It was really difficult getting through this book. It's the classic Gin thinks her day is going well, something happens, she's the spider and she's badass, almost dies, survives, she's the spider she's badass, almost dies again.
I want to like the series, but for someone who's suppose to be the greatest assassin and strongest elemental she's always being overwhelmed by other elementals. She doesn't use her magic in any ways that seem even remotely useful besides draining her of all of it in a quick amount of time. Everyone she faces uses their magic so well, and apparently is stronger in it then her (Despite only having one element. Unlike her who has two different pools to draw upon). Everything has been dumbed down to physical fight scenes that are lackluster and redundant.
Nobody messes with Gin's family and lives to talk about it. In true Gin fashion, The Spider comes out to play and leaves a mess of dead bodies in her wake. The action starts up immediately and it was good to see the real Gin back in all her Spider glory. She didn't have to make those hard decisions that might make people turn their backs on her. No, she just goes in and takes care of the problem. It was awesome!
The problem turns out to be the nightmare from Sophia's past. An evil man still obsessed with Sophia. Harley and Hazel Grimes are a twisted pair of siblings. Now that Fletcher is gone, Harley wants the one who got away-Sophia. It's creepy, his obsession with her, and he will stop at nothing to get her.
The thing I love most about this series is that Gin doesn't have to be the only hero. She might be the assassin but she accepts the help of her friends. They're a family and they all work together to right the wrongs done to them or anyone they feel needs protecting. Another thing I love is the flashbacks we get with every book. They fill in the blanks for us so that we can see the how/why/what made Gin into The Spider. It's not just her story, it's their stories.
Thank you, Owen. Thank you for manning up and not just telling Gin how you feel but showing her. Gin may be an assassin but she has a big heart and it get's broken just as easily as the next person. I'm really looking forward to future books with the set up for the next big baddie coming our way.
Book reviewer - PNR/UF Addict. Lover of make up and all things cute.
Gin Blanco returns in book nine of the Elemental Assassin series. This time around Gin is dealing with her friend being abducted. Sophia was taken by a crazy man named Harley Grimes, who kidnapped her in the past to tortured her and hasn't gotten over that fact that he didn't break her before she was rescued. This time around you get to see how dark and twisted JEstep's villains can be.
I was kind of surprised by our leading lady and how she acted in Heart of Venom. Don't get me wrong, I can understand why, but it was unlike her. Gin has always been a calm, calculating assassin, but since this time it is personal, she rushes and has to figure things out as it goes. She does have the help of her friends, but I wasn't sure how it was all going to play out.
There are several bits of character growth in Heart of Venom, one being finally getting more information on Sophia. Her character has always intrigued me, and previous books had only given glimpses of details of her past. I was sad to hear her story, but I can understand her character a lot better now. Another instance is Owen, the love interest. I was kind of pissed off the last few books due to Owen. He made a colossal mistake and I was glad to see him prove himself. I really like his character, and hope Gin and Owen manage to make it work in future books. The Elemental Assassin series is one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series that I've read so far. It has a bit of everything I could ask for, romance, strong friendships, and a hunky love interest. I highly recommend this series if you haven't read it yet.
I absolutely enjoy these books. There is one character in the story that the narrator really makes sound hilarious. And that character is the old man, Warren. I absolutely like this series although Gin has a habit of blaming herself for everything. That characteristic gets a little tiresome at times. However, really liked this book.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
Heart of Venom is the ninth book in Jennifer Estep’s very popular ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series. I skipped it a while back because I’m not crazy about this series and I didn’t want to purchase it. I had the later volumes and went on. (I’ve only continued to read ELEMENTAL ASSASIN because I already owned most of the books and I wanted to report on it for FanLit.) However, a copy of Heart of Venom fell in my lap recently, so I read it. I feel the same way about it as I do about all the other books in this series, so I’ll be brief here.
Gin’s friend Sophia (the goth dwarf) is kidnapped by the man who tortured her many years ago. Gin must get her back because she has a hero complex — she sees it as her job to protect everyone she loves. So instead of asking her sister Bria, a top cop in the Ashland police force, to call in her troops to raid the bad guy’s backwoods compound, which he’s styled in a kind of Old West theme, Gin decides to go it alone. (I really can’t figure out why Bria never calls in the cops.) But of course her friends won’t let her do this alone and some of them show up to help, including Owen, her ex-boyfriend who came off looking like a real dick in the last book. Interspersed in the story are flashbacks in which Gin shows us her earlier relationship with Sophia. (These flashbacks have now become part of Estep’s usual technique in the last few books.)
Fans of the series (of which there are many) will enjoy getting to know Sophia better and they’ll be extremely happy that Estep fixes the problem of Owen’s recent assholery. Other than that, though, Heart of Venom is pretty much the same as all the other ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN books. We’ve got Gin exhibiting her mother-hen tendencies by cooking huge meals for her friends and brooding about her inability to keep everyone safe. Finn worries about getting blood on his wardrobe and car. The villain is a cliché — an Old West outlaw type, this time. The sex is predictable and boring. The prose is uninspired and repetitive. The story is simply a narrative about how Gin kicks ass and there’s no beauty, humor, or thoughtfulness to it.
Lauren Fortgang continues to do a brilliant job with the narration of the audiobook versions. Her voices are completely convincing and I like her performances a lot better than I like the stories. But as much as I admire the audio versions, I think I really am done with this series now. I’d be happy to try something else by Estep, but I’m just tired of the repetitiveness of this series.
I enjoy listening and reading books. Also, I love fishing, swimming and just being with my family... "I'm forced to have to work".
Jennifer Estep is just one of my favorite authors and I absolutely love her Spider Series. I would love to see this series get turned into a TV series. It had triller, action and love all rolled into one. Jennifer keep writing and I'll keep reading!!
Not at all, i love both versions.
The ending when Sophia finally kills that MAN!!!!! Won't say his name.
Yes, i still can hear her voice within my mind.
All of it moved me.