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

4.2 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews
Book 3 of 15 in the Elemental Assassin Series

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Editorial Reviews


"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, Unraveled, and Snared, along with the e-shorts Thread of Death, Parlor Tricks, Kiss of Venom, Unwanted, and Nice Guys Bite 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 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 (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
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 Verified Purchase
Sometimes there are tag lines in a TV show, book series or movie for a set of characters that really work and you look forward to seeing them or hearing them. For Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series it was “There is always another secret” and for Heroes it was “Save the Cheerleader. Save the World” and Highlander’s “There can be only one.” I wish I could say the Estep accomplishes this too…but while she has a ton of repetition and things that could be tag linesk none of them are endearing to me and most of them just annoy me now.

For example:

Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy is actually one of the better ones
Then there is

Gray eyes on violet (or gold or blue insert arbitrary eye color of various character here)


two up my the sleeves, two in my boots, and one at the small of my back. referring to the locations of all of her Silverstone knives.

It is a little distracting. I think problem Number 1 that I’m having with the series is that I’m listening to it and so I can’t just eyeskim the parts that are redundant. I remember who Donovan Caine is, he was just in the last book and the guy you were uber hung up on. I don’t need to be reminded multiple times why your semi-relationship (seriously more like 2 rolls in the hay) didn’t work out. I know that you have 5 blades on you at all times. I remember character XYZ because we have met them multiple times. Stop with all the recounts of EVERYTHING. Problem Number 2…get a new danger factor. Rape or threat of rape to the MC or side characters only carries for so far. It can’t be one of the main danger factors in every book. Does every bad dude have to threaten to rape Gin or the Client??? There are other ways to create fear and drama in a book.
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