Venom by J. Estep

VenomSince the first book in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep, Spider’s Bite, I have been entranced by Gin and her quest to find the woman who murdered her family. Every book has been jam packed with action and mystery, and once I think it can’t get any better Venom comes along and proves me completely wrong.

What kind of assassin works pro bono?

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.

Venom jumps right into the story. In the previous book, Gin had killed somebody that was important to Jonah McAllister – Jonah being Mab Monroe’s very important, and very corrupt, lawyer. Jonah now suspects that Gin had something to do with it, and as a result has Elliot Slater (Mab’s head of security) look into her involvement. Now more than ever, it is important for Gin to keep a low profile. If anybody suspects that she is the elemental assassin known as ‘The Spider’ then she’s done for.

Keeping her cover proves to be difficult however, when Mab decides to go after someone that Gin cares about deeply. Watching Gin walk this fine line was exciting. She wasn’t able to even let the person who she was protecting know who she was. That added to the difficulty, and made it all the more imperative that I finish the book. I had to know how she was going to solve all of these problems coming her way. Especially when I couldn’t, for the life of me, predict anything that was going to happen.

The way Gin handles everything is especially admirable. She has a sense of duty and loyalty that isn’t something you would expect from a former assassin. I especially like the fact that she has personality. Her whole identity isn’t as The Spider. She has a family, if not in the traditional sense, that she would do anything for. She is also a really good cook. Throughout the series, she’s kicked ass and made excellent food while doing it.

If you haven’t started reading this series, then why not? Its got action, romance, mystery, and the ending just blew me out of the water. Seriously, that ending made me Giddy for the next in the series. I don’t want to give anything away; so, I’ll just say that Gin has thrown down the gauntlet, and I’m anxious to see what happens when it’s taken up.

Read Order:
Spider’s Bite
Web of Lies
Tangled Webs (2011)


The relationship between her and detective Donovan Cane is finally over as well. I say finally because I was getting real tired of Donovan’s morals getting in the way of doing what was right. Gin did what was right no matter the consequences, and Cane was always judging her for it. However, despite being completely wrong for her, Gin’s heart is still broken. She still misses the detective. Even if she gave him everything, and he threw it back in her face. That’s why I was happy when a new guy starts coming into the picture, and he accepts and even understands, Gin in ways that Donovan Cane never could.


  1. thanks for the review… I love this series. I am also very happy about your spoiler. He was getting very tiresome. I can’t wait to read this one.

  2. No problemo Jennifer it was a great book I can’t wait for the next one.

    And thanks to everybody. I’m glad you liked the review. This one is definitely worth the read. Hope you all like it as much as I did.

  3. Don’t hate me, but I liked Donovan. The new guy better bring his A game because I thought Gin and Donovan were great together. The sisters always crack me up. The well-spoken one and the one that grunts – he he he. Can’t wait to read it!

  4. hehe Candace, no hating here. To each their own I always say. I certainly hope that you think the new guy is as amazing as I did. Love the sister’s too, they are great characters. You actually find out a little bit more about them in this book. ;)

  5. I waited to read this series, just read Spider’s Bite two weeks ago and loved it. I’ll be diving into Web of Lies in the next week or two, just in time to read Venom when it comes out. I’m glad to hear that the quality level is being maintained. I can’t wait to read it.

  6. thanks for the review – I’m currently in the middle of Spider’s Bite and I already love it and will immediately order the other books of the series!

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