Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review - Venom by Jennifer Estep

What kind of assassin works pro bono?

TITLE:    Venom
AUTHOR/EDITOR:    Jennifer Estep
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 389 pages
PUBLISHED:   Pocket Books, 2010
ISBN#:   978-1-4391-4801-3
HOW'D I GET IT:   Received from the Publisher for review

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 TAKE:   Jennifer Estep has created a very readable, very addictive series with her Elemental Assassin books.  While I just got acquainted with the series in this third book, I am already hunting the first two books and eagerly awaiting the fourth.  One of my favorite things is to get hooked on a great book series and continually want more.

Gin is a very deep character.  She's the owner of the Pork Pit BBQ restaurant, she's a retired assassin, she's the unusual possessor of not one, but two powerful elemental magics, and she's a big sister who has just found her baby sister after thirteen years.  She's all business and hard on the outside, but her close friends and family know that she's got a soft, mushy center.  I like that the author gave her a softer, caring side.  The hard-core, ultrabitch protagonists can get a bit old sometimes.  I also like that this supernatural being loves to cook!  She's a very multi-faceted woman.

Gin is surrounded by fascinating acquaintances, enemies, and loved ones.  They all bring unique personalities and skills to the table.  I think one of my favorites is her foster brother, Finn.  He's quite the ladies man who has an exceedingly, almost obnoxiously high opinion of himself.  But he is written in a way that you can't help but adore him.  I'm looking forward to more from the mysterious Owen Grayson as well.  He seems to be very interesting as well as very interested in Gin.
The plot is well planned out with many surprises along the way with various characters that are returning from previous stories.  I think Ms. Estep has laid the groundwork for some outstanding story lines to come.

I highly recommend this book and I'm really looking forward to the next installment:  Twisted Threads - due out soon from Pocket Books.
MY RATING:    4/5

WHERE TO BUY IT:   Amazon, The Book Depository, Indiebound

Books in the Elemental Assassin series (in order):

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. Feel free to tell us what you think. (Please note that we have comment moderation turned on so we'll never miss a message from one of our readers.)