Nov 30, 2012

{Review} of Venom by Fiona Paul

Venom by Fiona Paul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GENRE: YA Historical
THEME: Mystery/Romance
AUTHORS BLOG: Fiona Paul's Site

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.

I was looking for something different in the Young Adult genre and Venom hit the mark. Historical mystery is new for me and I absolutely enjoyed it, finally a love triangle that doesn’t have insta love. I was thrilled to read about a girl who follows her own path, even during this era she’s independent and really straightforward.

Venom follows Cassandra Carvella, who lives in Renaissance Venice among the wealthy folks. Having lost her parents she lives with her aunt who restricts her from having a real life, as well as having a fiancé who was chosen by her parents years ago. One night after a friends funeral she comes upon a woman who was murdered and she is determined to find out who the killer is since he seems to know her now. With the help of a smart mouthed artist named Falco they go undercover in places Cassandra never thought she’d see in her restricted life. But nothing is what is seems, not even love and death.

Cassandra is a rarity among the women in her time; usually they are trying to get married, making sure they have the best outfits, and so on. But Cass is different and she wants to break free from the shell she’s been held in and wants to solve this murder mystery. When she discovers the dead body, she got herself in the middle of this mess along with Falco a young artist. He is someone new to her not just by being poor, but that he makes her heart beat faster and doesn’t treat her like royalty but an equal.

Falco, when the readers first meet him its obvious he’s going to by a guy full of secrets. But unfortunately I felt his character was easy to figure out right from the beginning, I did whoever enjoy his snarky and flirtatious attitude. I liked how his character developed Cass, he helped her realize that she should think about her life and do what she wants to do.

Luca was a bit of a shocker; the readers don’t get introduced to him until half way through the story. There are letters that are sent to Cass from him and he seemed like such a sweet and hard studying guy. Then the readers meet him and are in for a bit surprise. He has a temper and lots of secrets; I was shocked by how Fiona Paul crafted this character, which made him actually my favorite. There is still a lot to learn about him and what else he hasn’t told Cass.

Overall I enjoyed the mystery behind who was murdering these innocent woman and why. I had no clue who it was until the end but had an idea who was connected to it all. I did enjoy that there was romance but that each character is still trying to figure out what they really want so it didn’t turn into an insta love. The story did take a while to pick up and I felt it took me a bit to really connect to the characters. I do hope that we learn about Cass’ past and her family, along with her ties to Luca. I’m curious as to what Paul has in store for the next installment and what other mysteries is Cassandra going to get herself into.

This is a young adult novel that the readers will enjoy solving the mystery along with the lead character. Fans of Ingrid Paulson’s Valkyrie

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  1. I love this one! I am definitely Team Falco, but like you, I really enjoyed how the author portrayed Luca. I am looking forward to learning more about it. Great review! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  2. Im so curious about both guys and how the author is going to develop each one. :) Thanks for the comment!