The last installment of the Elemental Assassins series, Bitter Bite, changed the bad guy game in Ashland. For the first several books it was Mab Monroe who Gin slowly hunted as the woman who murdered her mother and sister and ruled the Ashland underworld with a fire touched iron fist. Then came her daughter and various other characters who Gin took down one by one when they came to town with ideas on becoming the newest supreme villain. But with the introduction of Dierdre, Fletcher’s ex-wife and Finn’s long-lost mother, we now know that we know absolutely nothing about what’s really been going on behind the scenes in Ashland. Gin and Bria’s mother may not have been a completely innocent victim, but instead a bona fide member of a shadowy organization known as The Circle, which she sat on alongside Mab, Dierdre and quite a few other prominent Ashland family members. Now it’s Gin’s job to unravel the mystery and finally, once and for all, put an end to the criminals responsible for killing Gin’s family.
At the beginning of Unraveled Finn is still dealing with the fallout from his mother’s deception and Gin is desperately working to uncover clues about the identities of The Circle members. All she has are a few pictures and the knowledge that her mother may not have been exactly who she remembers. She knows a few of the players but keeps coming to dead ends when looking for people in Ashland who might have information on events of the past. Even a safe deposit box left by Fletcher leaves more questions than answers when she and Finn finally open it and reveal its contents. When Finn is left the deed to his now deceased mother’s Wild West hotel and theme park, he and Gin figure this is their best bet on finally uncovering new information about Deirdre and Hugh Tucker. So they load up Bria and Owen and head out. Besides, it’s Christmas and they could use a vacation.
You’d think with the new plot twists and series story arc that Unraveled would be a darker, grittier addition to this series, but to my surprise it wasn’t. Not that there weren’t creepy new characters, a sinister mystery plot to figure out and awesome action scenes where Gin, with the help of her friends and family, kicked ass in the bloodiest way possible. All of that happened, because of course it did, this is Gin Blanco, better known as The Spider after all. Maybe it was the backdrop of the Old West hotel and theme park that lightened the mood a bit, I’m not sure, but for some reason, it felt like a slightly less intense read.
I enjoyed the step out of Ashland as Gin and the gang navigated their way around Bullet Pointe, interrupted the High Noon showdown and created madness and mayhem while battling for their lives against giants and fire elementals gussied up as cowboys and girls. But what I really enjoyed was Gin’s flashbacks to a time before Fletcher entered her life. I always look forward to these glimpses into the past when they pop up in every book, but it was nice seeing Gin as she was before becoming the hardened assassin known as The Spider. I expect we’ll see more of these scenes involving her mother and sisters in the upcoming new releases as the newest series arc is set up and the members of The Circle are slowly revealed.
As with every previous installment in this series, I read straight through Unraveled in one sitting. The Elemental Assassin series has always been one of my favorites in the urban fantasy genre, and now with the new series arc, it looks like it will be around for quite a bit longer. I look forward to finding out what new adventures await the Spider and her crew. Final Grade- B
Then again, my friends and I being in mortal danger with enemies all around was perfectly normal. Vacation. Heh.