The tenth book in the bestselling and “outstanding” (Romantic Times) Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series finally reveals for the first time the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadliest of assassins. For the first time, the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadly assassin “the Spider” are revealed in full. In a story that pre-dates the other nine books in the series, Gin Blanco goes through her paces to become the most feared assassin in the Ashland.
I have to admit that I was extremely hesitant to read THE SPIDER. I'm just not a big fan of prequels. At all. This especially holds true whenever there has been serious progress in a long running/building romance. I just don't like to go back to a time before the couple I have grown to love, was together. But of course I'm a very romance driven person when it comes to my books. That being said, despite my reservations I knew I would have to read the book as I love anything to do with Gin Blanco. And once I started reading I was pleasantly surprised at the way things were set up. The story actually flows as Gin telling Owen a story about her past, so the book begins and ends with her and Owen, so that made me very happy.
Getting into the "meat" of the story, or well back-story, I have to say it was really interesting to see how Gin officially became the spider, even if that was a bit confusing to me. She just seemed a bit softer and naive than I would have pictured. I mean when you read the free short stories, Gin is pretty hard as a child after what happened to her family/her, so it didn't quite translate in my mind to the swooning school girl she seemed to be in this book, especially since she was supposed to be 20 years old. Granted, this did involve her first experience with love and affection for a man, so there is that. But there were other little things in there just didn't just quite jive for me, such as her impatience when the opposite is her trademark in the actual series. I get it that the events in this book were supposed to cure her of all those issues and really turn her into the Spider we know and love, but again based on previous glimpses at a younger Gin, I just wasn't expecting this, and it did take a bit to get past. But even so when you ignore all of my preconceptions about who she would have been in a younger "format," I think THE SPIDER did an excellent job at showing her transition from training to professional. She learned a lot of hard lessons in this book, that really molded and shaped her, and particularly explained her wariness with men and why the events with Donovan hit her so hard later on in the series. I now feel like I have insider information and I love it.
I really enjoyed this book, as it entertained me, kept me swept up into things and only sucked me further down into loving Gin. Fans of the series will love this look into the past as it only enriches this great series even further. Highly recommended!
(Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)