VenomHardback Secrets of the Eternal Rose
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- Publisher: Philomel Books
- Format: Hardback | 435 pages
- Dimensions: 163mm x 231mm x 41mm | 658g
- Publication date: 30 October 2012
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 039925725X
- ISBN 13: 9780399257254
- Sales rank: 219,912
Love, lust, murder, mayhem and high society converge in one thrilling debut Cassandra Caravello has everything a girl could desire: elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, invitations to the best parties, and a handsome, wealthy fiance--yet she longs for something more. 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 the body of a murdered woman--with a bloody X carved across her heart--she's drawn into a dangerous world of secret societies, courtesans, and killers. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a poor artist with a mischievous grin . . . and a habit of getting into trouble. Will Cassandra find the murderer before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiance or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco? Beauty, romance, and mystery weave together in a novel that's as seductive and stunning as the city of Venice itself.
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Fiona Paul is a writer and registered nurse who lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
By Brenna Staats 19 Mar 2013
Before getting to my review of the content of this book, I have to clarify that while I think the cover for Venom is pretty it isn't remarkable and didn't make me want to read the book at all - and frankly, I think to a large extent it actually does a disservice to the book itself.
The cover here gives you no idea how fast-paced, mysterious, and dark this story is. It lured me in from the very start and kept me hooked until the end - I honestly couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
Reasons to Read:
1. Follow the mystery along Venice's twisted underground...:
I was completely hooked on the plot in Venom; from the very beginning there are missing people, dead bodies turning up... and body parts. Um, yeah. I really don't want to say more because I DON'T WANT TO RUIN A THING FOR YOU, but just believe me when I tell you this is like historical CSI in YA form. I mean, I know that sounds weird but trust me because it's so, so good!
2. Well, hello, Falco:
Fiona Paul took me for such a ride when it came to Falco. Everything was so up and down, and emotions were turbulent and I had a hard time figuring out exactly how I felt about him (probably because Cass had the same struggles). But I love that I was kept guessing about his character and he had plenty of surprises up his sleeve. Oh, and there's totally some swoony romance in there that you won't want to miss.
3. Gorgeous historical setting:
I love author's that can bring the written world to life and Fiona was brilliant at accomplishing just that. The reader is fully immersed in the Venetian world (both aristocratic class and underground) which is exactly what good historical fiction does for you. Venom is a fantastic example of YA historical fiction, and one I'd recommend even for readers who are more hesitant about trying it out.
The only issue I had with Venom was that there seemed to be too many details included for the first book in a new series; I liked getting all sorts of little hints towards what might be going on, but it felt like too much for one book. And I wasn't much of a fan of the "big reveal" at the end - but I think that's because I like being held in suspense for longer and I'd rather hold out for a really great twist.
All in all, Venom is one of the books this year that I felt was an excellent start to a fresh series and one that I still have trouble getting out of my head!
ARC received from Penguin Canada for my honest review; no other compensation was received.
By Laetitia @ Flurried Thoughts 11 Jan 2013
I admit I had high expectations for this novel; the amazing cover, the 'over-the-top-with-praise' reviews, the 'hinting' blurb that got me itching with anticipation,the name of the series itself 'Secrets of the Eternal Rose'...
I must say that these expectations were well met. And surpassed.
Venom by Fiona Paul is set in the post-card worthy lush and realistic world of Renaissance Venice (Italy), a world that Paul describes very well.
Cassandra Caravello has had her fate sealed since her birth. A life of clipped 'wings' where she can't fly, a life in a cage where her life is sure to be controlled, the life of a female aristocrat. With an urge to live her life and a definite wild streak, her life starts to twist as her wedding approaches; when she is sure her cage of a life will be locked and she will become wife to her solid, shy (and handsome) fiancee Luca. But can she learn to love him?
On an escapade of crescendos and grief, Cass stumbles upon the murder of a girl...with an X carved across her heart. A young artist, Falco offers his assistance but how involved is he really? As Cass's feelings start to assemble like a puzzle it seems the puzzle depicts Falco. Where will her heart lead her?
The suspense grows in more ways than one. Murder upon murder, linked together perfectly. 'Venom' kept me guessing until the end, where I still must guess...until Belladonna comes out. The intrigue, romance and confusion exquisitely weave into a magnificent tapestry with great detail and description. This isn't your average young adult novel. It is more.
From: Flurried Thoughts called Book Reviews
Jessica Spotswood, author of "Born Wicked" "Wonderfully sinister and thrillingly romantic, "Venom" has it all--secret trysts in graveyards, Venetian canals, murdered courtesans, and masquerades! Fiona Paul created a lush, compelling mystery I couldn't put down."--Jessica Spotswood