Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Last Kiss in Venice: Legend of the White Snake #1 by Martin Chu Shui

*Note: I ended up not being able to finish this one. I got through about half of it. I’m still posting a review because I received Last Kiss in Venice via review request, but please note that I couldn’t read the whole book.*
Published: July 11th, 2012 (Self-published)
Pages: 189
Format: e-book/PDF (ARC received for an honest review)
Rating: 2/5
Beside a bridge over a canal in Venice, Charlie is spellbound not only by Caitlin’s absolute beauty but also by what seems like a mythical bond between them. The more he knows about her, the more mysterious she becomes. As they finally admit their love to each other in Paris, then move to settle down in Australia together, it looks like the start of Happily Ever After. But neither of them realizes that this is just the start of a heart-wrenching journey.

After a lifetime of searching, Caitlin finally finds her true love, settles down in the beautiful rolling countryside of outback Australia, and starts to raise a family, but her enemy is never far away. She loves Charlie deeply and is certain he is her soul mate, but she knows she can never reveal her secret; he must never know who she really is, and that is her downfall. Information in the hands of her enemy brings her life crashing down around her. To save all she has worked for, she must fight for her love and the right to survive.

“Last Kiss in Venice” is a reinterpretation of one of China’s most famous love stories, ‘Legend of the White Snake’. It is a supernatural love epic that encompasses both eastern and western culture to tell a story of love and hate, loyalty and betrayal, revenge and justice. This cocktail of oriental magic, vampires, and sword fights is a legend not easily forgotten.[Description from Goodreads]
*sigh* Where to begin. Let’s start with what I did like…
Last Kiss in Venice is a retelling of a Chinese legend. I liked the uniqueness that the book takes on in telling that tale. There are too few modern retellings like this, and I would definitely like to see more, especially in the YA department. And…well, honestly, that’s where it stops.
As you can tell, there wasn’t much I truly liked about Last Kiss in Venice. I could name a plethora of things I didn’t like, but because I hate bashing, I’ll give a shortened list. I didn’t like the insta-love. Charlie (the protagonist) arrives in Venice, sees a beautiful girl, and faster than 60-sec microwavable mac-and-cheese, the two fall in love. It’s quite horrific. Possibly the worst case of insta-love I’ve ever seen. To make it all the worst, the couple is married within days of meeting. And as if it can’t become any more unbelievable, they wed in Notre Dame (Caitlin, Charlie’s love, cries and evokes pity from the priest at Notre Dame, who then kindly invites them into the cathedral…yeah right). And don’t even get me started on how pathetic the paranormal aspect of it is. Maybe it’s just because I’m not a big vampire girl. Or maybe I was just laughing too hard at the weapons to pay attention to the vampires (Magic Gun? Magic Dynamite? Can we get any less creative?).
I guess you could just say that the whole thing was unbelievable. It was pathetic. The plot was poorly written, the romance was laughable, the characters felt shallow and were beyond hard to relate to, and the dialogue felt stiff and was difficult to read. The whole thing was difficult to read. I forced myself through half of it before I gave up. The plot and characters aside, the grammar…oh goodness. Let’s just leave it at this: it’s a grammar nazi’s nightmare. If I were a book doctor I’d prescribe a heavy dose of editing.
All in all, I’m really disappointed I didn’t like this book. I truly wanted to, but it couldn’t hold my attention even if it tried. Maybe someday I’ll try to read it again, but for now, back on the shelf it goes.
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: None
Violence: Mild
Sexual: Mild

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