06 janeiro 2012

Review: Web of Lies (Jennifer Estep)

Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Pocket Books (2010)
Format: Mass Market Paperback | 400 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy
Description (GR): "Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon. I'm Gin Blanco. 
You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.
First read of 2012, kind of. I started this book with plenty of time to finish it in 2011 but I kind of 'dropped it' once or twice. It's not that the book was very bad, I simply thought it was "more of the same" as it was so similar, plot wise, to the first one. Plus it kind of annoyed me that the world-building is still so incipient as if the author thought it was not important to develop it after telling us that Gin's world is basically an alternate version of our own with vampires, elementals, dwarves and giants roaming the cities of the US of A. You can't start like that and just get on with the program as if the fact that at least four different 'species' co-exist with humans. That was why I was going to give this one 2 stars; but the final chapters did provide a little more development of the magic system/ world in the series so...

I still can't feel a connection to the main character. I feel like Estep is trying to make the reader approve of Gin Blanco's flawed logic (she's an assassin) especially by making Caine (who opposes her set of morals) to be kind of a dumb character who can't explain his ideals. I actually understood Caine better than Gin, the protagonist and I recognized more depth in his character than in hers (which I'm pretty sure wasn't what the author was aiming at). I'd have liked the character more if she recognized that killing is wrong but she does it anyway... owning up to who she really is. But no. Gin makes excuses as to why she has to kill certain people and I think that just isn't believable, since the author wants her to be moral at the same time. It doesn't work, or at least for me it doesn't.
It's pretty hard to read a series if you don't really like the main character but I'm glad Caine is out of the picture... I never did understand the attraction between characters.

Estep still has her little habit of repeating herself by describing features and objects or features already described in the first book or even in this book (like Gin's grey eyes, Caine's golden eyes, the silverstone knives,etc). The name thing also continues to happen in this book and it annoyed me to no end... everyone is almost always treated by their first and last names. Caine is Donovan Caine; Fletcher is Fletcher Lane; Mab is Mab Monroe, almost every time. It's pretty tiring, as if the author doesn't know whether her character should think of someone by their first or last name... :P

Overall: the series still doesn't stand out in the urban fantasy world. The world building is weak as lots of things are left unexplained and the magic has a very minor role in the books so far, which I kind of think is pretty weird since there is magic. Many times I felt like I was reading an ordinary mystery book since Gin doesn't like to use her 'elemental' powers and giants, dwarves and vampires are very similar to humans.

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