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Thursday 28 April 2011

Tangled Threads

by Jennifer Estep
(#4 in the Elemental Assassin Series)

I was lucky enough to receive an electronic ARC of Tangled Threads earlier but will be buying the physical copy for that great cover. You can never go wrong with the Elemental Assassin series and Tangled Threads is no exception to that rule. I have been totally enamored of this series since Spider's Bite. Despite the heartache, hardships, and even, stolen good moments that occur in Gin's life she finds a way to persevere.

One thing that never changes, and is very prevalent in Tangled Threads is the descriptions of the environment. Despite Ashland, NC being a real city, Gin's Ashland is a world unto its own with its dividing line where stepping across one street means you are at serious risk from not only mere thugs, but, vampires, evil dwarves or some other badness you might run into that might not be fully human. Something that always strikes me about this series, and Jennifer Estep’s writing in general, are the vivid descriptions. For example, "green, glossy Kudzu vines curled around a trellis that partially obscured the porch. So did a thick cluster of rose bushes, although their branches were bare for the winter, except for the long, curved, black thorns that glittered like polished jet". This depiction immediately made me think of my great-grandmother's back porch that ran the length of the back of the house.

Another great thing about the books is the main character, Gin. Despite Gin's myriad edges there are parts of her that you can’t help but like and those parts even make you want to be like her, even if for just a few minutes. Maybe you would not go right out the door and whip out a silverstone knife and make someone pay for what they've done to make your day harder, or you might not bring a building down on someone's head, but, you sure can imagine it on a really bad day and it might bring a sly smile to your face.

The supernaturals in the Elemental Assassin books have been given an original perspective in the urban fantasy genre and the description of their powers and how they interact with other powers gives the books more depth. Jennifer Estep has taken the four elements and breathed a different life into them with her stories. Tangled Threads takes up the mantle and gives Urban Fantasy fans something in which to immerse themselves. The characters we have grown to love like Gin, Finnegan, Jo-Jo, Sophia, Xavier and Roslyn are there. But, now we have more of the new additions like Bria and Owen. We get to learn more about Gin's past and the build-up towards the inevitable crescendo between Gin and Mab is hanging in the air and making it hard to wait for the showdown.

Mab may not know who she is dealing with yet, but, she has brought in the big guns to take out The Spider. Elektra LaFleur's background is as dangerous and scary as Gin's. But, does she have what it takes to bring down Gin Blanco, retired assassin, The Spider? It is well worth the time to find out. This is an amazing addition to the Elemental Assassin series and I sure hope that Pocket and Jennifer Estep are interested in seeing where they can take Gin and the gang after the big showdown. I know that even with the impending showdown forthcoming Jennifer Estep has the skills to keep Gin's story moving forward.

Reviewed by LadyTechie

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