It seems as if Gin Blanco can’t catch a break no matter how hard she tries. As Jennifer Estep’s prior novel, Spider’s Revenge, and short story, Thread of Death, wrapped up the first major arc of this series, this book was more of a cool down with Gin taking a vacation with her sister, Bria, in an attempt to bond and heal after all they’ve been through.
The location of choice for this vacation is Bria’s old hometown, a swanky beach town where all looks fun on the surface. But we soon learn this isn’t the case with a big bad vampire running the show and flexing some muscle; he threatens and terrorizes one of Bria’s childhood friends and that doesn’t sit well with Gin. The moral of this story is that you can take the Spider out of Ashland, but you can’t take the Spider out of Gin. She works to help Bria’s friend by any means necessary, much to Bria and…Donovan Caine’s chagrin. The only question is if the Spider can win on someone else’s turf.
As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, as I started progressing with this series, the amount of summarizing and rehashing grew fairly tiresome for me and distracted me from enjoying the novel as a whole at times. Don’t get me wrong, I still managed to do it, but it affected the overall quality for me. This time around I think Estep got the memo because it was kept to a minimum. I was actually surprised that we didn’t get a summary of the Thread of Death short, but I’m not complaining.
While the rehashing is down, I still found a new set of problems with this book. Number one: Donovan Caine. It’s been several books and for the life of me I still don’t understand why he’s worth any kind of page space anymore. A huge “thread” of the plot was about Gin finally getting over her two romps in the hay with him that oh-so-emotionally tormented her because he was everything she wanted and she couldn’t be what he needed and blah blah blah. Good riddance then and good riddance now to that storyline.
Another area that irked me was that the whole reason for her to be on vacation was to take her out of her element. I was really hoping to see her adapt more. ***slight spoiler***I was not a fan of the whole crew eventually finding their way to the beach town, pretty much bringing Ashland to Gin.***end spoiler*** Either send her back home or switch up her options; how it turned out didn’t really work for me.
The romance aspect of this series has never done anything for me, and at this point I doubt it will. Bria and Finn annoy me. Their interactions feel so totally high school-like and instead of giving me the warm fuzzies, it makes me roll my eyes. I’m not the craziest about beach sex scenes either. It’s totally unrealistic and this may be TMI, but I am not sure how hott or romantic it is to have sand up in your junk, but maybe that’s just me.
I also kind of wished Gin would stop talking about how unlucky she was while during every fight a lot of things happen out of sheer luck to give her the upper hand. The action is really THE main reason I crack open these books and find them to be easy reads.
Overall the action was still up to the usual standards, but it’s sort of feeling like the same old same old since Gin didn’t evolve much. The villains are usually very well done and this one was no exception. I felt like he was developed well and he was really the best part of the book for me. He was definitely one you loved to hate.
This read was mainly about dealing with Gin’s personal life emotionally, settling issues with Donovan Caine and Bria. This is amped up in the last 10% which felt really drawn out to me after a while. It’s sort of hard to wonder what’s next for Gin and if it will be as interesting or engaging as her arc with Mab. The preview for the next book looks like it will begin to focus a more on a new character that we met in the Thread of Death short story, but this is only my guess based on a couple of subtleties. Book 7, Widow’s Web, is due out later this year. It will determine if this series has jumped the shark for me and if I should hang it up for good.
This short story takes us through the aftermath and arc conclusion of Jennifer Estep’s 5th book, Spider’s Revenge. On the outside, Gin looks as healthy as ever, but she’s still healing internally from her huge showdown with Mab. Gin wants to drop by the old girl’s funeral to say her goodbyes (as weird as that may seem), but with her secret out she’s got an even bigger target on her back with all of Ashland’s underworld wanting a piece.
The this short was pretty good and fairly lengthy. It’s definitely not worth reading if you didn’t read the 4th book, even though Estep is the queen of summarizing and rehashing. Even the short story was no exception, but at least there was plenty of good stuff. It gets to the meat of why I like the read these books which is for the action. It’s not imperative that you read this installment if you’re just looking to catch up with everything, but it doesn’t disappoint.
(A Perfect Blood – Advanced Reading Copy) Okay, here it goes! I’m doing my first giveaway and it’s BIG!
Calling all Hollows fans! Want a coveted copy of this bad boy? Well, you certainly won’t get it before I’ve read it, muhaha. Even still, I’m willing to part with it for the good of the fandom. What you’re in for is a chance to win an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of “A Perfect Blood” (The Hollows, Book 10) by Kim Harrison. The official copy isn’t due out until February 21, 2012, but here is your chance to read it early. I’ve been wanting to do a giveaway on my blog for a while now, so I figured what better way to kick it off than to use my favorite series?
Anyway, with the books coming into the home stretch, I’m sure we’re all getting ancy to know what will happen next. I’m in a giving mood this holiday season and let’s hope Ms. Harrison is too, adding more yummy Trent and Al—I’m sure they’d look great in Santa hats…and ONLY Santa hats. So you want this ARC? All you have to do is:
- Sign up on the right to follow my blog and Twitter. Current followers can just say so and I will automatically add an entry for you. If you only sign up for the blog I will count your entry once, but if you follow me on Twitter too you’ll get a bonus entry, doubling your chances.
- Comment on this post which one (or both) you signed up for. Also, please name your favorite Hollows book and tell me why. Series discussion among posters is welcome, but please keep it friendly. Beware of spoilers. [UPDATE]: You can vote here as well.
- Wait it out until I announce the winner. One lucky person will be randomly selected. Feel free to read a few reviews while you’re hanging around ~_^.
The giveaway will last until Monday, December 26th, 9 p.m. EST. I would have ended it before Christmas, but USPS will be closed on Monday to honor the federal holiday, so I will not be able to send the book until Tuesday. Make sure the email address you use when you post matches the address you signed up with so that I can contact you and confirm your entry. I will mail the book to the winner on Tuesday, December 27th. I am willing to send it practically anywhere around the world. If you are under 18, I would need to mail it to your parent or legal guardian.
If you’re a Goodreads friend, I apologize ahead of time for the reminder posts you’ll probably see in your updates. It won’t last forever, promise!
Good luck, guys! It was by a stroke of luck myself that I came across this at all. I wish I had enough for all of the hardcore Hollows fans…
Any questions, just ask!
I finally built up the nerve to design my blog! I’ve been meaning to design it since I started, but between finding motivation and simply not having the time, it’s been tough. This is probably the first weekend since Comic Con that I’ve had the opportunity to do absolutely nothing, so I was glad to finally get to chance to focus on it. My Photoshop rustiness made it take a little longer than I thought it would, but you live and you learn. I blame Adobe for updating practically every 5 minutes!
I hope this has a more Urban Fantasy feel than the original default version. I plan to provide many reviews, news, and general thoughts this fall. So if you’re a friend on Goodreads, twitter, an author (yes, one has dropped by), or just someone in general that loves the genre, I’d love to hear from you. This is YOUR URBAN FANTASY afterall! Feel free to subscribe on the link to your write…errr right.
Happy reading! I’m about to get back to it myself…