Spider’s Revenge – Elemental Assassin #5 – A novella of a story at a novel’s page length and price
The fifth Elemental Assassin entry aims to wrap up the long standing arc since Book 1. It’s Mab Monroe vs. Gin Blanco aka The Spider aka Genevieve Snow. It’s the final show down to prove once and for all who is the strongest. Mab is pulling out all stops to finish what she started 17 years ago while Gin’s not backing down to exact revenge that she’s been working towards since then herself. Who will win?
This series has so much potential, but I’m disappointed that things really didn’t get going until the half way point. Estep spends the first third of the book practically summarizing what’s happened in the previous books which annoys me to no end. It drastically affects my enjoyment of the book; this was the same pitfall for the previous installment. A pattern is now obvious.
Once you get over that, there are some moments and parallels that I saw coming from a mile away, but I still enjoyed them regardless. We learn back story about a couple of supporting characters and we get to see others characters finally in action and kicking some ass, which I liked as well.
I’m typically drawn to series that are primarily character-driven, so a lot of the time I will gloss over the action, but Elemental Assassin is one of the few where I really get into it. I read this series for the action moreso than the characters if I really think about it. The pace is just right, the intensity is there, and it’s not very confusing. I think it really helps that we’re in the mind of a stone cold killer. She’s not some innocent girl still finding herself and trying to react to the bad guy. Gin is genuinely a badass, so I do give the series props for that.
While the action is at an all time high, due to the continuous repitition, the predicability, and the over-explaining (Estep literally makes a page out of something that could be one sentence), I can’t ever give this series more than 3 stars until the author gets over those glaringly lazy attempts to fill pages. It needs more substance. Period. The first couple of books are exceptions for obvious reasons. But at this point, each new installment is essentially a novella of a story at the price of a novel.