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Venom by Fiona Paul
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Venom (edition 2012)

by Fiona Paul

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1832664,645 (3.5)3
Member:lilkim714
Title:Venom
Authors:Fiona Paul
Info:Philomel (2012), Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, murder, mystery, historical fiction, Venice, Renaissance, Young Adult fiction, library

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Venom (Dark Waters) by Fiona Paul

Recently added byshannonlizdal, private library, ku., slwenz20, sunset_x_cocktail, Mirandalg14, JMHD1975
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Cassandra is a noblewoman of Venice, and she leads a sheltered life. She lives with her aunt and is engaged to Luca, who is away studying at university. After a friend dies, Cassandra leaves the cathedral, only to be knocked over by the artist apprentice Falco. Later that night, Cassandra feels compelled to say farewell to her friend, who has just been buried in the cemetary next to her aunt's estate. In the graveyard, Cassandra discovers that the body buried in the crypt is not her friend, but a strange young woman with an X carved into her chest. Now Cassandra must solve the murder with the help of Falco. ( )
  TheMadHatters | Apr 29, 2014 |
This one has been on my to-read list since BEA. I'm a sucker for good historical fiction, and this promised Renaissance Intrigue.

Well. It was historical fiction. Set in Renaissance Venice.
But.
At first, I thought I would power through what felt like a slow start.
And then there was the kind of love interest angst that even my 14 year old self might have rolled eyes at a bit. Kind of wanted to whack the heroine upside the head.
Also, I think I'd thought, from misreading the cover copy that the heroine was a courtesan in Venice. Or an Assassin. No such luck! I think I kept reading hoping that plot twist would emerge instead of the murders and artists and love affairs and midnight sneaking about.

I'll say this- there was enough misdirection about the mystery that I didn't see the plot twist at the end coming.

And it's a series? Why is it a series? Bah! ( )
  ewillse | Mar 23, 2014 |
This one has been on my to-read list since BEA. I'm a sucker for good historical fiction, and this promised Renaissance Intrigue.

Well. It was historical fiction. Set in Renaissance Venice.
But.
At first, I thought I would power through what felt like a slow start.
And then there was the kind of love interest angst that even my 14 year old self might have rolled eyes at a bit. Kind of wanted to whack the heroine upside the head.
Also, I think I'd thought, from misreading the cover copy that the heroine was a courtesan in Venice. Or an Assassin. No such luck! I think I kept reading hoping that plot twist would emerge instead of the murders and artists and love affairs and midnight sneaking about.

I'll say this- there was enough misdirection about the mystery that I didn't see the plot twist at the end coming.

And it's a series? Why is it a series? Bah! ( )
  PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
As always all of my theories were elaborately wrong. So elaborately wrong. This book is so well written and so thoughtful I had hoped it would never end. Alas, it did, and I'm hoping for a sequel! ( )
  Bookaliciouspam | Sep 20, 2013 |
Title: Venom
Author: Fiona Paul
Ratings: 4 stars

I love love love historical fiction so it was a no-brainer that I would pick this book up to read especially since Venice is on my short list of cities I will visit before I kick the bucket. And, it made even more sense to review it especially since I’m waiting for my copy of Belladonna to arrive!!

First off, Fiona’s writing style is just lovely. Her prose is amazing and I really do wish that I can write as well as her one day but I really shouldn’t have expected anything else. If there is one thing I learned from reading countless Paper Lantern Lit books is that their writers are top-notch. The thing that basically cemented her in my head as a writer I must follow is the way she got me to fall in love with Luca even though he only made his appearance near the end of the book. Normally, writers could spend the entire book trying to sell me on a prospective love interest and I won’t fall in love with them at all.

But, I did fall in love with Luca (hard). And Falco (hard). I’m actually in love with both of them and that’s very depressing because whoever Cass does settle on in the end is going to be a bittersweet moment for me.

Secondly, Fiona is so adept at describing the beauty of Venice that it almost seemed like a magical world set in a fantasy and not a historical time period in a city that apparently was home to a lot of nasty-smelling sewage and diseases. And, best of all, she is one of those authors that can make you feel like you are in the city and help you see it clearly in your eyes even though you’ve never been there!

If you know me, that is a major plus since I can’t go anywhere right now on my student’s budget so books that have the ability to transport me to cities far beyond my own usually gets a spot in my collection.

The only reason I knocked off a star off my review is the plot. To be honest, it was obvious what Falco’s mysterious errand was and I pretty much guessed it even before it was used to build up the tension in the novel. I read one novel a long time ago (I forgot the title and it’s been bothering me) about an aristocrat in Venice who falls in love with the resident artist who goes off galloping into the night to study corpses despite a serial murderer running around Venice. So, yea… the plot wasn’t anything original.

Another thing that bothered me was how abrupt Christian’s big reveal was. There was no gradual epiphany moment that I enjoy having when I read mystery novels when I slowly come to the same realization as the MC. But, I’ve noticed this with the other PLL’s mystery novels (*cough* Truth or Dare *cough*). It’s like they’re giving you an awesome mystery and I’m working overtime to guess who the culprit is and at the last minute… BAM! it’s the character you didn’t even bother think about because the author only mentioned him/her, at max, twice.

But, the plot is easily forgivable because of the way Fiona is able to introduce the characters and Venice. Read it and you’ll fall in love with the characters and Venice. Besides, if PLL got the plot down perfect too then it just wouldn’t be fair to the other YA historical romance novels out there. ( )
  ChristineySong | Jul 18, 2013 |
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In Renaissance Venice, orphaned Cassandra Caravello is one of the elite but feels trapped in the city of water until she stumbles upon a murdered woman and is drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, grave robbers, and secret societies, guided by Falco, a mysterious and alluring artist.… (more)

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