Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Book review: Venom by Fiona Paul
Cassandra Caravello has lived with her elderly aunt in a crumbling old house on an island near Venice since her parents died. As a member of Venetian society, she gets to wear beautiful dresses and attend fancy balls and parties. But instead of feeling fortunate, she feels trapped. She is never free to make her own choices, and must marry the man who has been selected for her. Her fiancé, Luca, is away from Venice studying law, but they knew each other as children and she never really liked him. She longs to find adventure and make her own choices. Unfortunately, adventure finds her when she visits the tomb of her friend who had recently died, and finds instead of the body of a murdered courtesan.
Cass is determined to find out what happened to the murdered girl, as well as where her friend's body has gone. She meets Luca, who is almost literally a starving artist. he is young and handsome, and Cass finds herself drawn to him as they investigate the mystery. Cass knows that by associating with Falco, she risks everything, but she cannot stay away from him.
I really loved the premise of this book - a romantic mystery set in Venice during the Renaissance. Unfortunately, I did not love this book as much as I hoped I would. I really liked the descriptions of the setting, and I was somewhat surprised by the resolution of the mystery. But I didn't love the characters of Cass and Falco. I truly do not understand what Cass saw in Falco, besides his supposed good looks. To me, he came across as a jerk and a bully who was constantly pressuring Cass to do what he wanted. I did really like Luca, Cass's fiancé. Despite Cass constantly ignoring him, he was kind, caring, and protective towards her - and it doesn't hurt that he was educated and liked books! I may keep reading this series to find out what happens, but I will be quite disappointed if Cass and Falco end up together at the end of the final book, unless he changes a lot. Unfortunately, the "boring" love interest rarely seems to get chosen in young adult books.
Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.