I have to admit, I was worried. When Jennifer Estep wrapped up the Mab Monroe storyline in the last book, it felt like it could be the end of the Elemental Assassin series. Then I head two words that made me shudder: road trip. Few authors can take their main character out of the familiar environment and make the story work. But let me tell you right now, not only did Jennifer Estep make it work, she’s given us the very best installment in the series to date.
After Mab’s death, Gin thought her life would get easier. But thanks to Jonah MacAllister, Gin’s identity is no longer a secret. And every day, a new thug is showing up at the Pork Pit to challenge her. So Finn convinces her to take a vacation. Gin jumps in the car with Bria, back to her sister’s home town, hoping to leave the violence behind. She also hopes she can bridge the growing gap between her and her sister.
I must say, Bria really ticked me off here. She is so judgmental of Gin; she blames her for things that are not her fault; she basically acts like Gin is beneath her. Very reminiscent of Donovan Caine in the earlier books. –And speaking of Donovan– He is suddenly back in the picture as Gin finds herself in the middle of a conflict involving one of Bria’s old friends. The woman is getting pressure from a vampire crime boss to sell her restaurant and Gin can’t help but to try and help the woman who was like a sister to Bria for years. The woman who also happens to be involved with Donovan… who is still a complete toad.
This book is fast paced and full of action. But what makes it so good is that its also full of emotional turmoil in Gin’s life. She has to learn hard lessons about the limits of her power. She must decide how much crap she is willing to take from her sister. And she needs to figure out where her heart lies. Is Owen the only man for her? Can she let go of her old feelings for Donovan? Do I ever stop wanting to punch him in the ‘nads?
The absence of Mab and the change of venue gives the series an infusion of new life. It feels fresh without trying to reinvent the core of the series. It brings back all my favorite characters (and even some better left to rot beneath a bridge.) It is unpredictable. And it managed to make me worried, angry, sad, hot, happy, and triumphant, all in equal measure. I couldn’t have been more satisfied and I wouldn’t change a thing about how it all played out. I can wait to find out what’s next for my favorite assassin. 5 stars.
*ARC Provided by author for review
By a Threadby Jennifer EstepRelease Date: February 28, 2012Publisher: Pocket Books