Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Venom by Jennifer Estep

Venom (Elemental Assassin, #3) Title: Venom
Author: Jennifer Estep
Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis: Gin Blanco must come out of her semi-retirement to help a friend in need escape from a sick stalker who just happens to be Mab Monroe's right hand man.

Review: Fantastic world building, appealing characters and an engrossing storyline.

The ongoing story arc is developing slowly but surely toward the inevitable showdown between Gin and Mab Monroe, and the gripping revelations regarding Gin's family and the reasons for their deaths make this conflict all the more interesting. In terms of the book specific plot, Elliot Slater is a truly despicable yet formidable villain and the manner in which he is ultimately dispatched makes for exciting listening.

On the romance front, Donovan Caine has thankfully made an exit and one can only hope that it will be permanent. Now Gin can focus her attentions on a much more deserving, and seriously sexy, Owen Grayson.

The exceptional character development is a highlight of the book. Gin is growing as a person and coming to realize that she is not alone in the world - she not only has a makeshift family in the form of Finnegan Lane and the Deveraux sisters, whose loyalty and faith in Gin is inspiring, but has also found her long-lost sister, Bria, and it will be interesting to see where their relationship goes. Gin is also allowing herself to grow closer to Owen although there is still a long way to go before she trusts him completely.

The one aspect of Gin's characterization that does need work is the use of her elemental powers, which remain underdeveloped within the story line. She has both stone and ice magic but refrains from using them to their best effect, and this distracts from the action scenes as the reader is constantly waiting for her to finally put them to good use.

All in all, the Elemental Assassin series is thoroughly enjoyable and I look forward to Gin and company's next adventure in Tangled Threads.


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