Audio Review: Venom by Jennifer Estep

Posted November 22, 2012 by Carmel in Audiobook Reviews, Carmel, Urban Fantasy / 7 Comments

Title: Venom
Series: Elemental Assassin #3
Author: Jennifer Estep
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Format: MP3, 12 hrs 8 mins
Published: September 28, 2010
ASIN #: B0044X12KG
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: bought
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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 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.

Jennifer Estep has done it again! Venom is even better than the first two installments which is pretty unbelievable considering how outstanding they both were. No word of a lie, the Elemental Assassin series literally gets better with every book. That’s pretty freaking remarkable if you ask me! It felt like that crazy drop in the Tower of Terror except that it lasted for twelve hours! The story is thrilling, the character development is exceptional and Owen Grayson is just plain smokin’ hot.

In this installment we get an even better look inside Gin’s assassin persona; it’s a scary and fascinating place. In the opening chapter she endures one heck of a beating in order to maintain her cover. I kept waiting for her to unleash a can of whoopass on the giants but hiding her skills was indeed the best long-term game plan for her and that’s exactly what she does. You can’t help but admire Blanco for willingly getting pummeled when she could have easily come out the winner of the encounter. This is just the first of many instances where she demonstrates her knack for thinking on her feet. As an ex-assassin, Gin finds herself in some pretty hairy situations yet she always manages to keep her cool, even when bullets are zooming past her head! There’s more to her than just a cold blooded killer though and that’s what makes her story so incredible. Her feelings and doubts go a long way into humanizing her in this book. I think that Estep does an exceptional job developing her characters in this series. They’re memorable, life-like and unique; I for one can’t get enough of them!

Elliot Slater is the kind of guy you love to hate and the first bad guy of this series that I really wanted to see suffer a slow and painful death at the hands of Gin. I like that it took the entire book for Roslyn’s revenge to come full circle; it made the end result extremely meaningful and personal. All of the characters play a role in the main plot which is yet another noteworthy element in this book. As a result, the side stories became an added bonus instead of an essential ingredient in order to tie everything together.

Finn is finally coming into his own and I like that he actually kicked some butt in this installment. I’ve been on the fence about him for the past two books but now I’m glad he’s a part of this series and I look forward to seeing what Estep has in store for him. I love, love LOVE Owen Grayson and how this book ended. I’m kinda hoping that he and Gin team up and go after Mab Monroe together. Wouldn’t that be a romantic outing? Yeah… Natural Born Killers style! Sophia’s story still remains a mystery but at least we learned something about her this time. I just hope her tale will be as awesome as I expect it to be!

Venom is one giant action scene packed with unforgettable characters, startling truths and the ending is fan-freaking-tastic.

Books in this series:

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My Review

Recommendation: If you like snarky, deadly heroines and need a new addiction; the Elemental Assassin series is perfect for you.
Like this, like that: The Shaede Assassin series by Amanda Bonilla, the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost and the Unbound series by Rachel Vincent.

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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7 responses to “Audio Review: Venom by Jennifer Estep

  1. I am so glad you and Jennifer started reading this series because its the only reason I did. I love it. And Owen is super HOT!! I love him more and more with each book.