Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin 3
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
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.
Venom is the culmination of everything the previous books have been leading up to. Spider's Bite and Web of Lies were both stories of growth for Gin. They told of who she used to be as an assassin and led her on a journey of figuring out who she will become now that she's retired. In Venom, she is finally ready to be Gin the assassin Robin Hood, instead of Spider the cold assassin, and Estep shows readers the final steps Gin takes to reach that point and the first steps she takes as her newly improved self. I have really enjoyed seeing that growth and I liked the direction Gin will be taking in the future.
Gin's entire life has been focused on figuring out who brutally murdered her family when she was a child. That goal was set aside for a while when Gin had to learn to survive on the streets as a child and, once she was taken in by an assassin, how to survive her life as Spider. She is refocused in Venom as she is forced to start confronting the evil woman that killed her family. If I go into too much detail here I'll spoil the plot, so I'm purposefully being a bit vague, but I am really looking forward to the next book where Gin's quest will continue.
I really liked the romance in Venom. The previous books had Gin interested in a guy that she wasn't compatible with at all. It was awkward and I was happy when it ended. In Venom she finds a guy with shared life experience. He's lived on the streets, he's killed to keep those he loves safe, and he isn't afraid of Gin at her bloodiest. The match worked extremely well and I'm hopeful that it will continue strongly.
I recommend Venom just like I did the previous books in the series. It's my favorite so far as I finally got to see where all the growing up Gin's had to do in the previous books is finally leading. I also enjoyed the romance in this book and can't wait to read the next one.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.