Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: Heart of Venom

Heart of Venom
Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Books
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Pocket Books
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 9, Elemental Assassin Series
Series Best Read In Order: Yes
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy

HEART OF VENOM is the ninth book in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. I recommend reading the series in order from book one. I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

As usual, Gin is minding her own business, trying to live a normal life. Trying to move on from the disappointment of Owen's rejection, when she and her friends are attacked by Sofia's tormentor. Gin gives it her all and nearly dies trying, but she must rescue Sophia and serve up a cold plate of revenge. Gin finds that she will need the help of her friends to accomplish this ultimate goal.

HEART OF VENOM has brought back the feel of the early Elemental Assassin Novels. After the demise of Mab, the next book or two felt forced. I was relieved to find the repetition of back-story is less than in previous books. In addition, the repeating of what it means to be an elemental was more present in prior books and I found it to be tedious.

Gin is strong, driven, and as always, puts family first. While dealing with past hurts, learning to forgive, and struggling to forget those past hurts, she rushes in without a plan and requires assistance to slow down and think. Although it is not her usual m.o., it speaks to how much she cares for Sofia, that without help, she is not able to step back and make a viable plan.

Estep describes the number two villain with her usual descriptive prose (also where the title comes from), "If Harley Grimes has any sort of heart at all, then it is a heart of venom---cold, cruel, and delighting in the suffering of others."

HEART OF VENOM will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you think. My favorite laughable line, "Okay, I thought the woo-hoo at the end was a little much, but I let the giant enjoy his moment of victory."

Summing up the end result of Gin and Sofia's ordeal Estep writes, ""Not Soft," Sophia rasped. "Neither one of us. Not anymore. Never again."" The wait of this statement is an adequate reflection of the trials both Gin and Sofia experienced.

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