Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
is by far my favorite book in the Elemental Assassin series, Estep has taken her best and kicked it up a notch. It is build-a- pillow-wall-at-2-a.m.-so-the-light-doesn’t-wake-my-husband good. All of my favorite parts of Gin and her family of mis-fits came into play, but with a few new faces and unexpected twists.
One of my favorite moments with Gin took place right at the opening. For the first time in the series, I began to believe in “Gin Blanco” as a secret identity. Prior to this book, all of Gin’s “Clark Kent” cover story seemed to be based on Finn’s electronic skills and Gin trying not to kill in front of witnesses. But don’t be misled by my admiration for the technical aspects of being an under-cover, retired assassin. The storyline in VENOM
is much more personal than in the two previous books.
Gin finds another piece in the puzzle of her past: the baby sister she thought was dead. Turns out she’s a cop. As you can imagine, Gin and Bria clash a bit in this book, given their polarizing professions, but both share a dogged determination when it comes to the truth. Bria when it comes to finding the person who killed her family, and Gin when it comes to making the killer pay. When Gin’s long lost baby sister first appears as a cop, I was very concerned we would have a replay of the disapproval and heartbreak Gin faces in her relationship with Donovan Caine (minus the possibility of great sex). Bria has many of the qualities I enjoy in Gin, but with the interesting twist of being on the other side of the law. I ended VENOM wanting to learn more about the years after she and Gin were separated, as well as being eager to see how their relationship will develop from here on out.
While Gin weaves a strategy for reconnecting with her sister (without getting arrested), her relationship with Donovan takes a particularly hard hit. Added to this is her growing attraction to Owen Grayson. Despite their physical chemistry (and the assassin-sexy fact that Owen wallpapers his den with weapons), Gin does her best to test the waters before leaping in, a process that I enjoyed immensely.
is the book I’d been hoping SPIDER'S BITE and WEB OF LIES had been. It contains vintage Finn moments, further insight into Sophia Deveraux’s mysterious skills, and a surprise romance for two of the supporting characters. The highlights for me, however, were Gin, her sister Bria, and the ever-enticing Owen Grayson. Estep always has more than one thread moving at a time, and VENOM
has me looking forward to TANGLED THREADS when it releases in May 2011Sexual Content
: Two detailed sex scenes. Mention of rape and an explicit attempted rape.