Venom by Jennifer Estep

Posted June 7, 2015 | 23 Comments

Venom by Jennifer EstepVenom
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #3
Published by: Audible Studios
Publication Date: September 28, 2010
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
Source: Purchased

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 Ashland’s 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

I only recently started reading the Elemental Assassin series, even though there are thirteen installments out now. I like when there are a lot already available because I don’t have to wait for the next book to be released. I read the first two books and liked them, but didn’t feel any real excitement for them. I usually give any urban fantasy series at least 2-3 books to hook me, because that seems to be when most really build steam.

I decided to listen to Venom on audio this time. Listening to it helped quite a bit, but I’m not sure part of the reason why is necessarily a plus. I’m picky about narrators, but Lauren Fortgang did a fabulous job not only as Gin, but as all the characters. I enjoyed the audio much more than reading the books. Part of the reason why, is because I could easily make it 2nd or 3rd priority in my head without missing out when it got boring. I certainly didn’t find myself fully enthralled and hanging on every word like I do with other series (The Iron Druid Chronicles, White Trash Zombie, Kate Daniels, etc.).

Gin is a pretty good character. I love that she truly is an assassin and has no qualms with cutting someone down if need be. She doesn’t have a bunch of annoying turmoil when it comes to stuff like that. Even though she’s cold and badass, she’s extremely loyal to the few people close to her. That’s a major trait I love in my heroines. One thing though, I like my UF heroines with a good amount of snark and a lot of wit, but I’m just not getting … enough from her. I feel like there are parts where she’s trying to be, but it just comes across as … meh. To me, anyway.

I like the secondary characters too, but Finn is definitely my favorite. I love his cocky playboy ways, and find his new interest amusing. I have a feeling those two are going to be quite fun together. Owen is also one of the main reasons I wanted to read Venom, so I was happy to get so much of his back story without dragging it out. He and Gin have really good chemistry and seem like they’ll have the type of romantic dynamic I enjoy.

The storyline is interesting, and the author does a good job weaving the overall arc in. It’s straightforward and obvious, but still enjoyable. The bad guys though, they felt a tad on the corny side to me. I couldn’t help but laugh at how often they talked in front of Gin and Finn.

Listen, I like the series. I really do. However, it isn’t something I crave or have a strong desire to immediately read the next installment. At the same time, I am curious about what will happen next. So it does have me hooked, but I feel like I could easily jump ship. Does that make sense?

Anyway, listening to Venom on audio probably saved it, so I’ll definitely continue in that format. Eventually.


23 responses to “Venom by Jennifer Estep

  1. I gave up on this series a few installments back because it got to be really repetitive and the romantic drama drove me crazy. That’s not the sort of thing I enjoy. But I agree about Finn completely, he’s the only thing I truly miss about the series. I’m glad you’re at least enjoying it, even though it’s not as good as those others.

    Maja (The Nocturnal Library) recently posted: LGBT Monday: Life, Some Assembly Required
    • Christy

      Yeah, the repetitiveness irritated me in the first two books. It was more tolerable in this book only because I could half listen with the audio. Ugh, romantic drama? Damn.

  2. It makes sense to me : it’s like watching a tv-show you’re not crazy about, but it’s good enough that you’d like to know what comes next and you feel comfortable with it 🙂 Sometimes, we read so many books that when we find a good one, we’re a little disappointed because we’d like it to be just great !

  3. I still have yet to listen to an audiobook, I really need to give it a try one of these days! Sorry this series isn’t necessarily blowing you away, but I’m glad you’re enjoying parts of it. I do adore Gin. And Finn. So much Finn 🙂

    Jenny recently posted: Review: Nearly Found
  4. It’s a shame sometimes when books fail to get us hooked but if we’re at least interested enough to keep going with a series, than it all feels a bit better. i’m glad you ended up enjoying this one Christy, and that the audio worked for you. I have still not popped my audio cherry so whenever i read about readers being picky about narrators and stuff i can never relate. LOL. I need to fix this! Anyways, lovely review 🙂

    lily recently posted: Every Last Word: Review
  5. Wow 13 books in a series is a ton! I have trouble keeping up with like 5-6 books! I’m glad you were able to enjoy the audio book, more than you had enjoyed the written book. It’s nice that you enjoyed this one overall, but hopefully it gets a lot better to the point where you’re hooked to commit to such a long series. Great Review Christy 🙂

  6. I havent started this series yet, but it’s a shame you werent over the moon about this one. Totall hear what you’re sayin bout not feelin like your missin stuff when your listening.

  7. Wow, that’s a pretty hefty series, and that’s awesome that you’re committed to continuing on even though the series hasn’t really grabbed you just yet. I like the premise, the snarky heroine and well thought out secondary characters. The romance sounds like it really brings the series down to the usual YA tropefest sadly. Hopefully it picks up in the next book. Wonderful review Christy <3

  8. It’s good to know that the narrator for the audio version is great because based on this review, I think I would definitely do the audio route. I meant to start this series soon since I’m reading her YA series (Mythos Academy) now and I’m enjoying it, despite the high school dynamics I tend to avoid. I did love her new book Cold Burn of Magic so I will definitely read this series because I love UF too. And I agree, witty and snarky female heroines are awesome so I’ll keep in mind that Gin may be lacking on snark with the first three books, that often helps when I’m getting into a new series. Great review Christy!

  9. Great review, but I’m a little sad that it was less than stellar for you. I’ve read Estep’s Frost series, and I found it pretty engaging and I’ve found myself curious about her “older” UF series. At least now I have an honest review to look at when I contemplate picking it up soon.

    Lovely site! I’m a new follower via bloglovin! ^-^


    Brittany recently posted: Review - Joyride by Anna Banks

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