I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
Black Widow just blew me away. Not only does it have all the usual parts that make the Elemental Assassin series one on my favorites… tough as nails Gin, witty banter, the love of family and friends. But it has so much more than any of the prior titles. MMM is unlike any villain Gin has faced before. She is one that enjoys the games and her machinations. She tears Gin apart by attacking her family and friends with red tape and legal problems, something Gin doesn’t have the means to deal with, right away at least. Gin is a “hands on” assassin, and she is made helpless by MMM. It KILLED ME to see Gin so helpless. But then MMM takes something from Gin that I wasn’t expecting - something that brought tears to my eyes and made me genuinely weep. It’s moments like these that elevated this good book to a great one. Ms. Estep has created an amazing, likable character in Gin Blanco - one that feels like a friend. I feel fortunate to see into her world, and because I feel this way, Gin’s suffering is also my own at times.
The author touches on such an array of intense emotions. But the story is equality as strong. It’s not unlike previous tales, in that Gin must overcome several obstacles to triumph in the end. But I feel like it’s the first time that Gin did so feeling completely and utterly comfortable with her friends and family. They were like a well-oiled team, something that hasn’t really happened since Gin took down Mab back in Spider’s Revenge - and even then, she included her family reluctantly. This time, there was no hesitation, they are part of her and the Spider.
And I adore every single one of Gin’s makeshift family. It’s grown over the course of a dozen books, but each character is important in his or her own way. I never feel like any of the characters are superfluous, and in fact, enjoy spending time with every single one of them over the course of a story. Especially this time around, when her family is there to support Gin, and not the other way around.
I also enjoyed the full-circle nature of the story, and I hope that now things will start anew. And based on how the book concludes, I would say yes… things are definitely changing for Gin. There is a twist revealed very late in the story - one that I guessed at, but was still pleasing nonetheless, and I hope Ms. Estep weaves it into the future stories.
Honestly, I can’t say much without giving spoilers - and if you are like me, you don’t want to know what’s going to happen before you read this one. But for fans of the Elemental Assassin series, you best carve out a chunk of time to read Black Widow because if you are like me… you won’t want to put it down until the crazy roller coaster ride has come to a complete stop.
My Rating: A+ Personal Favorite
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by Edelweiss