I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
1920’s re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet set in Shanghai, China. Blood feuds, gangs, opium dens, a contagion, politics. These Violent Delights is fast paced and vicious. What I loved most of all was rich world building based on history and the multi-layered storytelling. All that glitters is not gold. Chloe Gong knows her characters and the forces behind imperial China.
Juliette is fierce. Princess of the Red Flowers, sent away to speakeasy New York, the heroine collides with her Eastern roots when she returns to Shanghai. Roma is Russian, heir to the White Flower regime, he will risk it all for the one he loves.
Action packed with visually lush scenes and constant intrigue. Two rival gangs need to find common ground. Communism is on the rise, workers are unhappy, all the while people are dying and a monster is lurking.
There’s so much to love. This is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Unique. I plan to read the whole series.
Thanks to McElderry books for the book, the cover is beautiful!
Content: heavy violence, drinking, opium.
About the Author
Chloe Gong is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, studying English and International Relations. During her breaks, she’s either at home in New Zealand or visiting her many relatives in Shanghai. Chloe has been known to mysteriously appear by chanting “Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays and doesn’t deserve its slander in pop culture” into a mirror three times. You can find her on Twitter @thechloegong, check out her website at thechloegong.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.