilities with magic in this book as well. Even though she is an elemental, she doesn't rely on those abilities to do her work and actually, we barely saw her use her powers in book one. I wanted to learn more about what she can do and in Web of Lies we do learn a little more about Gin's elemental powers.

If you're into rich world building you will also find a home in the Elemental Assassin series. I find myself thinking about this world even when I'm not reading the books because its so realistic and well thought out. Reading an Elemental Assassin book is like being in Ashland.

I highly recommend this book and series to lovers of urban fantasy who enjoy darker material.

Recommended for fans of: dark UF, the Downside Ghosts series, damaged unapologetic heroines, hot car sex, elemental magic, and foodies.

  4 / 5 stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin #1)

1 comment:

  1. Love this series and highly recommend it! Did you know that Jennifer Estep has a bunch of free Elemental Assassin shorts on her website? I just found this out and don't know how I missed it. They're mostly from other characters' POVs, including Finn and Mab. Go to and look under Excerpts and More.


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