Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: Venom by Jennifer Estep

Venom (Elemental Assassin #3) by Jennifer Estep
Synopsis (Goodreads):
What kind of assassin works pro bono?

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.
My Thoughts: If there's one thing I've come to expect from a book with an assassin (retired or otherwise) in it, it's a suitably high body count. Gin does not disappoint. She slashes, hacks, stabs and otherwise disembowels plenty of bad guys this time around. If not for her cleanup crew, she'd be giving the Ashland police fits with the number of bodies she leaves in her wake. With her sister now a member of said police department, that could be problematic. Even if Bria doesn't realize who Gin is.

As a character, Gin continues to grow nicely. She protects those that need protecting, kills the jerks who need killing and she's fiercely loyal to those she considers family. Basically, she's the person you want on your side when things get bad.

The departure of Detective Donovan Caine at the end of book 2 leaves the door open for the delectable Owen Grayson to attempt to woo Gin. I have to admit, I love their verbal sparring. Gin is still a little heartsore from Caine's unbending morality and she's doesn't exactly make it easy for Owen. It's really kind of awesome the way she doesn't fall all over him. And the way Own pursues her? *shiver*

The downside of reading books in this series back to back is that I'm seeing a lot of word and phrasing repetition. Part of me understands that this is done to help bring new readers up to speed but when you see the same explanation/phrasing in two consecutive books, it's annoying. I'm thinking specifically of the scene where Gin is looking at the drawings she'd made of her family's runes. I think you could swap the scene in book 2 with the scene in book 3 and you'd never know the difference. Once again, I get the need to let new readers know what they represent but reading what I read before nearly word for word took *me* out of the story. That was just one of the scenes that I can think of off the top of my head. There were a few others. It's a little thing, but it bugged me.

Outside of that little hiccup, this book was highly enjoyable. Gin is a badass and she has the skills to go after the top dogs in an appropriately vicious manner. I like seeing the bad guys get what's coming to them. I like that a lot.

Books in this series
1. Spider's Bite
2. Web of Lies
3. Venom - Paperback | Kindle
4. Tangled Thread
5. Spider's Revenge
6. By a Thread
7. Widow's Web
8. Deadly Sting

Author Links
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |


  1. Heh. See my comment from the previous review? I agree with you completely. I think some of the scenes/descriptions are repeated practically verbatim.

    1. I read your first comment and laughed because HELLO! Yes, the wording is scarily identical. Lol!