Black Widow (Elemental Assassin #12)
Published: November 25, 2014 (Pocket Books)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: Copies provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Amanda and Amy
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it may reference previous books in the series. If you haven’t started the Elemental Assassin series, check out our review of Spider’s Bite.
The reveal of Mab’s heir, the mysterious MM Monroe, occurred at the end of Deadly Sting (Book 8). So for three books Gin had to contemplate what could possibly be in store when MM finally made herself known. It wasn’t until Poison Promise was released earlier this year that we were finally introduced to one Madeline Magda Monroe and her unique acid magic.
Madeline made things perfectly clear at the end of Poison Promise that she and Gin would be “seeing more of each other very soon” undoubtedly throwing out the first challenge. In Black Widow that challenge gets answered in kind by The Spider. Here’s what two VBC reviewers had to say about it:
Amanda: Do you ever get hungry whenever Gin starts cooking for her friends?
Amy: Yes! I know what you mean about the food! This time in particular when she’s at the Pork Pit preparing all the food for her friends and family, it really made me want some good BBQ. Was it just me or were you surprised at how all Gin’s friends and family seemed to think she was being paranoid when it came to MM Monroe? I mean it’s not like Gin doesn’t have a history of people wanting to kill her or anything right?
Amanda: It was a little surprising how Gin’s friends reacted. But then, I don’t remember any of the big bads coming after Gin in such a roundabout sneaky manner before. There’s been some sneakiness in the past, but it’s usually in the form of a minion coming to kill her. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see a little more badassness from Owen. I feel like he was a little on the sidelines for this book and Poison Promise, and we’ve seen him in the thick of things with Gin in the past—I want to see that again.
Amy: Honestly, I had the same thoughts going into this book about Owen. I really wanted him to have more of a part, than being the guy Gin sleeps with. I know it’s Gin’s story and I’m fully behind her being all kickass and able to get the job done, but like you said, Owen has shown he can handle himself by her side, I want to see that again too. The fact that we know Owen can kick some ass, but he’s kept on the sidelines makes it worse.
Amy:Something that I felt could be mentioned is MM Monroe’s acid magic which I thought was really cool, obviously something we haven’t seen before, but I really felt like it was underutilized. She tended to let others do the dirty work, but I wanted to see her take more of an active part in destroying The Spider instead of being forced to do so towards the end.
Amanda: Right?! It was the whole round about way of getting to Gin. I thought it was interesting that while Gin did not like Mab in the least, she respected her for having the balls to confront her. Madeline struck me as a bit cowardly—and maybe a little needy?—even though when she’s in the showdown with Gin, she clearly has more power than her mother did. Why didn’t she use it?
Amy: I thought it was interesting how Gin (and readers) have been told for so many books now that Gin doesn’t have to face things on her own, she can ask her friends for help. They want to help her. But here we have MM Monroe dividing up the group, therefore putting Gin more on her own than we’ve seen her in a while.
Amanda: Besides MM Monroe isolating Gin, I felt Gin actually worked to isolate herself, at least in some respects. This was a very personal fight for Gin, more so than in the last few books (yes, even when she was trying to save Sophia), and her desire to leave her loved ones out of it was strong, maybe stronger than when she took on Mab. I’m not sure the story would have worked as well if it had been a team effort to take down Madeline.
Overall, Black Widow was another fun, typical adventure in the Elemental Assassin series. Events towards the end show a slight, although somewhat expected, turn in the series, and it’ll be interesting to see how Jennifer Estep continues Gin’s adventures.
Sexual Content: Sex