*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
These Violent Delights was our April 2021 book club pick and we absolutely loved it. We jumped at the chance to review Our Violent Ends and do a post on Chloe Gong’s Pinterest boards that inspired the books.
Our Violent Ends picks up a few months after These Violent Delights. It’s January 1927, Juliette and Roma haven’t spoken since their debacle and have been focusing on their respective gangs instead of their past romance. However, they still think about each other and worry about how Paul Dexter/his monster almost destroyed Shanghai.
Juliette wishes she didn’t have to lie to Roma, but by doing so, she’s protecting his life. One wrong move and Juliette’s cousin Tyler Cai plans to takeover the Scarlett Guard. If Lord Cai found out what really happened to Marshall Seo, he might make Tyler his heir instead of Juliette.
When a new monstrous threat emerges in the city, Juliette and Roma have to work together again to save the city. Someone knew Paul Dexter’s plan and is making sure his wishes are carried out. Set during the backdrop of internal conflict between the Communists and the Nationalists, a civil war is about to begin and no one in Shanghai is safe.
We’ve been waiting for Our Violent Ends and were so excited to get an ARC. These Violent Delights gave us a lot of questions that we needed answering ASAP.
First of all, we want to praise Gong for the amount of research she did. We learned a lot about Shanghai in 1927 and the different groups vying for power of China. This one focused less about imperialism and more about the Communist party and the Nationalist party, who eventually went to war after World War II. Gong created the right amount of tension with her realistic depictions, while also weaving in elements of fiction and fantasy.
Another aspect we were looking forward to was getting to know Juliette and Roma better. Their romance felt realistic, especially with how conflicted they were about being together with family loyalty involved. We felt that we got to see a softer side of both of them throughout the story. However, Juliette is super fierce and we love how much of a badass she can be. While Roma frustrated us at times, he has a good heart and is loyal to a fault.
After the reveal at the end of the previous book, we were curious how Gong would move forward. we’re happy to report that she did a great job of creating a new enemy. Someone we completely trusted became involved it shocked us how little remorse this person had. The plot moved quickly from the start and revealed new information at the right time, making a 500 page feel like a quick read.
Now we debated how it would end because so much happens in the last 100 pages. Without revealing anything, the ending completely surprised us because of how bittersweet it was. We’re honestly not sure what to do with ourselves now. We really liked the epilogue because it answered all of our questions, but we still wish things were a little different. Why did you do this to us Chloe Gong?
Overall, we can’t recommend this thrilling duology enough. If you love history, dynamic characters and fast-paced plot, grab this series ASAP. Our Violent Ends is out now!