Aug 23, 2013

Posted by in Reviews | 2 Comments

Early Review: Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #9)

heartofvenom4 star

Urban Fantasy
August 27 2014
Mass Market Paperback
384 pages
Pocket Books
Received from publisher via Edelweiss

Kick Ass Chick – Gin Blanco

From Goodreads –
When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever? Assuming, that is, she survives long enough to find out…


Heart of Venom is the ninth book in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep.  This is a very popular urban fantasy series and I totally get why.  Not only are the characters amazing and the world interesting but the stories are simply thrilling.  Each and every installment is a ride from start to finish and at the end of each book you totally want shout out a big “hooya” because all is well in the world…until the next intallment anyways.

This time around we learn more about Sophia and Jo-Jo, the dwarves in Gin’s extended family.  We met these two characters in the very first book and are drawn to them instantly.  They appear in each and every book yet we never know much about them.  Until this book that is.  Finally we get more insight into these two incredible side characters.  We learn why Sophia dresses like she does and what happened to her voice.  We find out how Jo-Jo met Fletcher.  It’s great to know more about these two ladies and it just adds to the complexity of the relationship between Gin and her friends in this series.  I quickly mentioned above that the characters are amazing and the reason they are is because each and every one, main or secondary, are flawed and layered.  We learn a bit more about them here and there in the series and each time we do you feel even closer to them.  Jennifer knows how to write relationships and how to draw her readers into them.  She is a master at it and this installment just shows us this all the more.

On top of learning about Jo-Jo and Sophia’s past, Heart of Venom is about how Gin/The Spider must face off with a Harley Grimes, his sister and his men.  He is a horrible man who runs a horrible operation.  He is also obsessed with Sophia.  He had her once and he wants her again but Gin can’t let that happen.

There is so much action in this book!  It’s nonstop and really fun to read.  Your heart is in your throat for most of the book but then again, that is not really a new thing for fans of this series.

Gin is awesome as ever.  I especially liked her scenes with Owen.  I won’t tell you what happens between them exactly but the scenes are good.  Owen is so good for Gin and Gin for him.  They deserve each other…even though Owen has been ‘questionable’ over the last couple of books ;).

MM Monroe, who was first mentioned in the last book, is mentioned again in this book and now, I am extra curious to know who this person is.  At the end of the book I’m still not sure if we are going to find out this mysterious person’s identity in the next book or if we’re going to have to read farther on to know.  Either way, I’m in.  Jennifer is doing a great job dropping just enough of a hint here and there to make readers curious yet not so few to make readers want to break into her house to steal her computer on order to find out more details.  To me, that is the best way to write intrigue in a book or series.

Jennifer often writes short flashback scenes in her books.  Usually one broken down throughout the story.  I love this.  I think it gives insight into the situation in the book without it feeling like the story stalls.  She does a good job with those scenes and it’s always nice to see glimpses of events that shaped Gin into the person she is today.  I especially love the flashback scenes involving Fletcher.  I feel there is so much we still have to learn about this character and I’m sure we’ll know more after the next book simply titled The Spider.  It’s due out December 24th 2013.

Once again, Jennifer presents us with one hell of a story.  Awesome action scenes mixed with touching scenes laced with just enough humor to keep us smiling, Heart of Venom is a fabulous addition to this marvelous series.

4 stars

Books in the Elemental Assassin series –
Spider’s Bite
Web of Lies
Tangled Threads
Spider’s Revenge
By a Thread
Widow’s Web
Deadly Sting
Heart of Venom
The Spider (December 2013)


  1. I have always loved Owen, even when he was sketchy. They are good for one another. Great review! Can’t wait to read this!

  2. Lexi – They are great together. I think Jennifer did good there 🙂

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