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I Belong

Review: Snared by Jennifer Estep

Title: Snared

Author: Jennifer Estep

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Elemental Assassin (Book #16)

Publication Date: April 25, 2017

Format: Paperback, 371 Pages

ISBN-10: 1501142275 (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-13: 978-1501142277 (Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed by: Steph


If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines.

Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web…

Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl.

My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive.

A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.

Quick & Dirty: Another fast-paced, albeit predictable, entry in the Elemental Assassin series as Gin hunts down a serial killer in Ashland and tries to gather more clues about the group behind her mother’s death.

Opening Sentence: Being an assassin meant knowing when to kill–and when not to kill.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Gin is getting nowhere with her search for the mastermind behind the Circle, the group behind her mother’s murder. While busy investigating one of the members of the Circle, a friend comes to Gin asking her for help in finding a missing girl. Further investigation reveals that there is a serial killer in Ashland known as the Dollmaker, and the missing girl fits his victim’s profile to a T. The killer is escalating, and the time is quickly running out for Gin to find this girl alive. Will she be able to help her friend, or will Gin become the Dollmaker’s next victim?

Sixteen books into this series, readers should know by now what they’re going to get with Gin and the gang: fast-paced action and Gin kicking butt. The formula doesn’t vary here, and that’s certainly not a detriment to the book. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right? I’ve been in love with this series from the start, and I still love to lose myself in Ashland and its many crimes. I will admit though that it felt like something was missing in this one. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was though. I still enjoyed myself and was quickly caught up in the action, but for once, it just didn’t feel like a whole lot was at stake, for Gin at least. I was never fully on the edge of my seat, despite enjoying myself while reading. This one was also a bit more predictable than the others in the series, I felt. Most of the time, we know who the main villain of a particular book is, and Gin spends the length of the novel going after him/her. In this one, the identity of the Dollmaker is a mystery to Gin, but it seemed really obvious to me, which took away some of my enjoyment.

The highlight of this particular book comes in the flashbacks. Gin continues to flash back to the night her mother and older sister were killed, and we the readers continue to obtain new information on what happened that night. These scenes were just riveting for me, and I wish there had been more of them. I am truly intrigued by the information we received, and I can’t wait for more to be revealed.

I will say that, despite the slight predictability of this particular entry in the series, it still feels fresh to me. With the continuous influx of new information about Gin’s mother’s death, it keeps the overarching plot moving, and it certainly doesn’t feel like the series is running out of ideas. I, for one, am in this for the long haul and am very excited to see where the plot is going.

Notable Scene:

For the first time, I wondered what had happened to Hugh Tucker to turn him into the man he was today. The one who did so many bad things on someone else’s orders. I wondered how fast the vampire’s downward spiral had been. I wondered what the tipping point had been, the one thing that had dragged him down, down, down into the darkness, never to surface into the light again.

My own downward spiral had started with the murders of my mother and Annabella. But what had been Tucker’s trigger? The loss of his family’s wealth, power, position, and prestige? His own ruthless ambition to get it all back? Helping to orchestrate my mother’s death? Or perhaps all the dirty deeds he’d done for the Circle since then? The ones that had chipped away at his soul a little bit at a time until now there was nothing left?

In the end, Tucker’s reasons were his own, and I doubted that I would ever learn them. And however sad and tragic his motives, however they might pluck the heartstrings, they still didn’t change everything the bastard had done to me and my friends. Tucker’s rationale didn’t change how he’d stood by and watched Deirdre Shaw weasel her way into Finn’s life, pretending to be a doting mother, when all she really wanted was to rob the First Trust bank. It didn’t change how Tucker had drugged and kidnapped Finn, Bria, and Owen so that I would hand over some precious jewels that Deirdre had hidden from him and the Circle. And it certainly didn’t change how many times he’d tried to kill me.

Or the fact that I would kill him, when the time came.

Elemental Assassin Series:

1. Spider’s Bite

2. Web of Lies

3. Venom

4. Tangled Threads

5. Spider’s Revenge

5.5 Thread of Death

6. By A Thread

7. Widow’s Web

8. Deadly Sting 

8.5 Kiss of Venom

9. Heart of Venom

10. The Spider

11. Poison Promise

12. Black Widow

13. Spider’s Trap

14. Bitter Bite 

14.5 Unwanted

15. Unraveled

16. Snared


FTC Advisory: Simon and Schuster/Pocket provided me with a copy of Snared. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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