Review: Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep

Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin (# 9)
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 385
Source: book provided by Edelweiss for review

When I say you’re a dead man, take that literally.

To me, killing people is like a day at the salon: cut and dry. Well, more like rinse and repeat when you moonlight as the assassin the Spider. But my last spa day ended redder than my freshly painted nails after a twisted Fire elemental and his goons kidnapped my close friend Sophia Deveraux and nearly killed her sister Jo-Jo in the process.

Up Ashland’s most dangerous mountains, and deep into the heart of its blackest woods—I’ll track these thugs no matter where they take Sophia. It doesn’t matter what kinds of elemental magic they try to throw at me, my Ice and Stone powers can take the heat and then some. I will get Sophia back, over their dead bodies.

Because anybody that hurts Gin Blanco’s family becomes a body.


Review: I’ve had the pleasure to read this entire series and was thrilled when this book was released. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy and devoured the book. But I have had trouble putting my thoughts of the book on paper.

I enjoyed this book. But it was a little darker than past books in the series. And while that’s not a bad thing, sometimes it was just a little too much for me. In fact, there were a few times and I just said “Ew!” out loud and wondered what the heck was going on. I wanted more lighthearted moments. And while this book can stand on its own and Ms Estep does a little recapping, it’s going to make a lot more sense if you read earlier books.

So, on to this story. We have a new bad guy (Grimes)… and what a sadistic dude he is. And his sister is just as insane. Both of them got off on torturing others, including Gin and her friends (Sophia in particular, which was bumped up to a main character for this story). They were exactly what you’re looking for in a pair of villains, although maybe a little over the top for my tastes.

We got to learn more about Sophia and then some more background on Gin, Finn and Fletcher and their pasts come back to haunt them as Grimes comes storming into their lives. And Owen is back and determined to fix his relationship with Gin.

So as you can see, I have mixed feelings about the book. I liked it and it was a good installment in the series. But too dark for my tastes and honestly, I probably won’t pick this one up again. However, if you’re reading the series, I’d definitely read this one… but if you’ve not started the series, I wouldn’t recommend starting here.