Posted in Reviews

Review: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Verdict: Probably a better read for everyone else than it was for me. My experience was somewhat dull, but I have no doubt this will be a hit with most other readers if they think they would like it!

Recommended: eh
For a glimpse into 1920s Shanghai, for a historical fantasy gangster story (not a common combo I think), for flavors of Romeo & Juliet but ultimately its own standing story

Summary

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.

Thoughts:

Look, I know. This book has everything. Shanghai in 1920s, one of my favorite place-time combos. A basis in Shakespeare. A fantasy element of monsters. A touch of brutality and gore to darken the story.

So why didn’t I love it???

I’m a bit baffled, honestly. I’ve tried to pinpoint what kept me from falling in love with this book, as I should have by all rights. I think my issue was partly that I wasn’t expecting it to be intertwined with magic and I wasn’t really in the mood for that — and obviously that’s a personal issue, nothing with the book. But the bigger issue I faced was that I just didn’t really care about either of the main characters.

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

The perfect dark and lyrical read: FOUL IS FAIR!

So I had put together my spooky TBR list for October, and debated hard about including Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin or not. I decided not to, just because I had so many books I’ve not read at all yet that I wanted to get to.

And yet… today I pulled this book up to read for a few minutes while I had a quick lunch, and who knows how long later my S.O. came out to ask what I was doing. I got so sucked in!

There’s never going to be a day when I don’t love this Macbeth-y witchy vengeance story. The writing is so poetic and lyrical that reading every line is sheer pleasure just for the way the words dance and the images they bring. What emotion packed into this!

So, okay, yes… I’m probably pushing another book off the list so I can indulge my dual loves of Hannah Capin and William Shakespeare. 🥰