Thursday, November 8, 2012

**REVIEW** Venom by Fiona Paul

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.
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Published by: Philomel
Review Copy: ARC, 

I love her mask!


  You want a book that will literally and completely transport you to where it takes place, this is your book.  I had wanted to read this one but was shocked at just how involved it was and quickly invested myself in paying closer 
attention as to not miss one detail.  As if being based in Renaissance Venice isn't awesome enough this book was enough to seriously tale you there and have you become a part of it.    This is a great example of a YA Historical Fiction novel.

  The story itself is thrilling, suspenseful and fun.  With a killer on the loose and clues that were both interesting and dangerous, you never knew just where things were going.  Every time Cass and Falco followed a "lead" there was the potential for so many things to go wrong.  This is only accentuated by the fact that this is Renaissance Venice and Cass is part of a higher society so sneaking around with a boy is beyond incomprehensible.  Cass is supposed to be proper and beyond that she is betrothed to another man.  I can't even imagine that being dictated to me but that is the way of the times and Cass is expected to do as she is told.   But what fun would the be?!  With danger possible at every turn, dead bodies thrown throughout and secret societies there was never a dull moment.

  Cass was a great main character for the most part.  She is strong willed and hard headed.  Though I mentioned above that she is high society and behaves mostly accordingly while in the company of others don't be fooled.  She has a wild heart but I found that some times she resisted I too much.  It was like her heart was split in two.  One half wished to be free and the other wished to remain a pretty bird in a cage.  Maybe I'm being too judgemental, I mean she was brought up to be a proper lady and without that I don't know if I could have appreciated her  as much.  It was just as much the fact she fought to be more than what she is, as what she was that made me admire her.  Her personal growth and inner fight to become someone of her own made her 
easier to enjoy I think.

  Have I mentioned that Cass is betrothed?  Did I mention hat this is a prearranged agreement?  I know I have bu this fact is important seeing the second Falco step on the pages there is a tension and chemistry filled romance.  Well it's not that right off the hop as Cass is to be a lady but it isn't far off but it's not hard to believe once you get to know Falco.  The attraction between the two is undeniable but they don't jump into it (well Cass doesn't) this gives time for development and some seriously enjoyable banter.

  With unique characters, a great setting and twists throughout, it is undeniable that this was a good read.  Though I had issue with a few smaller things, like occasionally a slower pace for the most part this was an all around good read.  There is  moments that you will hold your breath and others that you will smile and laugh.  If you are a fan of historical fiction or murder mysteries you should totally pick this one up.

Agnese was snoring.  She'd fallen asleep standing up!  Cass bit back the wild and inappropriate urge to laugh.  Good thing the maids were generous with the starch in their dresses.

"Civilized beings regard the act of intercourse as the highest expression of romantic love.  One only need to observe the behavior of animals, however, to realize that the act is ofter a form of violence."-THE BOOK OF THE ETERNAL ROSE

Cass managed to choke out a no.  Her whole body was racing with heat, and she felt about two touches away from spontaneous combustion.

"So rank is Death that some men can smell his approach."-THE BOOK OF THE ETERNAL ROSE


  1. Oh my gosh I seriously have to get my hands on this one!!! I love Renaissance - it's like my favorite tim period of history!!! And there's the small fact that I have an ARC of Belladonna already... yeah I need to read this one. Great review!!! :)

  2. I really want this book. I have very mixed reactions from one historical novel to the next. Until recently, they really didn't hold my attention. I guess at the old age of 30, history finally intrigues me. But still, I can take historical novels or leave them. Venom, however, is one that I think I might just love. Action, suspense, and mystery? Yeah, that is a great mix. And the history part sounds like it is a fantastic part. I can't wait to read this book. Thanks so much for the review!

  3. For some reason I didn't realize this took place in Venice. In retrospect, it's pretty obvious from the cover. That definitely makes me want to read it more. I used to read a lot of historical fiction as a kid, but I can't say there's been a lot of it recently, at least nothing great. Sounds like it might be a breath of fresh air after dystopian overload.

  4. I am just about to start this book! So happy you loved it!

  5. ooooh, I love that it's in Venice! Adding this to my asap list. Sounds great!!!


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