Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Review - These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1) by Chloe Gong



Title: These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)

Author: Chloe Gong

Pages: 464

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Release Date: 17th November 2020


Blurb from Goodreads: 

 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.

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley*

Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai are the heirs to rival gangs in 1920s Shanghai.

The gangs struggle to keep their hold on the city as foreigners and Communism rise in power.

Then a monster appears, threatening the lives of everyone in the city.

Can Roma and Juliette put their pasts and the blood feud behind them in order to work together to save their families and Shanghai?


I'm not a big Romeo and Juliet fan, but when I heard that there was a retelling set in 1920s Shanghai with a monster in it, I immediately wanted to read it.

Roma and Juliette were both relatable and likeable protagonists. I enjoyed finding out more about them as well as their families and the gangs. Both of them were under huge pressure as heirs to gangs and had people wanting to usurp them, so it was interesting reading how they dealt with that.

I really liked Roma's friends - Marshall (who was the comic relief), and Bendikt - as well as Juliette's cousin, Kathleen. They all did what they could to to help the heir of their gang and I would be proud to call them my friends.

The setting was interesting, especially as I don't know much about the history of Shanghai. The book was written so that it felt like I was running through Shanghai alongside Roma and Juliette.

I really liked the diversity and representation in the novel.

While the characters were probably my favourite part of the book, the plot was enjoyable and held my attention. I did guess a couple of twists, but that didn't take away from my enjoyment.

The writing style was easy to follow and understand, but it did take me a little while to really get into the storyline and it wasn't until the last few chapters where I was on the edge of my seat.

I am very intrigued to see what happens in the sequel, which I definitely intend to read.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend.

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