"a gritty urban fantasy"

Gin Blanco, a retired assassin and the owner of a barbecue joint, is jumped by several giants on her way to class at the community college. It seems Gin's past has come back to haunt her, because, even though her nemesis' goons don't know her true identity, they have connected her to the deaths of two of their people. Gin has a debt to settle with the crime boss of Ashland, Mab Malone, a Fire Elemental, who murdered her mother and older sister and tortured Gin. On that fateful night that her family was killed Gin's youngest sister disappeared. Mab is a very powerful Elemental and Gin has been biding her time before facing her. When one of Mab's goons starts stalking a vampire acquaintance, Gin and her friends decide to eliminate the stalker, but that is easier said than done.

VENOM is a gritty, urban fantasy novel with a kick-ass heroine, flawed, but likable secondary characters, and truly heinous villains. VENOM is part of the Elemental Assassins series, and although I haven't read any of the previous books, I had no trouble following the story. Ms. Estep likes to tease the reader with a hoped for resolution, but, unfortunately, this got a little annoying after the first few times. I did enjoy the interactions between the secondary characters and Gin, and I rooted for them to defeat the villains of the piece. The final battle was exciting, surprising, and left room for further books in the series.

Overall, VENOM is an entertaining read, and I'll be looking forward to the next book in the series.

Reviewed by Marlene Breakfield
Posted December 20, 2010


A girl never fogets her first job: killer-for-hire.

What kind of assassin works pro bono?

Itís 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, Iím Gin Blanco, owner of Ashlandís best barbecue joint. To my friends, Iím the Spider, retired assassin. I still do favors on the side. Like ridding a vampire friend of her oversized stalkeróMabís 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 Iíll take my chances. Then thereís Detective Bria Coolidge, one of Ashlandís finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sister was dead. She probably thinks the same about me. Little does she know, Iím a cold-blooded killer . . . who is about to save her life.

Genre: Urban Fantasy


(Elemental Assassin: Book 3)
by Jennifer Estep

Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books)
September 1, 2010
Available: September 28, 2010
ISBN #1439148015
EAN #9781439148013
368 pages
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Other Books by
Jennifer Estep

Spider's Revenge
Touch of Frost
Tangled Threads
Web of Lies
Spider's Bite
Hot Mama
Karma Girl

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