Book Review – These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Fast-paced, chaotic and thrilling. A violent and gruesome retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in 1920s Shanghai. Gangs, guns and a monster stalking the streets. What’s not to love?
“Wasn’t playing with her heart once enough? Hadn’t he already torn her into two and left her to the wolves once before?”
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.
I cannot believe it. Me, who usually gives 5 star reviews to no one has now offered the elusive highest rating to 3 books this month!
I love this book.
Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet become Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai in this stunning debut by Chloe Gong.
The Scarlet Gang and The White Flower gang are in the midst of a blood feud and a strange monster emerges from the river and brings a violent madness to the city.
Can Roma and Juliet put their bitter past behind them and work together to find out what is spreading the madness and can they stop it before the gangs of the city are wiped out?
This story is incredibly fast-paced and exciting, with vivid descriptions and interesting, complex characters where the line between love and hate is very thin.
The book literally pulls you in from the very first line
“In glittering Shanghai, a monster awakens”
And then that ending! Oh, the ending! This is a duology and so you are left with a juicy cliff-hanger that leaves you desperately craving, NEEDING more!
There has been quite a lot of hype surrounding These Violent Delights lately and because of that I was actually a little bit worried. It’s been on my list for quite a while and everything about it ticked my boxes. We have violence, betrayal, monsters, edgy romance and family drama and all wrapped up in the interesting, unusual setting of Shanghai, China.
Usually, books as hyped as this I find to be a major let down and I am so, so happy to report that in this case the book exceeded all of my expectations and more. It felt new and fresh and even though it is a retelling, it feel like instead of rehashing a story we all already know it modernizes it and turns it into something entirely new and it works so, so well.
It is spectacular and every bit as good as everyone says it is and I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of dark, young adult fantasy books.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s discuss! ♥