I wish I could say that I loved this book. I’m a long time fan of this series, but ever since the destruction of Owen, things just haven’t been the same. Owen isn’t my problem here, but I did have many issues. Don’t get me wrong, there were things I enjoyed, but I think it’s time for me to accept that this series and I are just drifting apart.
This is a flashback book, which was kind of disappointing off the bat. After all, by its very nature, it could not advance the overall storyline. What it did, instead, was give us an extended look into Gin’s past. The blurb describes it as an origin story for how she became the Spider. That’s not exactly what I would call it. It’s more like a pivotal job that taught her valuable lessons.
Gin’s trying to prove herself to Fletcher and make a name for herself. The details of the hit aren’t that important. Suffice it to say, the job isn’t exactly as it seems. Let me rephrase that. The job isn’t exactly what it seems TO GIN. To the reader, we are practically hit over the head with the reality. It was painfully apparent that Gin was making Bad Choices and the villain may as well have had a neon sign blinking above his head. It was all so obvious, I felt like I could predict the entire plot of the book by the end of chapter 6.
My other big issue: every single character in the present day storyline ended up in the flashback. Including characters that don’t come into play until years later. One cameo appearance, I could be ok with. But the foreshadowing was so heavy handed, I found myself rolling my eyes. Specifically, this was the case with Owen and Bria. I don’t know if Jennifer Estep thought all the coincidences would be fun, but I actually found myself rolling my eyes.
It pains me to be so negative, because I love Gin. I still love her here, especially as she shows both her strength and vulnerability. As always, the character delivers. Another thing I really loved: Fletcher. Since he died at the beginning of the series, I feel like we’ve really missed out on the relationship he had with Gin. After all, he was her mentor and father-figure. We know how much he shaped her, but we’ve never gotten a chance to know him. I really liked getting that chance here. It was also kind of cool to see Gin as a younger, weaker version of herself. We can see how much she has grown since then –and in some ways, how she has held on to the same issues and insecurities.
Despite the things it had going for it, I really felt like this was my least favorite installment of the series to date. Will I read Poison Promise? Yeah, but I am really going to need to see something new to keep going beyond that.
*ARC Provided by Pocket Books