Friday, November 21, 2014

SUNNY - ARC BOOK REVIEW: "Black Widow" by Jennifer Estep

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.

You can’t keep a good criminal family down.  Round Two:  Spider vs. Monroe.

This book reminds me of the sport of boxing.  There are some boxers that use finesse and others who stand toe to toe for a slugfest.  There are times when the Elemental Assassin stories are more intricate plots and other times, like this one, when Gin meets her enemy straight on.

Despite the fact that she is new on the scene, Madeline Magda Monroe scares me.  This one spews acid, not metaphorically, literally (well, within a work of fiction, I mean). She is intelligent, sophisticated, and as conniving as they come. She has set an intricate trap for Gin.  Although Gin knows something is coming, she is unable to do anything about it.  That’s why this story works – I got as frustrated as Gin with the circumstances around her.  However, with a bit of luck and a lot of chutzpah, Gin takes Madeline on with a big,  “BRING IT”.

I think that’s why I like this story so much.  I like these particular traits from Gin – her tenacious courage, her strong fortitude, her unyielding loyalty and fierce protectiveness toward her friends and family (I also like her little snarkiness on the side).  This story isn’t complicated.  In some ways, it’s like the author has gone back to the fundamentals, and I really liked that.

As a fan of the series, this one brought all of Gin’s friends back for a simple Gin vs. Madeline smackdown.  It is a fun ride.

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series for Pocket. Books in the series are SPIDER'S BITE, WEB OF LIES, VENOM, TANGLED THREADS, SPIDER'S REVENGE, BY A THREAD, and WIDOW'S WEB. THREAD OF DEATH, an e-novella, is also available. 


Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. 

Books in the series are TOUCH OF FROST, KISS OF FROST, and DARK FROST. CRIMSON FROST, the fourth book, is set to be released on Dec. 24, 2012.

Jennifer is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series. Books in the superhero-themed series are KARMA GIRL, HOT MAMA, JINX, and NIGHTINGALE. A KARMA GIRL CHRISTMAS, an e-story, is also available.

Excerpts, free short stories, and more information on Jennifer's books can be found at

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