Monday, October 29, 2012
ARC Review: "Venom" by Fiona Paul
From Goodreads: "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."
If I were asked to describe this book in one word it would be "long". Despite it only being a 432 page book (I know, I'm also considering my sanity by writing "despite it only being a 432 page book"- what can I say? I've grown accustomed to books that are at least 500 pages long) it felt much, much longer. Everything just felt so long drawn out and slow- from the plot, all of the descriptions that Fiona writes, and the likes of. And as such, I personally could only read a few chapters every night (for almost a week and a half) when I am used to reading a book in a single sitting.
But then there is a flip-side, I did finish it despite my complaints- this means that I liked it enough and was intrigued enough to do so. What made the story for me were the characters- Cassanda and Falco. Despite not typically being a fan of female characters I did really like Cass. I found that overall she had a fairly strong head on her shoulders and was someone that readers can really relate with. While Falco may not have started out as being totally swoon-worthy with his cocky arrogance I did soon find myself swept off of my feet by him as the story progressed and we learned more and more of his true character.
I was also interested in the love triangle- who is better for Cass? The boy who makes her loose her inhibitions and feel alive? Or the boy who is unwavering solid and can offer her not only the world, but her family? However, personally I believe that it was one of the most dissatisfying love triangles I have ever encountered before mainly because I love love and I hate to see it go to waste (Let's just say that if you weren't a fan of how the love triangle ended in Lili St. Crow's "Strange Angels" series that you will most likely not be a fan of how this love triangle also ends).
Another aspect which I am a bit iffy on is the ending- the last chapter is mainly composed of Cass questioning everyone and everything around her- by the end of this book very little is revealed (I mean, the series is named "Secrets of the Eternal Rose" yet the Eternal Rose is mentioned all of two? Three times? It's not like Cassie Clare named her "Mortal Instrument" series as such and didn't make mention of the Mortal Instruments until the third book or so).
All in all, despite my complaints, I, as mentioned, did enjoy the book- it is an extremely unique YA, "The Diviners" by Libba Bray meets "The Thief Lord" Cornelia Funk. Furthermore, I do plan on continuing with this series if only to see how it all wraps up.
I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.