Venom

Elemental Assassin, Book 3
Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
Series: Elemental Assassin, Book 3
Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
Categories: Romance, Fantasy
4.4 out of 5 stars (2,371 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"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 Ashlands 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.

©2010 Jennifer Estep (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Estep has really hit her stride with the gritty and compelling Elemental Assassin series. She surrounds her fascinating and complex heroine with a cadre of supporting players, each of whom are intriguing in their own right. Brisk pacing and knife-edged danger make this an exciting page-turner. Kudos to Estep, who is rapidly heading toward the top of the urban fantasy genre!" ( Romantic Times)

What listeners say about Venom

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Ms Estep is maturing

The only reason I got this far in the series is that I bought all 3 before listening to any. If I had just gotten the first I wouldn't have continued with the series. However, #2 was a step up and #3 is OK. The author is getting better. Not sure I'll continue past here though.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Getting better....

I'm beginning to like this series much better than I did at first. The writing isn't quite as repetitive as the first two books. I like the love interest Owen so much better than Donavan, especially considering our heroine. I'm waiting to find out what has happened to Sophia, because that sounds like it will be an interesting story. The story keep referring to how Gin is getting stronger with her elemental magic, what I don't understand is why she doesn't work/ practice with it more to hone her skills. I do realize this is not her main means of assassination, that she prefers her "silver stone knives", but consider who she wants to kill, you would think she would perfect all means available to her.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining!

I liked this book. Gin is an entertaining character. The only complaint I have is that Estep repeats herself a lot. The flashbacks Gin has are fine and interesting but it's that Mab's sunbeam rune is talked about a lot, the runes of her family too. Once each book is fine, but it's multiple times and sometimes it feels like she's just trying to stretch the length of the book out, like the reports you have to do in junior high that have to be 5,000 words. Lauren Fortgang does a nice job. Her male voices aren't great but you can hear the difference in tone and timbre between characters.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

10, 20, 30, 45 heartbeats...Really?

I think this series has wonderful plots, but the telling of the details too often repeats the SAME OLD THING! Way too much violet eyes, and grey eyes and heartbeats that count in increments of 10 get stale. Still, I do recommend it for passing the time. Not my favorite author by a long shot, but like I said the plots are just fun. So much potential to be exciting, but the repetitive phrases really bog down the forward motion of the story.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One giant, twelve hour long action scene!

Jennifer Estep has done it again! Venom is even better than the first two installments which is pretty unbelievable considering how outstanding they both were. No word of a lie, the Elemental Assassin series literally gets better with every book. That's pretty freaking remarkable if you ask me! It felt like that crazy drop in the Tower of Terror except that it lasted for twelve hours! The story is thrilling, the character development is exceptional and Owen Grayson is just plain smokin' hot.

In this installment we get an even better look inside Gin's assassin persona; it's a scary and fascinating place. In the opening chapter she endures one heck of a beating in order to maintain her cover. I kept waiting for her to unleash a can of whoopass on the giants but hiding her skills was indeed the best long-term game plan for her and that's exactly what she does. You can't help but admire Blanco for willingly getting pummeled when she could have easily come out the winner of the encounter. This is just the first of many instances where she demonstrates her knack for thinking on her feet. As an ex-assassin, Gin finds herself in some pretty hairy situations yet she always manages to keep her cool, even when bullets are zooming past her head! There's more to her than just a cold blooded killer though and that's what makes her story so incredible. Her feelings and doubts go a long way into humanizing her in this book. I think that Estep does an exceptional job developing her characters in this series. They're memorable, life-like and unique; I for one can't get enough of them!

Elliot Slater is the kind of guy you love to hate and the first bad guy of this series that I really wanted to see suffer a slow and painful death at the hands of Gin. I like that it took the entire book for Roslyn's revenge to come full circle; it made the end result extremely meaningful and personal. All of the characters play a role in the main plot which is yet another noteworthy element in this book. As a result, the side stories became an added bonus instead of an essential ingredient in order to tie everything together.

Finn is finally coming into his own and I like that he actually kicked some butt in this installment. I've been on the fence about him for the past two books but now I'm glad he's a part of this series and I look forward to seeing what Estep has in store for him. I love, love LOVE Owen Grayson and how this book ended. I'm kinda hoping that he and Gin team up and go after Mab Monroe together. Wouldn't that be a romantic outing? Yeah... Natural Born Killers style! Sophia's story still remains a mystery but at least we learned something about her this time. I just hope her tale will be as awesome as I expect it to be!

Venom is one giant action scene packed with unforgettable characters, startling truths and the ending is fan-freaking-tastic.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good fun

Very much like the Stackhouse series, the main character is no sookie much rougher and fierce. however if you enjoyed true blood you will like this series. Fun and easy fare.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Sloppy ,sloppy,sloppy

Gin as a believable assassin is just laughable. Too much of the book telling me what has already happened. Too many of the exact same sentences repeated. Gin has no character growth or development. Too much of talking in her head instead of moving the plot along. And all phrasing in 3s made me want to pull,tug and yank my hair out. I tried but I cooked, roasted, and done with this series.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • T
  • 08-26-17

no more for me

Just struggled through this and i cant stand anymore. I am a voracious audiobook devourer, but this series is awful. It feels like the writer doesnt have enough story to make a nook so she fills up the space with endless repetitions of character description, feelings, situations, even names. its tiresome and im done

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

So much potential...

Any additional comments?

This is one of those books where if the editing had been tighter it could have been great. The idea for the plot was good and character motivations made sense. I love the banter. It was also great to see Gin slowly get over Donavan and move on to a better guy- Owen. So that was all the good stuff, plus I think the narrator does a great job with all the various character voices.

Now for the bad. The flashback memories are getting old, repetitive, and they're badly timed. We know the gist of Gin's past. Please, no more! I understood why the first fight scene went the way it did and thought the author explained Gin's reasoning for holding back well enough. It was the final fight scenes where I had a problem. Gin had swords she hardly used, and she failed to use her magic when the situation definitely called for it. The whole thing played out badly, but having said that, I did like how the author set things up for the characters to go after Monroe next. I only hope that part plays out like it should.

So I'm not entirely pleased with this installment, but I will give the next book a chance. The foundation is there if the author can just stop doing the awful flashbacks, repetitive backstories and explanations, and let her characters play to their strengths instead of giving lame excuses for letting the bad guys hurt them. I really want this series to find its stride because it could become amazing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much repetition

What made the experience of listening to Venom the most enjoyable?

I really like the people in these books. At least the "good guys".

Any additional comments?

I love these stories, but I find the amount of recap of previous books annoying. I think book 3 would have been a third shorter without all the repetition.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Farnham_red
  • 06-15-20

I'm liking this series

This series is definitely growing on me - I like the characters in Gin's little family and the story arc is growing nicely. The replacement Detective for Donovan Kane is a distinct improvement. The actual story bounds along in a fairly predicable way as is normal for this type of book but holds interest and has enough twists to keep you guessing exactly how we will get to a bad person ending up dead. Sets up the next book nicely and I am looking forwards to the next instalment. Lauren Fortgang does a very good job and I enjoy her narration If you have done books one and two this one will not disappoint.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • sandra streeting
  • 07-03-17

I was mesmerized from start to finish

I have just started biting my nails again. What a lot of excitement.
Great book

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Creative Butterfly
  • 11-29-15

Sometimes it takes getting to No. 3

I am finally starting to get into these books. I almost gave up on the first, but persevere I did and now I am starting to connect with the characters. Gin is finally getting a romance where we can feel the connection which is good.

As assassins go she does tell too many people her business and quite frankly her elemental powers are quite weak but hopefully with more time she will get better. The new love interest and her sister bring a welcome addition to this book. So if like me you though the first 2 were without substance don't worry it does get better.