Title: Heart of Venom
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Elemental Assassin (Book 9)
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Format: Paperback, 354 Pages
ISBN-10: 1451689004 (Pocket After Dark)
ISBN-13: 978-1451689006 (Pocket After Dark)
Reviewed by: Candy
The hotly anticipated ninth novel in the hugely popular Elemental Assassin series finds Gin Blanco on a dangerous mission to rescue a friend.
When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever? Assuming, that is, she survives long enough to find out…
Quick & Dirty: Gin Blanco is an assassin named Spider when she is not running her restaurant the Pork Pit or hanging with friends. Because of this many people would like to see her dead. So when men break into her friend Jo-Jo’s salon she believes they are there for her, but she is very wrong. Instead they are after Jo-Jo’s sister Sophia. Harley Grimes, a sick and twisted man has returned for her and it is up to Gin to save her friend and kill her tormentor for good.
Opening Sentence: What do you mean, I can’t come?
Gin Blanco, also known as the assassin Spider, would do anything to protect the ones that she loved. That includes rescuing one of them from a psychopath gun dealer. When Gin’s friend Sophia is kidnapped by Harley Grimes, Gin swears that she will stop at nothing to get her back and to make sure the man who took her does not live to harm anyone else ever again. This is the ninth book in the Elemental Assassin series, but thankfully it gives you enough information that if you read this one first you will understand what is going on.
The heroine, Gin Blanco is amazing. Her family was murdered when she was younger and for a long time she lived on the street surviving anyway she could. Then she meets Fletcher, also known as the assassin the Tin Man. Fletcher takes her in and teaches her how to defend herself and those that she loves. This is how she becomes a famous assassin called the Spider. She is feared all over because she is good at what she does. So good in fact that people try to kill her all the time to prove they are big and bad. Too bad for them they never succeed. She is also extremely loyal to those she calls friends and family. She is loyal to the point that when her friend Sophia is kidnapped by Harley Grimes who has been obsessed with Sophia for years, Gin would do anything to get her back, even if it means dying for her friend. Gin is a rare elemental. Most elemental’s can only control one element but both Gin and her only remaining sibling, Bria, can control both stone and ice.
Jennifer Estep did a good job when she describes the antagonists. Harley and his sister Hazel are complete psychos. They have repeatedly kidnapped college men and women to take to their camp in the mountains. When they get them to their camp, these victims are raped and tortured before they are killed. The siblings enjoy using their fire abilities to put the fear into people. From the beginning you dislike them. They believe that they are unstoppable and can do whatever they want to do. That may all change after they kidnap Sophia and make Gin mad. The most annoying thing about them is that they fancy themselves old time gangsters, wearing fedoras and suits. Hazel even wears old fashioned wrap-around dresses. Out of the two siblings, Hazel is the more powerful and sicker of the two. She enjoys the torture more because when she can break the girls, she stays the queen of the mountain. I disliked these two so much, I couldn’t wait to see them meet the fate they deserved.
I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend reading it. If you haven’t read the others, it would be worth probably reading the others, but is not absolutely necessary. Jennifer Estep is a wonderful writer who really gets you wanting to keep reading her stories to find out how it will end.
“Sophia?” I asked.
Her black eyes met mine, and I saw something there
I’d never seen before: fear.
“Run,” Sophia rasped in her low, broken voice.
Then she collapsed without another word.
Elemental Assassin Series:
2. Web of Lies
5.5 Thread of Death
6. By A Thread
7. Widow’s Web
8. Deadly Sting
8.5 Kiss of Venom
10. The Spider (December 24, 2013)
FTC Advisory: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Heart of Venom. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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