Oct 8, 2010

Posted by in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: Venom by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #3)

Urban Fantasy
September 28 2010
Mass Market Paperback
368 pages
Pocket Books

Kick Ass Chick – Gin Blanco

From Goodreads
“It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most. To the public, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best barbecue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spider, retired assassin. I still do favors on the side. Like ridding a vampire friend of her oversized stalker—Mab’s right-hand goon who almost got me dead with his massive fists. At least irresistible Owen Grayson is on my side. The man knows too much about me, but I’ll take my chances. Then there’s Detective Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland’s finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sister was dead. She probably thinks the same about me. Little does she know, I’m a cold-blooded killer . . . who is about to save her life.”

“Venom” is the third installment in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series.  The story is told from Gin’s perspective – a retired assassin that just can’t seem to stay retired.  I really enjoy Gin’s character.  She’s sassy and won’t let anyone boss her around.  Well, she is an assassin after all!  She is fiercely protective of those she cares about her.  That has to be one of my favorite traits about her.  And when she speaks in the book, I totally hear her with a deep, almost raspy voice.  Sexy and fierce…just like Gin.

The supporting characters in these books are really fun.  I was happy to still see lots of Finn, Gin’s foster brother of sorts.  He is charming and funny and witty and smart.  And he’s a snappy dresser.  I love it when he graces the page because I know I’m going to laughing out loud very soon.  I also really enjoy Sophia, the Goth dwarf.  She doesn’t speak much.  She only grunts and that it quite comical.

Another character that I pretty much fell in love with in “Venom” is Owen, Gin’s new love interest.  Let me tell you, I really had issues with Donovan Caine, her previous ‘relationship’.  He was a ‘good’ cop who couldn’t handle what Gin did in her past, even though most of the cases Gin took on were to help protect the innocent victims in Donovan’s beloved city.   He never treated Gin the way she deserved to be treated and I’m glad he’s moved away.  I only hope he doesn’t decide to come back and screw things up for Gin and Owen.  I love Owen for Gin.  He gets her, and he’s sexy as hell, and he’s perfect for her!  So hear me Jennifer — keep them on the right track okay?!  😉

The action in “Venom” was great.  Sit on the edge of your seat exciting.  You know there is going to be another book so you know Gin will survive it all, but it’s still really fun to see who gets out okay and who gets out dead.  You really root for Gin because the villains are just not at all nice people and you want them to hurt.  Yup, they are that repelling (but in a good sense).

The reason I only gave this book a 3.5 is because there is something about the author’s voice I don’t mesh with.  I find her style very repetitive and I often find myself saying:  ‘I know that already because you just told me the exact same thing in the previous chapter!’  But even though my reading style doesn’t mesh well with the author’s writing style, it doesn’t mean that this is not a good series or that the writing is bad.  The world building is solid, the characters are attractive and the stories are interesting.  If you are a fan of urban fantasy books, I definitely recommend this series.  I will for sure pick up “Tangled Threads”, book 4 in the Elemental Assassin series, on April 26th 2011 when it lands on bookstore shelves near you.

3.5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“Why does there always have to be a third man?”
—–
“’What are you thinking about?’ he asked

‘Nothing much,’ I replied.  ‘I’m just wondering how exactly I went from being the Spider the Robin fucking Hood of the greater Ashland area.’”

Books in the Elemental Assassin series –
Spider’s Bite
Web of Lies
Venom
Tangled Threads (April 2011)


  1. Nice review Julie! I enjoyed Owen too..but in this book I just fell in love with Finn!!

  2. Mandi – Jennifer says that in book 4 and 5, Finn will have a love interest. Will it be Bria?! I heart Finn.

  3. I love Finn too! And I was really happy with Owen, I enjoy him so much more than Donovan. I wanted to smack Donovan in Web of Lies when he left her at the mine. A-hole. I’m really looking forward to Tangled Threads:)

  4. I loved this one, my favorite in the series. It was a fiver for me. Finn is FAB and I think Owen is perfect for Gin.

  5. I’ve been waiting to read your review until I was done with the book. (just finished) You and I are review twins. I’m sure of it now. I have the same issues with the writing style and the same opinions of how great the characters are. And I’ve just given the book the same rating. But I’m just like you, I of course will be reading more from JE.

    Great review. Happy 3 day weekend!

  6. FV – This was my favorite of the series too!

    Spinecracker – Review twins…tee hee. We should get t-shirts made! 😉

  7. I love the books. I do find some repeating of statements, Limiting the word PoPo to once per book would help, but otherwise I love them.

  8. Team Owen! 🙂

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