My First Review - Venom by Jennifer Estep

I’m going to try my hand at reviews.  I still haven’t decided how I’d like to do my reviews, to keep them standardized.  I’m working on a couple of different ideas so I will try out different formats for my first few, to see which I like the best.  So, here goes.  My first review.  J
***Contains slight spoilers if you have not read the first two books in the series yet***
Title – Venom
Author – Jennifer Estep
Series – Elemental Assassins – Book Three
Pages – 389
Synopsis - 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
My sister Melinda introduced me to these books and I’m glad she did.  This is a solid urban fantasy series.  The first two books are Spider’s Bite and Web of Lies.  It’s got elements I’ve never read before, which I always enjoy.  There are vampires and giants and dwarves and Elementals; people who have abilities over Air, Ice, Stone and Fire.  I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series, because I’m very anal about reading series books in order but if you don’t start at the beginning, you won’t be too lost because the major events of the two previous books are mentioned, in detail.  If you don’t want to know what happens in the first two books before reading them, though, then definitely read in order. 
What Worked For Me – I like the recurring characters in the series.  My favorite character so far is Finnegan Lane or Finn, Gin’s stepbrother.  He ‘s not book boyfriend material but he seems to be such a real character; like someone I might meet in real life.  He’s cocky and funny and sexy; I like it!  I also love all of the food references in the books.  Gin owns a restaurant and likes to cook and the author goes into detail about the food.  I’m always hungry when reading these books, but it’s a good thing.  Also, she has some of the recipes listed on her website. (  The action in the books is exciting and believable.  Oh..and there was a shower sex scene which ALWAYS gets a thumb up from this reviewer! 
What Didn’t Work For Me – I have found the books to be very repetitive.  The same things are described, multiple times, the same exact way in all of the books.  The same thoughts and feelings are expressed several times within the same book.  It only concerns me because it takes me out of the moment when I stop and think “didn’t I already read this?” or “yeah, we already know this”.  It’s an issue of mine that may not affect anyone else.  It’s really the only thing about the books that I don’t like and it is by no means a reason for me not to continue reading.   Also, there’s a character that was in the first two books that I LOATHED that is not actually in this book but is mentioned several times.  It makes me think the character may still return in the future which I would HATE were it to occur.  Seriously, just reading the name makes me sneer. Which is, of course, a compliment to the author; any time writing can evoke the correct strong emotions (because I’ve GOT to believe she WANTS us to hate this character!), the writer is doing something right!
All in all, I give this a 4 out of 5…uhhhh…..hmmm….yeah…haven’t come up with a rating system yet.  Asteriks?  Pennies? Cookies?  Pimp Hat Feathers?  Well, that’s an issue for another day, I guess.  For now, I’ll  just go with my Goodreads rating of 4 out of 5 stars! 
Thanks for stopping by to read my review.  Let me know what you think and if you’ve read the books and/or plan to.  The feedback is much appreciated!


  1. YAY!! Your first review!

    Awesome! I hope that you find your way in the ever-changing reviewing world. I've been at it for 4 years now on the blog and still haven't found "the way" and am always changing things up, trying to find it...but hey, eventually we will!


  2. Great review, Penny!!!!! I enjoy this series. Like you, I have issues with the repetitive descriptions, they are pretty rampant in all 3 books. Oh, and the character you loathe (I DO TOO)... J Estep has said in an interview he is not necessarily gone for good. I hope that if he does come back in to her life that she will kick him in the taco! ;) OWEN FOR THE WIN! :)

  3. Oh forgot to say that I haven't read the books and the chance that I'll be reading them is slim as they are not on my already humongous TBR mountain. And also quite honestly UF is not my go-to subgenre in romance fiction and from what I heard about these books (All good things by the way) I'm thinking they fall in the UF part of the shelves

  4. Great review! I really need to start this series!!

  5. I like and I think you should rate with cookies!

  6. I could have sworn I posted a comment earlier....insteeway... excellent review Pen... I'll have to give this one a looksee!

  7. Loved the review. Thoroughly enjoyed the book. I cannot wait for the next in the series, Tangled Threads. I, too, hate the character you mentioned...and I DO NOT want to see him come back. That would be some BUSH! And I vote for someone else's suggestion...pimp cups:D

  8. Ack I couldn't read it because I haven't read this series yet. From what everyone else is saying it looks like you did a kick ass job. *high five*

  9. I loved your review-I had such a hard time reviewing this one that I decided not to do one for it. I switch up my review format all the time.


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