Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Venom by Jennifer Estep

Product DetailsPub. Date: September 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 416pp
Series: Elemental Assassin Series , #3
ISBN-13: 9781439148013
ISBN: 1439148015

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:
This is the third book in the Elemental Assassin series. I read the first one months ago. I liked it but it didn’t quite grab me as well as this one did from the start. I recall having a hard time getting into the story in the first book, maybe because Estep was setting up the series and wanted to really get her reader into the setting. Lately I haven’t had much time for reading and I’ve been having a hard time getting into books, but this one I read over the course of the weekend. I just didn’t want to put it down! Even if you haven’t read the first two book I think it would be easy to jump in because Estep does enough review of the pertinent details you need, plus she adds to the back story filling in some of the blanks from the first book.

I liked Gin better this time around. She has a new love interest and he seems like a much better fit for her life than the detective she was dating in the first book. I think she must have learned to better use her ability to do ice magic in the second book because I don’t recall that from the first book. I am torn now as to whether I will go back and read book two or just wait for the next one. I think I may skip it since I skipped ahead in the series already.

In this book Gin is still trying to be retired from her work as the Spider but keeps getting pulled back in. She put Rosalyn, a vampire club owner and former prostitute, in danger when she used the club as her cover on an assignment and now Rosalyn is being stalked by a giant who works for the mob boss who murdered Gin’s mother and sister and tortured her seventeen years ago. The dwarfs and giants throw me off a bit and the vampires seem to drink blood and eat real food.

The family Gin has made for herself with her foster brother Finn and the dwarf sisters with Air elemental power feels real, in the way the support and take care of each other. I loved that she gets to meet the sister she thought was dead for all these years and can’t wait to see where the story goes with them.

I read this book as part of Gallery & Pocket Books SciFi/Fantasy Blog Tour.


By night, Jennifer Estep is an author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fun, sexy fantasy idea.

Jennifer currently writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The star of the series is Gin Blanco, an assassin who can control the elements of ice and stone when she’s not too busy running her barbecue restaurant, the Pork Pit. Jennifer is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance books, which feature sexy superheroes, evil ubervillains, and smart, sassy gals looking for love. Titles in the Berkley series include Karma Girl (May 2007), Hot Mama (November 2007), and Jinx (September 2008).

By day, Jennifer is an award-winning features page designer for a daily newspaper with a broad range of journalism and media experience. She's also a certifiable fangirl and an authority on fantasy literature and culture. Jennifer is a member of Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and other writing groups.

Jennifer's books have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, and a variety of other publications. For more information, visit her Web site at

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