Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Venom Readalong Week 2

This post is part of the Venom Readalong. If you haven't checked out Venom I highly recommend it. There's mystery, mischievousness, surprises, fancy dresses, sexy artists, wealthy fiances, gondolas and a whole bunch more set in the beautiful Renaissance Venice.


How do you think Cass felt so out of her element in Chapter 9?
Because Cass is out running around at night with a guy she barely knows headed to a place in the city she's probably never been. She's seeing the other side of life in Venice with Falco as her tour guide. This is a part of the city that she probably never would have been to if it hadn't been for Falco and their investigation. And to top it off she doesn't know how the other side acts, which is evident when she sits in the back of the felze in the gondola when Falco steers. Then it gets worse when she starts seeing the nightlife around Venice and how the women are scantily dressed. At their final destination, Falco leaves her alone in a place that is so outside her comfort zone that she is completely out of her element and everyone else is completely aware, which makes her even more insecure.

Do you think Cristian rescuing Cass was a coincidence?
No, when I read this I didn't think anything of the rescue.

Do you think the tossing of her stays symbolizes anything? Or is it just a fun scene (that totally made me grin!)?
I think it was both a fun scene and a symbolic one. It shows Cass letting go and finally allowing herself to be free, and who she truly is.

Who do you think was behind the falcon mask?
There was a good chunk of the book that I thought it might be Luca.

What do you think of the whispered conversation between Falco and his friends?

It seemed like Falco was up to something but I wasn't really sure what. Some of it just seemed like boys being boys, and not having a conversation fitting of a lady especially one of status.

What do you think of this twist of events at the end of this section? (Remember no spoilers!)

I actually thought Cass might be hallucinating again.

In this chapter, Cass comes across prostitutes up close for the first time and finds herself enthrall by the strangeness of it. How would you, as a sheltered high-class girl, have reacted?
I was quite naive at Cass's age and in her situation I probably would have had a very similar reaction. Wide eyed, and astounded. And when I got caught I would have run from the room.

It's obvious Falco is keeping secrets. What do you think they are? Why do you think he's hiding the truth from Cass?
I wasn't sure what Falco was keeping from her but I knew it had to be something bad otherwise he would have just talked to her about it.

What do you think of the found painting? Does it seem important or irrelevant?
I didn't think anything of it.

When Cass asks Falco, "Why should I trust you?" he responds, "Because you want to." Is that a good reason for trust? Why or why not?
It's not a great reason, but it's the truth. They both realize that they are unexplicably drawn to each other and sometimes you have to just trust your gut and ignore what your head is saying.

In general, what do you think of the names used in Venom?
I love the names in Venom. They are unique and fit the time and setting well.


Venom has been (rightfully) accused of having dialogue and syntax that is too modern for its period. This was intentional, though I did try my best not to use anachronistic words. I messed up a couple of times at least--words like "okay" and "creepy" did not exist in the 1600s. Did you find the less formal dialogue helpful or distracting? Did it detract from the reading experience? Did you catch any other anachronistic words?
This is actually one of the things I loved about the book. I usually stray away from historical books. I struggle with them, especially because of the language. Despite Venom taking place in a very historical setting, the dialogue helped ease me into something that I've struggled with and hated for years. I realized that historical definitely doesn't have to mean boring!

Cass is obviously a virgin, as all proper noblewomen were back then, and a subplot of Venom is her coming to terms with her first sexual feelings. Do you think the book would have been stronger in conveying that idea without the brothel scene? (Obviously some people found it scandalous, which is fine, but the inclusion of it was to use it sort of as a touchstone for Cass's increasing attraction to Falco).
I think the brothel scene was perfect. It did a lot of things. It showed how out of her element Cass was, but it also showed how curious she was about her developing maturity. Going from girl to women is a huge transitions and the idea of sex for the first time is scary and people don't always talk about it, especially in that time. So I think it was important for her to experience that even if it was raw and scandalous. It showed another side of the times.

What do you think about Cass's interactions with the man in the falcon mask? Does he seem crazy or just mysterious? What do you think about his statement that war can be beautiful?
I thought he was mysterious with a small side of potential creeper. The falcon masked man did raise a lot of mystery, but he also raised some red flags. And his statement about war being beautiful was a bit suspicious. While people can often find beauty in anything, war is one of those things that is terrifying and largely negative. There is some beauty in the "dance" of the soldiers and how they clash and interact. However, by and large, war is ugly, and the fact that the man in the falcon mask thought otherwise, was definite cause for concern.

Why does Cass wait so dang long to read Luca's latest letter, even though she takes notice of it almost every time she passes?
This was one of the things that annoyed me with the book and I mean that in a good way. I wanted to know so badly what was in Luca's letter, but the fact that she continued to ignore it really said something. She wouldn't have ignored the letter for so long if she felt confident in her arrangement with Luca, and the fact that she noted the letter every time she passed means she felt guilty about it.

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