This is the ninth book in the Elemental Assassins series by Jennifer Estep. I was lucky enough to get this via Netgalley while I await my local bookseller to get this in stock (and since that is a large retail chain store, I'm not holding my breath.) I have been a huge fan of this series, ever since I came across the first book, Spider's Bite in 2010. I was hooked from the very first sentence, "My name is Gin and I kill people." It was such a pleasure to find a dark female character as an anti-hero.
Gin makes no apologies for who and what she is. If you are looking for a book that has a lot of breast beating and 'Woe is Me', this is not the series for you. Gin is a very self aware character with a lot of heart, who happens to be an assassin. She is funny and would go to the wall for her chosen family, but don't ever forget that she can also kill you where you stand if need be. This is a woman who has made a place for herself in the world and asks no pardon for who and what she is.
If you haven't read any of the previous books in the series, you really, really should. There are several supporting characters with 8 books worth of back story and history. I'm not saying DON'T pick up the series at book 9. But seriously, WHY would you do something like that? The first 8 books are awesome. Go read them first!
This books starts off with Gin and her foster brother Finnegan Lane arguing over why he can't come to Girl's Day at Jo-Jo's salon. They are currently in the process of moving a giant who has had the misfortune to try and take on Gin, into the big freezer that Sophia had placed for just such an occasion. Of course, while they are moving him, another couple of goons decide to take on Gin - to their combined detriment.
Several days later, while just beginning to enjoy the day of pampering that Jo-Jo has planned, Sophia comes stumbling into the house, shot and collapses. Jo-Jo rushes to her, and Gin and Bria, her sister, rush for their weapons. Unfortunately, before they can get to them, gun toting thugs burst in. They grab Jo-Jo and keep her from Sophia. The head thug then comes in and shoots Jo-Jo and takes Sophia for himself. Little does he realize that he is messing with the wrong family. Jo-Jo and Sophia have been Gin's family for a very long time and she will stop at nothing to get Sophia back.
If you have been reading this series, you know that Sophia has an unknown back story that explained her goth appearance and husky, raspy voice. This is the book where we find out all the nitty gritty details. Gin once again demonstrates why she has survived all the attempts on her life. We do find a few more details about the mysterious M.M. Monroe that we learned about in Deadly Sting, book 8, though there is still nothing concrete. Owen and Gin's relationship has been rocky since her actions in Widow's Web, book 7, but if you read Owen's POV novella, Kiss of Venom, you won't be surprised by his actions in the book. Basically this was an awesome addition to the series and totally deserves my 5 star Goodreads rating.