In the second book Estep explores what happens when the Assassin the Spider decides to retire.
She was one of the most feared assassins in the world, known only as the Spider to those who would seek her skills or by those who want to hunt her down. But now she has decided to retire based upon the advice of her murdered handler, she is giving the normal life running the Pork Pit a try. Gin should have known that there could never be a normal life for a former assassin especially when running a money making establishment. Not only has Gin had to deal with would be robbery (in which one of the robbers turns out to be the son of wealthy high up elemental in the city) but also gun shots into her establishment which were meant for a rather unassuming young woman, Violent Fox. Gin never likes to see the innocent harmed therefore; she offers her bodyguard and detective duties to Violent and her grandfather. With the shots raining down on them and some pushy high up elementals that Gin feels need to get taken care of, Gin begins to wonder if retirement really will be the thing that kills her.
I really enjoy Estep's Elemental Assassin series. Even though I am only two books into the series, I think that Estep has created a unique set of characters, world and plot, but yet is able to keep the basics of what makes the paranormal genre interesting and what keeps readers coming back for more. This is a really good follow up book to the first book, and I think that by having a strong second book, Estep is setting a great tone for the rest of the series (I find that there are many times when the second book does not live up even close to the first book, this one is right up there). Estep has a great gift for having the ability to mix action (and there is quite a bit of that in this book which I loved), mystery, romance and paranormal elements which helps keep a reader interested throughout the book. I think that due to the fact that Estep is able to achieve this mixture she will appeal to larger variety and range of readers. Estep would also be a safer choice for those who want to try out the paranormal genre because the world that she has created is not too different from our own, as well as the powers that the elementals possess are not too far out there. They are controlling elements which I think that people are able to easily comprehend (I may be dating myself here, but think of Captain Planet and the Planeteers, and who didn’t love that show a child)
I really like Gin as a character. She tells it like it is and at times she may come out as harsh, but she does consider all options, just the most likely answer for Gin is just to kill the person. I really like the progression of all of Gin's relationships within this book both the both good and evil ones. Although some of the characters and readers may not think it, Gin is actually very smart and analyzes each situation as to decide whether she should reveal and use her abilities that she had developed as the Spider or play the dumb blonde that many think she is. I think this is a true warrior ability, to not only pick and choose your battles but to be very particular about who and what your show even you allies.
I wonder how much longer Gin will be able to keep off Mab's radar. I think it will be very interesting and I cannot wait for the day that Gin is able to do some damage to Mab as this seems to be a constant theme within the book, as well as the mystery behind Gin's missing and possible alive sister. I think it is this eventual duel that I will cause me to continue to read this series and cannot wait to get my hands on Venom.