Title: Thread of Death
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Elemental Assassin Series (Book #5.5)
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Format: eNovella, 100 Pages
IBSN-10: 1451685327 (Pocket Books)
ISBN-13: 978-1451685329 (Pocket Books)
Reviewed by: Sheila
Gin Blanco, aka the assassin the Spider, might have finally killed her nemesis, Mab Monroe, but that doesn’t mean that it’s smooth sailing. Gin goes to Mab’s funeral to say her goodbyes and runs into some of Ashland’s most notorious underworld power players, including Jonah McAllister and Phillip Kincaid. McAllister wants her dead, and Kincaid has his own murky motives when it comes to the Spider, and Gin once again finds herself fighting for her life. Only this time, she might wind up in the cemetery right next to Mab.
Quick & Dirty: Set at her funeral, we say goodbye to Mab Monroe, Ashland Underworld’s Top Dog and Gin Blanco’s lifelong nemesis.
Opening Sentence: I couldn’t believe the bitch was dead.
“Thread of Death” by Jennifer Estep is a novella set in between Spider’s Revenge and By a Thread, and covers the funeral of Mab Monroe, Ashland’s former underworld kingpin and nemesis to Gin Blanco. This is a taste of what life after Mab will be like. While it doesn’t surprise me that Mab’s funeral would bring all the big wigs of Ashland together, including Gin and her cohorts, how it all plays out does. Who knew funerals could be so hazardous to your health?
Up until now, the Elemental Assassin books have all been told from Gin’s point of view. This novella gives us not one, but three different and distinct points of view: Gin Blanco, Jonah McAllister, and Phillip Kincaid.
Gin Blanco has been conspiring against Mab Monroe for years. She trained to be a silent stalker, patiently waiting for the perfect moment to strike like her rune, the Spider, implies. To be honest, she was never sure if she would survive the encounter: the injuries she did sustain during the final fight almost did do her in. I don’t think that Gin allowed herself to think about a future beyond Mab. In the end, Gin goes to the funeral looking for closure because now she must make a decision with what to do with the rest of her life. Will Gin find the courage and temperament to lead a semi-normal life? I hope not because that would be a boring and unimaginative read for us.
Jonah McAllister is having similar issues. His place of power and prestige is being buried right along with his old boss, Mab. Even though his place within the underworld ladder is shaky at best, his arrogance and pride have yet to get the memo. His sense of entitlement hasn’t left him many friends but instead has gained him lots of enemies, including Gin herself. Luckily, Jonah has a black belt in manipulation. Can he maneuver through Ashland’s circling sharks without getting devoured all while still getting what he wants in terms of revenge?
Phillip Kincaid was one of the major competitors of Mab and her strangle hold on Ashland’s more “colorful” enterprises. But, unlike the other bosses, he has a little bit more going for him in terms of charisma and knowledge. He recognizes that Gin is most likely the famed assassin, the Spider, and begins to conspire about how this would help him in the future. He also has an ace up his sleeve: He and Gin’s lover, Owen Grayson, have a history together. There are lots of hints about their association but nothing definitive. I see this as foreshadowing for future novels.
All in all, a wonderful read. Thread of Death is a lovely interlude between much larger books. I am glad that Estep chose to separate out the funeral from main storyline. It enables the reader to acknowledge the significance of the event, just as Gin is forced to. This novella gives me hope for more exciting and intriguing Gin adventures sans Mab Monroe.
“Wow, Gin,” Finn said in an amused voice. “You’ve really done it this time.”
“What do you mean?”
He swept his hand out, the gesture meant to encompass the whole cemetery. “I mean, take a look around. Not only did you kill Mab, but you pretty much trashed her funeral, too, ruining her last little hurrah in this world. It’s like the cherry on top of the ultimate revenge sundae. A dish definitely served cold.”
Elemental Assassin Series:
2. Web of Lies
5.5 Thread of Death
6. By A Thread
7. Widow’s Web
8. Deadly Sting (March 26, 2013)
FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books graciously provided me with a copy of Thread of Death. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.
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