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[Book Review] Spider’s Trap By Jennifer Estep & Rose Park Roasters Ethiopian Beriti

Spider's Trap By Jennifer EstepTitle: Spider’s Trap
Series/Universe: Elemental Assassin #13
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: July 28th 2015
Page Count: 400 pages
Age Rating: Adult (blood, gore, violence, and a semi-explicit sexual scene)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
Publisher’s page: Spider’s Trap

The next thrilling book in Jennifer Estep’s New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Elemental Assassin series—“an extraordinary series.…One of the most intriguing heroines in the genre” (Romantic Times Book Reviews).

Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…

My Review

Elemental Assassin Gin Blanco, known as the Spider, has made quite the reputation for herself wielding her dual Ice and Stone magic to take out some of the biggest heavy hitters of Ashland’s criminal underworld – and in doing so has kind of lucked into the position of the de facto queen of the underworld herself.

In Spider’s Trap, the 13th book of the Elemental Assassin series, Gin finds herself in the very weird position of having people she used to be gunning for coming to her to talk about business deals, treaties, and territory disputes. Gin’s first big meeting to mediate a dispute between some underworld bosses ends explosively (literally) at the hands of a new enemy, one who seems vaguely familiar to Gin. This “blast” from the past (sorry, I had to) leads Gin on a surprising trip down memory lane and on the path to making some interesting new allies.

Man, do I love this series – and Spider’s Trap is the best one yet!  Ok, now granted I’m kind of a late comer to the Elemental Assassin series (I’ve only read the last two books in the series before this one: Poison Promise and Black Widow), but this installment had some awesomely epic fight scenes, great locales (The Ashland Botanical Gardens were beautifully described), interesting newly forged alliances (loved the addition of even more badass powerful women; I don’t think a book can ever have too many) and, if I’m not mistaken, Gin may have even gained a new best gal pal in the end, something I think she’s been kind of lacking until now.

I highly recommend this series –  it’s super addictive and very easy to fall into (especially since the author takes the time to recap past events and need-to-know characters – I’ve never felt lost or like I was missing something, a definite plus and something I’ve always appreciated). As usual with the books in the Elemental Assassin series (at least the few I’ve read), the last few chapters set up the story for the next book, and it looks like it’s gonna be good (hint: one of Gin’s closest allies gets his own menacing blast from the past) – I can’t wait!

My favorite parts of Spider’s Trap were the ones that took place in The Ashland Botanical Gardens. The gardens were described really well and in such detail that I really felt like I was there – also the mental image of badass Gin Blanco attending a garden party dressed like a Southern belle in a frilly dress and sipping Mint Juleps was just hilarious.  I’m recommending Rose Park Roasters Ethiopian Beriti – a delicious coffee containing a veritable garden of flavor with hints of lemony citrus, berries, brown sugar, as well as floral hints of rose and jasmine. Yum 😛

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