New Release Review: Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

unraveledNew Release Review: Unraveled by Jennifer Estep
Book 15 in Elemental Assassins series
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Book provided by NetGalley and Pocket Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis from Goodreads: After the shocking revelations of the previous book, Bitter Bite, the world of Ashland’s become even more sinister, and Gin Blanco (aka Ashland’s most fearsome assassin, the Spider) no longer knows who—or what—she can count on. Only one thing is for certain: danger and new enemies await Gin in Unraveled, Book 15 in the New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series that RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!”What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy?

As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter.

So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected.

Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight …

AH’s Review – 4 Stars – A-

Yet another solid installment in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassins series. This series just keeps getting better and better. I can’t believe that Unraveled is book 15 already. For those of you unfamiliar with this series, the lead character is an assassin known as The Spider, aka Gin Blanco. Gin lives in the very corrupt town of Ashland where she runs a barbeque restaurant called The Pork Pit. By the way, do not read these books when hungry – the author describes all the food and makes it sound so delicious. There’s all sorts of characters in this series – giants, dwarfs, vampires, and elementals, along with us regular folk. The magic is a bit different, following the elements so that there is air magic, stone magic, ice magic and more.

So book 15….Note that the blurb is a little spoilery. I highly recommend that the series be read in order if only to see how much the  characters have developed. The author’s writing has improved significantly. Where the earlier books suffered from repetition (especially about eye colors), the later books are better written.

What did I think of Unraveled?

Is it my imagination or has Gin gotten more badass than ever? She just can’t wait to stick it to the bad guys. I don’t know, Gin seems to be more gleeful at any chance of conflict. Whereas an earlier Gin would have stalked her “prey” for a longer period of time – this Gin just wants to get rid of all the bad guys at once.

I loved that this book was set in a Western themed amusement park. It’s a little hokey, but it makes for a very entertaining backdrop. It also allows Gin to be with Owen, Bria, and Finn for a little R & R, even though that doesn’t last long. There’s lots of action and tons of fun as Gin and the gang search for some missing gems hidden at the amusement park.

The secondary characters are great, especially Gin’s assistant Silvio. I love how the villains are like caricatures – they are just so bad and evil.

The only thing that bothered me – and maybe because it was a regional choice of word – was the use of tobaggan to refer to a knitted hat worn in the winter. For me, a tobaggan is a sled, so I kept picturing Gin with a wooden tobaggan sled on her head.

Fantastic series. Highly recommended.

AH’s Rating: [user 4 img=”06.png”]

Series Reading Order:

  1. Spider’s Bite
  2. Web of Lies
  3. Venom
  4. Tangled Threads
  5. Spider’s Revenge
  6. By a Thread
  7. Widow’s Web
  8. Deadly Sting
  9. Heart of Venom
  10. The Spider
  11. Poison Promise
  12. Black Widow
  13. Spider’s Trap
  14. Bitter Bite
  15. Unraveled
  16. Snared (expected date of publication January 31, 2017)

There are also many short stories that fit in between these books. For a full listing, check out the author’s home page or Goodreads.

Thank you to NetGalley and Pocket Books for a review copy of this book. 

© 2016, Badass Book Reviews. All rights reserved.

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