Book Review: Venom by Jennifer Estep

Venom by Jennifer EstepTitle: Venom
Series: Elemental Assassin, Book 3
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: personal shelf
Published: September 2010 by Pocket Books

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.

Why I Read this Book: I am absolutely HOOKED on this series. It’s crack.

What I Liked: Venom starts off with a bang and just keeps on going. It never fizzles. I just kept turning the page, page after page, anxious to find out how things would pan out.

The author has plotted these books out ingeniously. Everything comes together, like a jigsaw puzzle without any leftover pieces. Everything mentioned in the story has its purpose; whether it’s right now in the current book you’re reading or in an upcoming book. Make no mistake about it - there’s a reason for everything. Nothing goes to waste.

The entire ensemble of characters are well written. Each one is three-dimensional and comes to life right off the page. I honestly don’t think this series would be as great as it is without the likes of Finn, Sophia, Jo-Jo, and Fletcher being in Gin’s world.

The author does a superb job of subtly reminding the reader of past occurrences from previous books in each new book. I tend to forget some of the minor, yet sometimes important, details when reading a series, especially when I do not read the series back to back. But Estep writes little snippets to remind me, in a way that is done quickly, efficiently and effectively so I don’t feel lost. And I greatly appreciate this.

What I Didn’t Like: I’m wondering how long Gin is going to put off the inevitable with Bria….?

Memorable Moment:

“Now that we’re both clean,” I said in a sly tone. “Why don’t we do something dirty?”

Overall Impression: Venom was freaking EPIC. The shit comes down and I cannot wait to see what happens next! Best UF series I’ve read to date.

Brianna’s Rating:
5 Frogs

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About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. I agree with you. This is a great series. I too love the cast of secondary characters. They've become as important to me as Gin is.

  2. I'm so behind. I'm listening to these on audio and just not getting much time to do so. I'm halfway through book #2, but this review is really urging me to abandon audio and start reading it so I can catch up with all of you... I's a great series! smiles...

    1. It's such a great series. I'm having a hard time reading just one book a month. But I can't get ahead of the discussion because I'll blur the lines.


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