Title: Heart of Venom
Series: Elemental Assassin, Book 9
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Sensuality Rating: Sensual
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: August 27, 2013 by Pocket Books
The hotly anticipated ninth novel in the hugely popular Elemental Assassin series finds Gin Blanco on a dangerous mission to rescue a friend.
When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever? Assuming, that is, she survives long enough to find out…
*WARNING: Possible spoilers if you’re not up2date on the series.*
Why I Read this Book: I am a HUGE Elemental Assassin series fan. Thank goodness the next book comes out this December (says the Elemental Assassin series junkie).
What I Liked: Readers finally get Sophia’s back story, and it’s a harrowing one. It explains a lot when it comes to Sophia's character so any questions you had about her will get answered in Heart of Venom. It was also an eye-opening experience for Gin and helped her come to terms about why Sophia is the way she is. I’m glad Sophia got the closure she needed, at her own hand, and rightfully so.
Fletcher still maintains a presence, which I love. For a character that was dead when this series first started, I have a strong sense of who he was and what his character traits were. I enjoy reading flashbacks that involve him and I hope to learn even more about Gin’s mentor. And I like how getting to know Fletcher means getting to know Gin as well.
Owen has done some soul searching and has made some self-revelations. He’s coming to terms with what happened in the past and is starting to accept what has happened. Things between Owen and Gin have continued to develop in a plausible and satisfying manner, and that’s all I’ll say about that.
Readers get a tiny sliver of information on the mysterious M.M. Monroe. There is still a lot about this person that remains a mystery and I can’t wait to find out more.
What I Didn’t Like: What’s not to like?
To me, killing people is like a day at the salon: cut and dry.
Overall Impression: Nine novels in and the Elemental Assassin series still feels fresh. This series, with its characters and developing story arc, continues to enthuse me as a reader and never feels redundant. I can count on this author, and Gin, to grab my attention from the very beginning of each book and never let go. I do recommend reading the Kiss of Venom novella, which takes place before Heart of Venom, since it gives the reader Owen’s POV in terms of where his relationship with Gin stands. If you’re new to this series, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND to start reading this series, beginning with Spider’s Bite.
Brianna’s reviews for other books in this series:
Spider’s Bite, Book 1
Web of Lies, Book 2
Venom, Book 3
Tangled Threads, Book 4
Spider’s Revenge, Book 5
By A Thread, Book 6
Widow’s Web, Book 7
Deadly Sting, Book 8