Release-Day Review: Unraveled by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #15)


Unraveled by Jennifer Estep // VBC ReviewUnraveled (Elemental Assassin #15)
Jennifer Estep
Published: Aug. 30, 2016 (Pocket Books)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference events from the previous book. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Spider’s Bite.

After the bombshell dropped at the end of Bitter Biteyou know the one where Gin discovers her mother was part of a group called The Circle which is, apparently, the real power behind the Ashland crime scene—Gin has been trying, unsuccessfully, to find answers.

When Finn learns that Mama Dee left him a fancy western-themed resort in Bullet Pointe, Gin, Owen, Bria, and Finn decide this is a good opportunity to leave Ashland, and all their frustrations, behind. Plus, Gin has a feeling Mama Dee might have more surprises up her sleeve from beyond the grave. As usual, Gin’s instincts are right on par, and the group quickly learns there’s more than meets the eye to the kitschy resort, as its secrets and connections to the Circle are revealed. Now the only thing they have to worry about is making it out alive.

Unraveled is reminiscent of By a Thread in that it’s one of the few books that takes Gin and her friends out of Ashland, and allows them to find trouble elsewhere, although I’ll admit I like the way this type of scenario is executed here better than its predecessor. Unraveled really bridges together events from Bitter Bite with what I think readers can expect to happen with this upcoming story arc for however many books it takes for Gin to crack open The Circle.

As far as characters/plot goes, I think Unraveled follows the standards and pattern that longtime readers have come to expect from the series: Gin has a problem to solve, bad guys to face, and good food to cook. Taking place around Christmas time, I found it odd to be already reading a book about Christmas (it’s technically not even fall yet), but Unraveled did give me a hankering for some hot chocolate, you’ve been warned. Also, there may be appearances made by ugly Christmas sweaters, just sayin.

What really kept me interested, and made this such a good read for me, is the fact that I love the direction that Jennifer Estep is clearly leading us. The storyline with Gin’s mother is one I never knew I wanted explored until this book. Now having read Unraveled it seems very natural that this is the path the series would be headed. Since the beginning readers have known that Eira Snow was a powerful ice elemental who was killed by Mab Monroe. Gin’s revenge for her mother and sister’s deaths is the basis for the start of the series. Adding more to Eira’s story, especially the air of mystery surrounding her involvement in The Circle, really fills out the Elemental Assassin world.

Besides the departure of scenery, Unraveled also has the distinction of being one of the few (if not the only) book not to feature a Fletcher flashback dream. Instead, Jennifer Estep chooses, rightfully so, a memory from Gin’s past. It’s a bit refreshing, if I’m being honest. Fifteen books in, I feel as though we’ve tapped the well of wisdom that is Fletcher Lane for all it’s worth at this point.

Unraveled gives us another layer to the Spider, and in the grand scheme of the series, it flows really well. At this point, I’m very excited to see where the series is headed next.

Sexual content: sex

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