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Venom (Elemental Assassin, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – September 28, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews
Book 3 of 15 in the Elemental Assassin Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Estep has really hit her stride with the gritty and compelling Elemental Assassin series. She surrounds her fascinating and complex heroine with a cadre of supporting players, each of whom are intriguing in their own right. Brisk pacing and knife-edged danger make this an exciting page-turner. Kudos to Estep, who is rapidly heading toward the top of the urban fantasy genre!"
- Romantic Times Top Pick, 4 1/2 stars

"Gin is an assassin to die for."
- Adrian Phoenix, author of Etched in Bone

" A raw, gritty, compelling walk on the wild side, one that had me hooked from the first page."
- New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh, on SPIDER'S BITE

About the Author

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, Tangled Threads, Spider’s Revenge, By a Thread, Widow’s Web, Deadly Sting, Heart of Venom, The Spider, Poison Promise, Black Widow, Spider’s Trap, Bitter Bite, and Unraveled, along with the e-shorts Thread of Death, Parlor Tricks, and Kiss of Venom, are the other works in her red-hot Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Jennifer is also the author of the Black Blade and Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series and the Bigtime paranormal romance series. For more on Jennifer and her books, visit her at www.JenniferEstep.com and @Jennifer_Estep.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439148015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439148013
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN URBAN FANTASY SERIES
Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series.

The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she's not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals - Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

BLACK BLADE YOUNG ADULT URBAN FANTASY SERIES
Jennifer is also the author of the Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series.

The series focuses on Lila Merriweather, a 17-year-old thief who lives in Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia, a town dubbed "the most magical place in America." Tourists come from around the world to tour all the magic-themed shops and attractions, as well as see monsters like tree trolls, copper crushers, and more in their natural habitats.

Lila does her best to stay off the grid and avoid the Families -- or mobs -- who control the town. But when she saves a member of the powerful Sinclair Family, Lila finds herself caught in the middle of a brewing war between the Sinclairs and the Draconis, the most powerful Family in town.

MYTHOS ACADEMY YOUNG ADULT URBAN FANTASY SERIES
Jennifer is also the author of the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series.

The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object's history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

BIGTIME PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES
Jennifer is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series.

The Bigtime books feature sexy superheroes, evil ubervillains, and smart, sassy gals looking for love.

VISIT JENNIFER'S WEBSITE
Excerpts, free short stories, and more information on Jennifer's books can be found at http://www.jenniferestep.com.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've given this series as much of my time as I could. I was thoroughly intrigued by the ideas that Estep's stories held within their confines. The first book was a wonderful read. Even if some of her writing quirks were a little irritating I could ignore them for the characters, the story, and the otherwise wonderfully crafted prose. And then I moved onto the second book and those quirks were more prevalent as I read. It's very repetitive, even obnoxious. I ignored those things and continued reading and as it came to a close I was excited to see her FINALLY using her elemental powers.

Now, here we are with the third installment. Estep still feels the need to remind us of things in that incredibly redundant style. The Spider's mentor was Fletcher Lane; she's got 5 silverstone knives on her person: one at the small of her back, two up her sleeves, and two in her boots. She palms the silverstone knives, she throws the silverstone knives, and she slashes the giant's throat with a silverstone knife as if we had forgotten that they were made out of silverstone. This is only a minor gripe, but when Estep does it with just about everything, the type of coffee Finnegan drinks (and why), the silverstone spider rune scars in her palms, the way someone is going to "get dead", and it just grates on you. After two full novels of it, well, it's obnoxious to say the least.

On top of that, nothing has really changed, she's supposedly the most powerful elemental JoJo had ever seen, and yet...she simply refuses to logically use her powers. She fears growing too dependent on them, which is a legitimate worry, but she's supposed to be the city's best assassin is she not? Why then would she not TRAIN those powers so when she finally NEEDED them they would be there and ready for her?
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As the title indicates, I really want to like the series, hence the reason I've made it to the third book already. That being said, there are certain things about the books that just irk me, and they irk me because they could have been avoided had the author had the common sense to hire a reliable editor. First things first, I understand that Donavan Caine is sexy and good-looking, but does the phrase, "clean soapy-smell" really need to be followed by the "mmm" EVERY SINGLE TIME, we get it, Gin wants to devour him, but just say it once, and be done with it, it does not need to be written every time, it's not only repetitive, it's extremely cliched and makes me cringe and put the book down for a few moments because it just ruins the flow of otherwise good writing.

As for the author's dated references, again, something irksome and could have been easily avoided had she used an urban dictionary, or just avoided trying to use clever terms. They're not clever, and only go onto date the author, it's not 1992, and this is not an Ice-T video, so please, please stop calling the police The Po-Po, just called them cops and be done with it. Every single time she refers to the cops as The Po-Po, just stop already and write according to the time we're presently in.

Third, the author needs to resist treating her readers like half-wit morons with the attention span of a gerbil. Yes, you may give a quick synopsis to catch the readers up as to what happened in the previous novel, but you really don't need to keep repeating phrases and historical facts throughout the novels.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
At some point I'll get around to posting a round-up review post for all the short stories. Probably before Book 4: Tangled Threads comes out at least. Hopefully before the untitled Book 5 comes out. The good news is that unlike with some other books, where if you don't read the between stories you miss out on some pertinent info, not reading the side stories here just means missing out on some hijinks and information that is distributed in the book anyhow.

In my review for Web of Lies I complained (a little bitterly) that Donovan Caine, Gin's love interest and annoyingly goody-goody detective, ruined the book for me a bit because he kept preaching about morality. Or making Gin feel guilty for not being what he wanted. Or by just being in the same hemisphere as Gin and not appreciating that hey she was killing the really bad guys. And how much I loved Owen Grayson.

Estep gives me more Grayson, no Caine and lots of Spider action. I admit Gin's mopes about Caine turning out to be less than worthy of her and turning tail to escape her was...frustrating. But Owen did a really good job at distracting her. Which I approve of. He also had a rather touching backstory as to why he is persistently following Gin. It could have easily been sachrine sweet, but Estep made it just sweet enough to see the softer side of Owen without making it seem contrived to pull the heart strings. It also goes a long way to explaining some of Fletcher's apparently more altruistic tendencies (or his incredibly good foresight in regards to orphaned children).

Meanwhile the case that Finn brings to Gin to help with quickly becomes the case from hell.
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