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Friday, November 21, 2014

Early Review: Black Widow by Jennifer Estep

Title: Black Widow
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin, book 12
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books (November 25th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
*Warning: This review contains spoilers from previous books in the series*
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.
Black Widow is the twelfth book in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep.

I have something to confess… Here it comes… I haven’t been crazy about last four books in this series. Actually, I was almost ready to give up on the series. I even considered not reading this one because I thought it’ll be a Spider’s Revenge 2, but at the end… it’s Jennifer Estep! So, I decided to give it another chance. Hallelujah! OMG! I’m so glad I did because Black Widow is made of awesome. It’s simply Jennifer Estep at her best. I can almost say Black Widow is one of my favorite books in the series. Yes, it is that good.

Gin always thought one of her virtues was patience, but in Black Widow she found her match in Madeline Magda Monroe aka MMM.
MMM took her time to design a very tight trap for Gin, her family and friends, and slowly, every one of them was snared into her evil plans. MMM’s modus operandi was completely different from what Gin was expecting and what she was used. She couldn’t react on time to avoid many hardships and heartaches. I can’t say much without giving spoilers away, but let me just tell you that more than once my heart ached for Gin. MMM is a cunning bitch!

Gin was a lot better in this installment than in previous books, but she wasn’t perfect. She made couple of mistakes about things that were pretty obvious… I was so invested in the story that I found myself talking to the book and almost yelling at Gin “Don’t go there”, “Don’t do that”, but Gin didn’t listen to me and bang… you have to read the book to know what I’m talking about. Apart from those “why you did that” moments, I don’t have any other complain about this book. Gin has grown a lot, she knows she is fallible, but she also knows she has a supporting group that will always be there for her and in this installment, more than ever, they were there for her. All of them! Even Bria, who took her head out of the hole she had put it in in previous books and stepped on the game.

That camaraderie between Gin, her family and friends was one of the things I liked the most about Black Widow; it felt like everything and everybody came to its right place.

I also like how Estep dealt with the MMM situation. If I’m honest, I was expecting something similar to the conflict we saw with Mab in previous books, but I’m happy to say I was surprised how things were developed and … I can’t say more without spoilers… You have to read the book.

Everything that I like about this series was present in this book, the characters I love, the banter, the action, the fights, the suspense, and of course, the food. All these elements made of Black Widow an-impossible-to-put-down-order-take-out-if-you-interrupt-me-while-I-am-reading-I-will-kill-you book.

Black Widow has an almost perfect end, one so well done that I could have been happy with this being the last book. Luckily for us fans, we still have two more books to go and I can’t wait to see what else Estep has in store for Gin and friends in next book in the series, Spider’s Trap, to be release on July 28th, 2015.

Black Widow is a great addition to a great series and a book fans of the Elemental Assassin series have to read; especially those who are considering giving up on this series. Trust me! Don’t give up yet, read Black Widow … and… Welcome back to Gin’s world.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Spider’s Bite
Web of Lies
Tangled Threads
By A Thread
Black Widow (November 25th)
Spider’s Trap (July 28th, 2015)

Other reviews Goodreads


  1. My thought exactly. I was afraid it would be Spider’s Revenge 2 too but it's easily one of my favorites in the series.

  2. Waiting for the audiobook release on Tuesday :) I CAN'T WAIT!

  3. I want to skip your review but my curiosity got the best of me. After Spider's Revenge the next books were hit or miss for me too, it's great that she made a "comeback" in this one.

    1. I tried to keep my review as spoiler free as possible... and yes! it's great she made a comeback. I hope you like this one as much as I did.

  4. I had many of the same concerns you did when I first read Black Widow's blurb, and although I admit the last few installments weren't superb, I never reached the point of wanting to give up on this series. Estep really brought her A-game with this book—loved it!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    1. I'm just happy to like this series again... as I used to do. I hate to give up on series I used to love... hate it.

  5. Great review - I totally agree. This is my favorite book in the series. Simply wonderful!


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