Series: Elemental Assassin, #9
Published by Pocket Books on August 27, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384 pages
Reviewed by: Kristina
Sexual Content: Kissing, references to sex
The hotly anticipated ninth novel in the hugely popular Elemental Assassin series finds Gin Blanco on a dangerous mission to rescue a friend.
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…
HEART OF VENOM has some wonderfully intense and graphic fight scenes, a plot that doesn’t slow down, and bad guys that bring new meaning to the word sadistic. This book follows a very similar formula to the plots in the previous books of the Elemental Assassin series and while I adore this formula I really come back for Gin’s superb fighting skills and the relationship she has with her friends and family.
Gin’s fierce loyalty to her friends and dogged determination is what makes her one of my favorite heroines in urban fantasy. In HEART OF VENOM, we get a glimpse into just how much Gin will risk her own safety to protect her friends when Sophia’s traumatic past catches up to her. Every since Sophia appeared I’ve wanted to know more about this raspy voiced goth dwarf who stays mostly to herself. It was interesting to see how Sophia became Sophia as a result of her past trauma. The torture she goes through (both in the past and present) at the hands of the main villains, Hazel and Harley is a thing of nightmares. The villains in the Elemental Assassin series keep topping each other in evilness and after what they do to Sophia and other people (including Gin), these two definitely top the list of most evil characters in urban fantasy.
Gin and Owen’s rocky relationship gets some closure in HEART OF VENOM and I was glad to see Owen finally fess up to his previous actions in DEADLY STING. He proves himself worthy of being with Gin by fighting alongside her and finally accepting her assassin life though I have to admit that I took some small glee in him getting beat up by thugs as a form of punishment for what he put Gin through. Gin and Owen have some good, adult conversations about their relationship and wounds start to heal which was nice though I didn’t fully accept Owen’s apology until I read his novella, KISS OF VENOM which gave important insight into his state of mind after DEADLY STING.
HEART OF VENOM continues the Elemental Assassin series tradition of high octane, heart pounding action with an expert assassin who will go above and beyond to protect those she loves. The tenth book in the Elemental Assassin series, THE SPIDER comes out December 24, 2013 from Pocket Books.
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