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Venom by Jennifer Estep
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Venom
4 Stars

Fantastic world building, appealing characters and an engrossing storyline.

The ongoing story arc is developing slowly but surely toward the inevitable showdown between Gin and Mab Monroe, and the gripping revelations regarding Gin's family and the reasons for their deaths make this conflict all the more interesting. In terms of the book specific plot, Elliot Slater is a truly despicable yet formidable villain and the manner in which he is ultimately dispatched makes for exciting listening - it is both poetic and just that Roslyn gets to blow him away.

On the romance front, Donovan Caine has thankfully made an exit and one can only hope that it will be permanent. Now Gin can focus her attentions on a much more deserving, and seriously sexy, Owen Grayson.

The exceptional character development is a highlight of the book. Gin is growing as a person and coming to realize that she is not alone in the world - she not only has a makeshift family in the form of Finnegan Lane and the Deveraux sisters, whose loyalty and faith in Gin is inspiring, but has also found her long-lost sister, Bria, and it will be interesting to see where their relationship goes. Gin is also allowing herself to grow closer to Owen although there is still a long way to go before she trusts him completely.

The one aspect of Gin's characterization that does need work is the use of her elemental powers, which remain underdeveloped within the story line. She has both stone and ice magic but refrains from using them to their best effect, and this distracts from the action scenes as the reader is constantly waiting for her to finally put them to good use.

All in all, the Elemental Assassin series is thoroughly enjoyable and I look forward to Gin and company's next adventure in Tangled Threads.

( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about this book is the lack of Donovan Caine. *does a happy dance* When I finished reading Venom I actually felt like singing Hallelujah for not having that idiot representative of the male species in the book. Yes, I was happy he was gone. (Can you tell I hated him??).

No Mr. Idiot means more Mr. Hottie a.k.a Owen Grayson. I like him a lot. He's very hot, very considerate, he helps Gin when she needs it, even if she doesn't ask for it. And he is mysterious. While reading this book I kept thinking there's something we still don't know about him. Something rather big. I'm waiting to discover what.

One of the best things in this book was Gin helping Roslyn. If you've read the books, you know that these two women aren't exactly on the best of terms. Even so, I always liked Roslyn and I hoped Gin would see her as the good friend she might become if only she'd allow it. I was right. This relationship and the way Gin helps Roslyn makes the situation with Mab a lot more dangerous than before.

I feel like a bad record here, but I have to say this: the repetitions killed me. We know Gin carries 5 daggers made of silverstone, we know Fletcher trained her to be an assassin, even though his son in older than Gin, we know a loooot of things. By heart. A friend of mine suggested that I should just skip over those parts. But that's even worse, because it would pull me away from the story even further. Anyway, I just hope these repetitions will stop as the story progresses.

I am still waiting for Gin to do something about Bria. She's putting off the inevitable and I believe this will make things even worse for her cop sister.

In the end, I enjoyed reading this book, even with those pesky repetitions. It was a good book. ( )
  Rubys.books | Oct 15, 2016 |
I will never understand how Gin gets herself into these situations. I do know that she loves her friends and family fiercely. That is one of the admirable things about Gin being the Spider. She’s using herself to help people. She also finds out more about Fletcher, her mentor, even though he’s been gone for some time.

I instantly liked Bria. She’s no nonsense, but willing to do whatever it takes to protect the innocent. I know it’s hard for Gin to see her, but I think she does a pretty good job on keeping things from getting too personal.

I freaking love Owen. He’s smart and knows how to get under Gin’s skin. Sometimes in a bad way, but mostly in a good way. He’s almost a perfect fit into her world, and doesn’t look at her like she’s an awful person for what she decides to do.

The only thing that bugs me is the repetitiveness from the previous books. And sometimes even the events that happened in this book. ( )
  BookishThings | Mar 23, 2016 |
My life is hard for Gin and Finn. Giants, not just regular ones, nasty super fast killer giants want to kill them. Gin gets beaten and beaten some more. Mab watches and lingers putting everything Gin holds dear in even more danger. A person from Gin's past resurfaces and she is on Mab's hit list. An old truth is exposed and many horrible secrets emerge.
Wonderful action, dark brutality and a start of a love story. I am anxious to get to the next book. ( )
  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
Another awesome nail biter! Simply can not wait for the next book!!! Love this series to pieces!

Things get spicy for Gin! Fast paced and exciting story! ( )
  grapeapril75 | Oct 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Estep, JenniferAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fortgang, LaurenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
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.

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"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 oversize 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."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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