These Violent Delights Narrator: Cindy Kay
Length: 14 hours
Published by Simon and Schuster on November 17, 2020
Source: Library Auidobook
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, People & Places, Asia, Romance
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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.
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.
These Violent Delights were high on my list of want to read this year, and I sad to say it was not as enjoyable as I expected it to be. A Romeo and Juliet retelling, a mysterious monster that plagues the city, and all set in 1920’s Shanghai. Sounds like a unique story to pick and up and read, right? I can think of a couple of reasons why it fell flat, at least for me. The hype, though, meant to spread the word and get everyone buying the book usually puts me off picking it up right away. You get some people raving it fantastic, others trashing it, and you can get your opinion made up before you pick up the book. The high expectation of it is a retelling of something trendy, so you expect one thing and get something different.
So I was anticipating a high degree of swoony romance; I did not get that; instead, our two lovers are in feuding gangs, and a sting of betrayal surrounds them. I was expecting the monster to be, well, a dragon now that just from where the story is taking place. The beast never gets named, and instead, we get a healthy dose of bugs being spewed out as the source of the mysterious attacks. I also wanted to expect a lot more action with a title like these violent delights, but most of that happened in the last 20 percent of the book.
The cover is stunning, which if you love unique covers, you will love this, the writing is exceptional for a debut author, and it did keep me invested to the end, so it was enjoyable, just not mind-blowing amazing.