Last Kiss in Venice (Legend of the White Snake #1) by Martin Chu Shui
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.
This story definitely had a lot of potential and I loved that the author wanted to share a traditional Chinese folk tale with North America. I think that’s awesome that he wrote this novel in English — even though it’s not his first language — just so that he could share China’s popular tale with the people of our culture.
Having said that, I felt that the novel, as a whole, fell short of what it could have been. The writing was weak and immature, and a lot of the conversations seemed pretty forced. It’s a bit strange to me, because some of the descriptions of Caitlin or the scenery are beautifully described. But, the writing in other areas of the book seem weak and low quality. There are also a whole bunch of mistakes, and I’m talking obvious mistakes (which is understandable for the writer to have made, as English is not his first language; but, the editor should have caught and corrected them).
I am not familiar with this Chinese tale, but it is an interesting story. As I said above, it did have a lot of potential to be a good novel. It begins with a man, a long time ago, finding a beautiful snake, who he says he would love if she were a human. So, this snake magically turns herself into a human and, years and years later, she finds the reincarnation of the man and they fall in love, get married, and have to endure obstacles to stay together.
The characters were kind of likeable, but I didn’t find that they were as well developed as I would have liked. There wasn’t really anything interesting about Caitlin or Charlie. I think they were pretty forgettable and they probably won’t stick with me for long.
P.S. – I hate writing negative reviews and I wish I didn’t have to!! In a perfect world, every book would be fabulous and I would always write positive reviews. But, since I promised to be honest in my reviews when I started this blog, I need to stick to that and be HONEST. I apologize if I offend anyone in the process. 🙂