A book of ups and downs for me. Nevertheless, Venix is still an interesting read.
- Review by Kazza K
I must be honest and admit when first reading Venix, for about a third, actually, it felt like I was reading Seithe. Very similar actions, slightly different cast. Only this time Zaria initially seemed like a stranger to me. I felt as if I had been dropped into this book part the way through. There was no real connection with the heroine; just that she had been hanging out at Pravus, liked Darise, while unbeknownst to her, grabbing the attention of the other Vampyres, and a particular Neuri, Zauran. The primary difference betwen Phoebe and Zaria is that Zaria more readily embaced the supernatural. Darise was a so-so character for me who inspired no passion. He seemed off. I'm not sure about him. No, actually, I don't really like him particularly, I think he's immature, funny thing to say given his age.
Where Seith had religions undertones, Venix has affirmations, people power, and Gaia at the root. Treating the environment well, loving one another, forgiveness, and that the one can have a profound effect on the many. War was also a central theme, considering it is set in Belgrade Poppet used the supernatural to discuss the modern wars that rocked what was formerlyYugoslavia. All very noble and interesting thoughts. I liked them.
The main area I didn't like was covering old ground - teaching free will, memory recall, using the minds-eye/more of the mind to see clearly, dunks in cold pools, near drowning episodes - all over again. I wanted to move on, because it felt like taking a step forward and two steps back. I understand the why of the program they have going on; I just wanted to learn more about this world, not more of what was covered with Phoebe in Seithe.
As the book progressed I grew to like Zaria, I found her experiences shaped her ability to truly empathise. I liked her willingess to embrace different beings and ideas. I'm not fond of constantly-in-denial or silly characters, Zaria was neither of these things. I really liked Zauran, I also liked Venix. My love affair with Jowendrhan continued.
The writing is, once again, interesting, quite lyrical, and fresh; but the mobile phone call was strange, given data from Seithe. Anyway. While most of this book is from Zaria's POV, once again first person present tense, interestingly, there were three sections from Darise's, and two from Jowendrhan's POV. I liked that, it added another dimension.
I honestly feel Venix is a bridging book in the series, I may well be wrong, but it had that feel to me. Book number 2 in the Pravus Series started out slowly, and with a bit of a disconnect for me, but it took off in the second half and I really enjoyed it when it did. Poppet is an unusual writer and I am moving forward to Zauran now with much anitcipation of what she will deliver.