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.
Even though the time-frame of The Spider was basically set as a prequel, I’m glad that it fell where it did. I don’t think that I would have fallen in love with this series to the extent that I have if the Gin from the past is the first Gin we were introduced to. If you haven’t picked up the Elemental Assassin series yet, I don’t expect you to understand. If you are a fan of Gin and ‘family’ you’ll totally get where I’m coming from. Let’s see if I can explain.
The Spider opens with Gin receiving a mysterious package that’s delivered to her at the Pork Pit. Once she gets rid of all her customers and it’s just her and Owen, she opens the package. What she discovers inside the plain white box leads her to explain to Owen a part of her past that she never really left behind.
The Spider gives readers a glimpse into part of what shaped Gin into who she has become. Not just the assassin aspect, because if you’ve read this series you already know that there is much more to Gin Blanco than just being an assassin. This glimpse into her past showed how vulnerable she was. The pain of losing her family wasn’t recent, but it was still fresh. She loved the people that she depended on, but she didn’t quite consider them ‘family’ yet. This trip that took place 10 years in her past was a turning point and even though The Spider wasn’t my favorite installment of the Elemental Assassin series, I’m glad that Jennifer Estep gave us this glimpse.
Beyond Gin’s story, seeing all her ‘family’ in the past was fun. There were several cameo appearances that I didn’t expect but thoroughly enjoyed. It was kind of fun knowing more about the future than Gin. It probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has read any of my reviews in this series that my favorite part was getting a lot more personal time with Fletcher. Even though he is pretty much a memory from the first book in this series, he is still one of my favorite characters. The Spider just made me love him more.
The Spider did an excellent job of bringing things full circle from the first chapter to the last. I enjoyed this glimpse into Gin’s past and I loved seeing the characters that I’ve come to love being introduced to her for the first time. They’ve come a long way since that first meeting. This was a fun one to read even though there was a fair amount of heartache. Gin learned a lot about herself in The Spider and it was pretty evident how those events shaped her.