Venom by Fiona Paul
Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1
Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Number of Pages: 432
Source: ARC from BEA
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape. When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco? Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.
Damn you editor, for raising my expectations with that letter. Of course, the only thing it did was make me disappointed with this novel. No this novel isn’t bad, but when you promised something as amazing as what the editor presented, you’re bound to be a little disappointed. The thing is, the first half of the book felt really slow, and with the size of a really great few elements, some were just okay, but none of them left me speechless, which was what I was hoping for.
The one thing that really bugged me was the Italian words and sentences that kept appearing in the novel, and before you judge me, let me explain. To me, unless the sentence is in another language than what the narrator is supposed to speak, or if it’s an expression that has no English equivalent, it usually bugs me. I can’t really explain why, but it really annoyed me. Yes, sometimes I can be that picky.
I have to give Fiona Paul points for her setting. That’s probably the thing that I loved the most about this novel. It really made up for the characters that simply bored me a little for the first half of the book. Cass just didn’t impress me until the very end, and I felt a little disappointed in that. I felt like she fell so easily for Falco, who she seemed to follow way to easily. After all, he’s a perfect stranger, he is clearly a bad influence, and she goes with him when there’s a killer on the loose that wants to kill her. Yes, best idea ever. One thing’s for sure; I wish we could have seen Luca a little more. I know we don’t get much from him, but he did charm me in his few scenes. I really hope to see him more in the next book.
Even though this book ended up being slightly disappointing to me, I’m pretty pumped about the sequel. The ending gave me everything I needed to see the potential for a breathtaking sequel. And to be honest, the world is simply gorgeous. Who wouldn’t want to sink back into that! One warning though, this book has some scene that may not be suitable for the youngest readers. This is definitely a novel for the older YA readers.