Customer Reviews for

Venom (Elemental Assassin Series #3)

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 248 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 13
  • Posted September 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Readers will be engaged with Venom as Gin returns for another exciting elemental escapade

    In Ashland former assassin Spider turned restaurant owner Gin Blanco hides her Stone and Ice magic as she keeps a low profile after killing an associate of the deadly Fire Elemental Mab Monroe. However, she still loathes Mab for murdering her family seventeen years ago and remains dedicated to killing her enemy.

    Recently to her shock, Gin has found out that her sister Bria, who she thought died in the massacre, is alive. Gin wants to tell Ashland Police Detective Bria Coolidge that they are siblings, but their respective occupations make her hesitate especially with her plan to destroy her family's killer. Meanwhile Mab's prime enforcer gigantic Elliot Slater stalks vampire Roslyn Phillips. To keep Roslyn safe may mean putting her own life at risk from Slater's humongous fists and delay implementation of her vengeance scheme.

    The latest urban fantasy Elemental Assassin saga (see Spider's Bite and Web of Lies) is a great entry as the killer heroine learns her baby sister is alive, but ironically a cop. Loaded with action from the opening Slater fists to the finish, the key to this exciting thriller is the paranormal seems genuine due to little touches; for instance Gin recovers from the flu. Readers will be engaged with Venom as Gin returns for another exciting elemental escapade.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    3rd book's a charm

    This is the 3rd installment of the Elemental Assassin series, and IMHO, the best so far. In this story, Gin Blanco finds someone from her past that she'd thought was gone forever, struggles with heartbreak and guilt, and finally sets events in motion to hopefully find closure to a tragedy in her past.

    I really enjoyed this book a lot. Gin seems the most "real" to me here as she tries to help a friend get out of a very dangerous situation caused by Gin's previous actions. Gin is trying to enjoy retirement, but it seems her job skills are just too handy to store away just yet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Another wonderful book by this author!

    Review by Jen: We've been blessed to have Jennifer Estep guest with us for the release of each of her Elemental Assassin books. And I've had the great pleasure to read each of the novels. The stories keep getting more interesting as well as the development of the world Jennifer has created.

    The premise of the series is following Gin's vendetta against Mab, the very powerful fire elemental who killed her family. In Venom, she is one step closer to her revenge. But with the appearance of her younger sister, who she believed was dead, and a new love interest to distract her, Gin has her hands full.

    I just love the characters in this series. Gin is so tortured with her past, but has this heart of gold she tries so hard to hide. She's turned away from the assassin life, but isn't afraid to turn back to it when her friends and family are in trouble. Then you have the uber-villian, Mab, who is still quite a mystery to the reader, but we learn just a little bit more about her in each book as her minions keep making Gin's life miserable. Add in a cast of interesting supporting players, from her adoptive brother Finn, to the new love interest Owen, to the giants, dwarves, and vampires and all the other species of people living in Ashland.

    Jennifer has written another wonderful book and I can't wait for the next installment of the series to be released.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Elemental Assassin's Killer Book 3

    Your friendly neighborhood assassin, Gin Blanco, is back in the Elemental Assassin's third installment, Venom. Blanco, equals Bada$$. Coolige, also equals Bada$$. But Jennifer Estep is definitely the biggest Bada$$ of them all, and Oh what tangled webs she writes. Venom proves Spider's Bite and Web of Lies was only the start of good things to come. With the set up and well established characters of Gin, her cohorts, and the world that is Ashland, firmly behind her, Estep confidently starts her descent into the point of no return. Before the end, lines will be drawn. Decisions will be made. And war will begin.

    In typical Estep fashion Venom starts off with a bang.... Or a fist in the face. Picking up where Web of Lies left off, paybacks a b!t@h, that Mab's minions are taking out on Gin's body. Getting jumped by a gang of giants lead by Elliot Slater, and Jonah McAllister, sets the tone for the difficult battle ahead. And it won't be easy with the new straight laced Detective Coolidge on Gin's back. In this episode Gin's case, is eliminating a stalking, serial murdering, rapist, with an eye for a certain madame. This will be her hardest mark yet, and Gin's not sure she will walk away from it alive. Compounding matters, he also happens to be at the top of Mab Monroe's inner circle, and getting this job done will be like declaring war. But Venom isn't just about present problems and relationships, there is also a healthy dose of the past. In this installment, Estep works in Gin's memories of the fateful fire that changed her life. We even find out why her family was targeted, along with learning more about Grayson's troubled past, and how Sophia does such a good job at cleaning up after Gin.

    With the abrupt departure of Donovan Caine, Gin is questioning her head and heart. The always confident assassin, is feeling quite self conscience about how new relationships will perceive her. Enter Owen Grayson, wealthy, sexy, quite possibly the most understanding man in the world, but Gin's weary heart is worried about his motives, and wether he'll be there in the morning when he finds out who and what she really is. Then there's baby sis Bria, who has moved back to Ashland, but Gin's not the only one who recognizes Bria. Life's just not fair for Gin, who's struggling with how to break the news to long lost little sis about who she is and what she does, while juggling to keep Bria alive and kill her mark. But it's all in a day's work for the barbecue betty.

    With luck abandoning her, Gin can't seem to catch a break. Retirement is becoming more of a full time hobby, and the assassin Spider, a murdering philanthropist, donating her skills to the less fortunate. Fortunately for us Estep is donating her writing skills to the masses. Venom's strong story line, action packed drama, and well written characters will keep you hooked. The few answers given will satisfy. And the new threads created will string you along for the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2011

    I Also Recommend:


    It took me awhile to get into this series but Venom was a lot better than the first two in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Can't Wait for the Next Book!

    In this third installment of the Elemental Assassin series, Gin has started moving forth on her vow on vengeance against the Fire Elemental, Mab Monroe, who murdered her family. But first, Gin must help a friend who has a stalker issue. Fortunately for her, the stalker is none other than Mab Monroe's goon, Elliot Slater. How is that for fate? I think Gin sums it up very well on page 102:

    "I'm just wondering how exactly I went from being the Spider to the Robin f***ing Hood of the greater Ashland area. Three months ago, I was killing people for money. Lots of money. Buckets of it. Now, tell me a good sob story instead and I'll take care of all your problems for free. Instead of stealing from the rich, I'm stabbing them to death for the poor."

    As you can see, Gin is snarky as ever. Also developing is her relationship with the gorgeous Owen Grayson. Hopefully she can get over the hurt that Donovan Caine has brought down upon her. And speaking of the absent Donovan Caine, it looks like fate has another surprise for Gin. The police force has hired Bria Coolidge (Gin's baby sister) to fill Caine's vacant spot. Gin isn't the only one that knows Bria is alive, Mab has found out too. Now Gin must protect Bria and figure out how to kill Elliot Slater.

    This was probably not my favorite of the series but it wasn't a letdown. By the end those feelings were erased and I became excited about what will come in the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Gin Blanco, a retired assassin named the Spider, returns in book

    Gin Blanco, a retired assassin named the Spider, returns in book three of the Elemental Assassin series. This time around, she's dealing with the consequences of her actions in book two. With a giant obsessing after a mutual friend, Gin is going to have to give it everything she has in order to save her friend and not expose herself all while somehow living to tell the tale. Add in that Gin's little sister that she thought died when she was a child somehow pops back into her life and this story just got that much more twisted.

    The love interest, Owen Grayson had me pushing aside my intrigue/anger of Donovan Caine and rooting for Owen. I have mixed feelings for Donovan at this point, and I'm hoping he stays out of the picture. I'm almost certain JEstep is going to bring him back later on just to f*** with us though so we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Owen seems like Gin could rely on him for support as well as comfort and I can't wait to see where there relationship goes in the future books.

    Jennifer Estep manages to weave such an intricate story that you're not sure where it's going to go, you just know you want to get caught in her web. The Elemental Assassin series is everything I could ask for in an Urban Fantasy series. I highly recommend it if you haven't read it yet! I'm already listening to the fourth book (audiobook) in the series.

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  • Posted September 7, 2014

    The more books I read in Estep's Gin Blanco series, the more tha

    The more books I read in Estep's Gin Blanco series, the more that I enjoy them.  Venom is another amazing installment in this series, and it also ups the stakes with the introduction of Gin's sister.  Gin goes through a lot in this book not just physically but emotionally as well as Mab and her goon target her sister which brings up Gin's conflicting emotions about family (her family by blood and the family she chose).  Gin also has to deal with her emotional feelings that Owen awakes in her as she realizes that he isn't planning on running from her like her last boyfriend did.  Estep really makes the stakes higher in this book because Gin risks not just herself but also those she cares about in order to stop Mab.  Overall Venom was an excellent adventure in the series, and I can't wait to read Gin's next adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014



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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Bad sample

    Cant even read the sample. Blah!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013


    Like all of Estep's books, Venom, the third novel in the Elemental Assassin series, hooks you from the start amd won't let you go. Not that you would want it to! In Venom Ginlearns some shocking secrets while going toe to toe with another bully in Ashland. The question is, is she powerful enough to win?

    This is a must read, along with the rest of the series. You won't be dissappointed!

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  • Posted August 26, 2012

    Love Gin.

    Love Gin.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Funny, irreverant and just plain fun

    I normally don't like anti-heroes. But this whole series appeals to me.

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  • Posted May 14, 2012

    Excellent Book

    Having read the previous two books in this series, this book was very enjoyable!..

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Could have been better.

    Gin (The Spider) Bianco is supposed to be the best assassin in her city but, she sure gets caught and beat up a lot. I read and enjoyed the other books in the series but the scenes of Gin being beaten nearly to death came too often in this one to let me suspend my disbelief, too much S&M for my taste . Otherwise it was a fast paced adventure with lots of twists and suspense that kept me turning the pages.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

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    I Also Recommend:

    Each book is better than the last...Wow!

    Gin Blanco, assassin, owner of the Pork Pitt (bbq restaurant), community college student and great cook has her hands full in this book. I like that she is a bad ass when she's "on the job." I also like that she, like many women, is just looking to be accepted for who she is, with knives and all. Donovan Caine, who has left town, has still left his mark on her making her wary of love and the possible happily ever after (well, as much as she could get that with her late night activities). When the beautiful vamp Roslyn is stalked by Elliot Slater, Mab's enforcer, Gin feels compelled to "take Elliot out." After all, he has been getting away with torturing and raping his "girlfriend" in the past. It gets plenty bloody when Gin puts her mind to her job. This book is the best in the series thus far. I can't wait for the next book. Read this series; you won't regret it.

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  • Posted February 12, 2011

    Gin cooks up some revenge.

    My thoughts...If you are looking for a fierce, no-nonsense character, then you will love Gin Blanco.

    This is the third book in the Elemental Assassin series, so if you have not read Spider's Bite or Web of Lies, you should definitely start there. This third book feels pivotal to me. Gin has reached an edge. She has lost so much in her short time and she has been defeated by love. This fact makes her character, while still tough as nails, very vulnerable. I developed a new appreciation for her character in this installment. She became so much more likable and relatable. Don't get me wrong, she is still just as fierce, even more so than before. But that vulnerability makes me like her more.

    I am pleased with the other characters in Venom as well. We get to read more about the handsome Finn. We see more of Owen Grayson, who I love compared to that close-minded detective. A bit more is revealed about the mysterious sisters and Bria.

    The action is once again non-stop. Estep leaves readers little time to catch their breath between scenes. It is still violent, bloody, and gritty, but retired or not, Gin is still the Spider. There were more world details revealed, as well as more fuel to the fire against Mab Monroe. As usual, I enjoyed reading the magic Gin created in the kitchen as well as the development of her elemental magic. I can't wait to see what happens in the fourth book.

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:


    I strongly suggest you read the previous books in the series (Pre-prequel-Web of Deceit; Prequel- Spider's Bargain; installment #1-Spider's Bite; Novella-Web of Death; installment #2-Web of Lies) prior to reading this installment.

    Gin, our favorite assassin is back with a new purpose in help those without a voice. I usually don't like books where the heroine tries to be goody-two-shoes all the time and thank goodness, this is not one of those books.

    Gin is tough, savvy and has a one hell of a mean streak. Gin's viciousness is only out done by her big heart. However, at the same time, she isn't overly emotional (which I can appreciate) and she gets right to the point. This book is action-packed and face paced. The bloody details of this installment are not for the faint of heart! This installment was one of the most gruesome of the series and I loved every minute of it.

    I highly recommend this book to fellow dark urban fantasy readers. I look forward to the next book Tangled Threads due out 4/26/2011. *I also recommend Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between - J.A. Saare, B&N doesn't carry this book but Amazon does.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    even better then the first two

    i liked this third installment better then the first two. the main character is more developed and has met her equal in her new romantic intrest. I felt that with the detective she questioned who she was and it made her character weaker. i definitly enjoyed this book the most out of the three and can't wait to see where she goes next in her relationship with her sister.

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  • Posted October 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Venom is the 3rd in the new urban fantasy Elemental Assassin Series by Jennifer Estep.

    The weather may be cooling down in Ashland, but the action is as hot as ever and as usual Gin finds herself smack in the middle, she's still looking for her baby sister, but it seems her baby sister's found her, she still wants Mab's head on a platter but that will have to wait for a while. And most of all she's still very loyal to her friends and is a loyal friend in return and when one them is in trouble Gin will do right by them. It usually means more trouble, but Gin's used to that. She's also still nursing that heartache over super homicide cop and Mr. Moral Donovan Caine and she may just have found the right medicine in Owen Grayson, will he turn out to be more moral than common sense too or will he see Gin for what she is, an incredible woman who doesn't mind getting her hands dirty to help out her friends.
    Ms. Estep is one of those rare finds, an amazing storyteller, but what makes her doubly good is that her story is fantasy and still she makes it utterly believable to her audience. Her characters span the spectrum from mundane to unbelievable and we her readers can't help but want to know everything about them all. Her villains dose out more than just dirty looks, they pull their elemental magic up and blast their enemies with it. Her protagonist Gin is one of the most misunderstood heroines you could ever imagine, yes she's a former and sometimes reinstated assassin, but she's got heart and soul, she's feminine and not afraid to let it show and when she's working she's not afraid to show her dark side and now with her new love interest Owen Grayson we finally see a side of her that we've been waiting three novels to see, the proud side. This is not a romance, but there is a romance parked inside and it's a doozy and it's definitely worth the wait. The love scenes are sexy and earthy and sizzle on the page.
    So you say you're looking for something just a little out of the ordinary and with all the urban fantasy/paranormal series/stand-a-lones out there why should you spend your money on the Elemental Assassin series and Venom, because they're that good. Venom stands really well on it's own, but it would be like missing the meat out of the stew. Get the full Gin experience and read all of the novels

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