Our Violent Ends | Book Review
Thank you, NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton, for the eARC of Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong, in exchange for my honest review.
As soon as I finished reading These Violent Delights back in August I knew I needed to get my hands on the sequel ASAP. This duology is a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920's Shanghai, where two rival gangs are struggling to keep their hold on the city amidst the constant influx of foreigners and the rising power of Communism, all while a monster's threatening the city and spreading a deadly illness. In the middle of this feud, we have Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov, heirs to the gangs, sworn enemies with a very complicated past.
I adored every bit of the first book (you can read my full spoiler-free review right here), so I started reading the sequel as soon as I could, and it was somehow better than I expected. Knowing where the first book ended, I was afraid Our Violent Ends would be a bit repetitive and follow the same structure, but I'm so happy I was wrong.
This book expanded on the world and politics a lot more, some of my favourite things from These Violent Ends. Chloe Gong makes Shanghai feel like a character and her descriptions are so vivid I could feel the tension of the political climate as if I were there. The stakes are much higher in this second book, making every plotline feel like it could blow up at any point. You feel the tension in the air and know that nothing's safe.
I somehow managed to fall more in love with every character, and I adored every romance we have. I feel like with enemies to lovers stories, I really have to believe in their situation to buy it, and that 100% happens with this story.
These books have been my favourite of the year so far, simply because I could not stop thinking about them. It's been over a month since I finished Our Violent Ends and I already want to reread both books. They are so rich in their descriptions, so detailed and intricate that it felt like a movie going through my head (I'd love to see an adaptation of this in the future). I got so attached to every character and cared about every single one because they were so well written.
I also loved the direction the monster's story went in. As I said, I was worried it would get a bit repetitive, but Chloe did an amazing job in keeping book one's plots while reinventing them and expanding their scope. I did see some of the twists coming (I can't remember the last book I read where everything came as a surprise) but this did not hinder my enjoyment of the story at all.
Overall, I loved every bit of this book. The action, the characters, the romance, the writing. I was constantly at the edge of my seat and couldn't stop thinking about what was going to happen next. Everything was exactly what I wanted from it and Chloe Gong has established her place as one of my favourite authors. It was heartbreaking, heart racing, and a brilliant conclusion to the story. I can't recommend this series enough.
Our Violent Ends is out now everywhere books are sold, so please go make your way to 1920's Shanghai. I hope you're as enthralled by this story as I was.