ARC Review: Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep

Posted August 19th, 2013 in book review / 12 comments


Elemental Assassin Series #9

by Jennifer Estep

Publisher: Pocket Book (Aug. 27, 2013)
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Adult
Format: eARC (384 pages)
Source: Free book from Edelweiss for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★½ ( 4.5 stars)

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…

At A Glance
Despite the melodramatic dialogue, I think Heart of Venom is bringing the series back into it’s original glory. The last few books have just been good, but this one was great.

The Good
So much feels right now. Just wow. Heart of Venom felt like the first few books of the series. With Gin’s friends, Sophia and Jo-Jo, in trouble, all the action was so much more personal. I like Gin when she becomes cold and cruel. She has no limits when it comes to these bad guys. They messed with the wrong women, women Gin considers family.

We finally get to learn more about Sophia and Jo-Jo. I am still dumbfounded by how Sophia became the quiet Gothic dwarf she is today. The different hells she has known is unspeakable. I never expected to see her so vulnerable and scared. I didn’t think it was possible. And she goes through the same hellish experience again in this book. So heartbreaking. But I loved seeing the bond Sophia and Jo-Jo have. It goes beyond the sisterly bond, it’s a bond of past horrors and nightmares. Where one look says it all. No need for words.

I loved how dark Gin got this time around. She threw the rules out the window and did anything and everything to take down the bastards who tormented Sophia. She had a goal and accomplished it by any means possible, and I mean ANY means. I love the Gin that would do anything for her family, even possibly forfeit her life or do unspeakable evil herself. Then again, it’s not evil if the person deserves it. *laughs evilly*

The action and detail were awesome. I loved reading about the blood dripping, flesh ripping, bodies falling. Estep knows how to create a descriptive scene that will give you the chills. Being inside Gin’s head as she thinks through her plans of action and how detailed she is when deciding how she’s going to kill each person just fascinates me.

Oh boy, what can I say about Grimes and Hazel without giving too much away? Oh, I got it. Psychopaths. Pure unadulterated evil. Scums of the earth. That’s all you really need to know about them.

The story arc of M.M. Monroe is going slow, but it’s still going. I can’t wait for this mysterious person to be revealed. I am getting nervous already.

We get to see all our favorite characters again, which was nice. But what’s important is that I couldn’t put this book down. Each chapter left me wanting more. The action was nonstop. The bad guys were horrible, beyond even my imagination. I am excited to see what Estep has for us next.

The Bad
I did want to mention that I understand what other reviewers are saying when they mention the repetitive storylines, and predictable plot and action scenes. I see it, I just don’t care. I love this series, and always will. I see past these things. So yes, taking these into consideration, Heart of Venom might be around a 4 star book (or less), but I loved it 4.5 stars worth.

The only bad thing that actually bothered me was the melodramatic dialogue. I was rolling my eyes so often I got a migraine. Gin shouldn’t be saying and thinking such cheesy (though still hardcore) things.

The Snuggly
Woop, woop. Finally. Finally some things are moving forward with Gin and Owen. I have to admit, I still haven’t forgiven Owen. I think less of his character because of his whining in past books, but I do love Gin and Owen together and am happy to see them making headway in their relationship.

And, OMG, that sex scene. I about melted on the spot. It’s not over done but definitely hot.

Final Thoughts
Heart of Venom isn’t perfect, but I focus more on the enjoyments factor. And this book was amazing when it came to awesome action, fighting, and character development. I think it put the series back into a direction I love. Gin is hardcore in this book, and that’s how I like my Gin served. hehe. I’m funny. Highly recommended.

No quotes this time around folks, the ARC asks me not to until verified with the finished book.

Elemental Assassin Series (My Reviews):
Book #1: Spider’s Bite
Book #2: Web of Lies
Book #3: Venom
Book #4: Tangled Threads
Book #5: Spider’s Revenge
Book #6: By a Thread
Book #7: Widow’s Web
Book #8: Deadly Sting
Book #9: Heart of Venom

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12 Responses to “ARC Review: Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep”

  1. Elisa

    Oh I am so excited to get back into this series!! I love it when the attacks are personal for Gin, that is when she shines. Awesome review, I need to catch up to be ready when this one is released 🙂

  2. Jaclyn Canada

    Sounds fantastic! I have the first book in this series on my to-read list. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m really looking forward to reading it when I get to it. Thank you so much for a great review! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

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