Thread of Death
Author: Jennifer Estep
Title: Thread of Death
Series: Elemental Assassin 5.5
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website:
Gin Blanco, aka the assassin the Spider, might have finally killed her nemesis, Mab Monroe, but that doesn't mean that it's smooth sailing. Gin goes to Mab's funeral to say her goodbyes and runs into some of Ashland's most notorious underworld power players, including Jonah McAllister and Phillip Kincaid. McAllister wants her dead, and Kincaid has his own murky motives when it comes to the Spider, and Gin once again finds herself fighting for her life. Only this time, she might wind up in the cemetery right next to Mab.
This story is a short and not so sweet interlude between the end of Spider's Revenge, when Gin fought and finally killed her greatest enemy, and By a Thread, the aftermath of that battle. Gin is finally healed enough from her ordeal to safely leave the house. She needs some form of final closure in the battle, so she knows she must attend Mab's funeral. All the bad guys are there, and Gin's just as bad as they, but they're all focused on saying goodbye. At least, that's what Gin thinks until a sniper takes aim to try and kill them all.
I completely understand why this short book was needed. It's a bridge that allows Estep to connect the end of an arc to the beginning of another. With Mab dead, there's a sudden power vacuum in the city and all of the people interested in taking her place are at the funeral. That someone tries to take advantage of so many targets in one place isn't surprising. What I did find surprising was Gin's ignorance or lack of thought of what would happen next. She's defeated Mab, so now what? This book allowed the readers to see the beginning of Gin and the rest of the underworld's struggle to understand life without Mab's fiery control.
There isn't a lot of plot aside from that, but this is a short story that served the purpose for which it was intended. I finished reading it already wondering how Gin would move on or if she would be able to at all. It built up a new layer of suspense for the story to replace what had been concluded with Gin finally killing Mab.
I know a lot of people don't appreciate having to buy a short story set in the world of a larger series, but I do recommend you buy this one. It creates a bridge between the end of the old plot--killing Mab--and the start of the new plot that will build now that Mab's gone. It made me that much more interested in reading the next book in the series, which is always a plus when it comes to short stories like this one.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.