Snared, by Jennifer Estep

Snared, by Jennifer Estep book coverGenre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Published: 2017
Reviewer Rating: four stars
Reviewer: SJ Higbee

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Last year, I plunged into the tail-end of this series, Unraveled–see my review here. So when I saw Snared was available, I immediately requested the arc from Netgalley, keen for another slice of the feisty Gin Blanco.…

Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl. My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive. A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy–one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.

The overall tone and setting for this urban fantasy offering is darker than the breezy gung-go fun to be had at the Bullet Pointe western theme park where all the action took place in Unraveled. In this adventure, we start with the death of a young girl and the disappearance of another. As Gin watches the anguish of her sister, desperate to get her back, it takes her back to her own troubled past–and this is where Estep’s skill and experience kicks in. For those of us with the poor judgment to crash midway into this series, this provides us with valuable nuggets of information about Gin’s back story–for those who have been following the series, this will doubtless provide further layers of characterization.

While I’m sure there are nuances and allusions I am missing, at no point was I adrift, or struggling to work out what was happening to whom. I enjoy Gin’s gritty, rather violent take on life as she is confronted with a range of unpleasant underworld characters. Her ice and stone magic give her some significant advantages in any kind of shootout or battle–but she isn’t invulnerable and when her own cockiness gets her into a very tricky situation, help comes from a completely unexpected quarter.

I really enjoyed the various turns snaking through this whodunit plot, where all is not as it seems, as well as savoring the extra information we learn about her traumatic childhood. Once more, an wholly enjoyable urban fantasy adventure full of action and twisty goodness.

While I obtained the arc of Snared from the publisher via NetGalley, this has in no way influenced my unbiased review.

SJ Higbee

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