Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep

I think that Estep is focusing on her new young adult series. Heart of Venom is possibly the weakest book in the Elemental Assassin series. An old enemy of Jo Jo and Sophia has returned and kidnapped Sophia, nearly killing Jo Jo in the process, while Gin stands nearly helplessly by. Gin vows to get Sophia back. A recurring flaw in the world-building rears its head again here when they need to find someone to heal Jo Jo, and must turn to her boyfriend, an untrained (at least in the healing application) air elemental. Jo Jo is the only Air elemental healer in all of Ashland? Really?

Gin regresses to her earlier lone wolf exploits and goes off half-cocked to attack the bad guy, Harold Grimes, in his mountain lair. The attempt is only partially successful, and she is captured and tortured until she finally figures out a sneaky way to escape, nearly dying again in the process. The whole book seems to be more about her reunion with Owen and the resulting sex scene than much of anything else useful, except...Mab's heir appears on the scene at the end, setting the scene for the next book.

If you're following the series, you've got to read it to keep up, but there's not a lot of substance here.

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