Review #123

Title- Our Violent Ends

Author- Chloe Gong

Series- this is the sequel to Our Violent Delights

Rating– 4/5

Genre- YA Dark fantasy/historical fiction crossover

POV- Multiple, all over the place, chaotic, both present and past tense, head hopping, many POV within chapter. Scene breaks inconsistently designated by an interior formatting symbol, sometimes not.

Trope- enemies to lovers

Steam level- 0/5 spice

Cover– beautiful, but it makes me think romance, when this is a tragedy

My emotions– kind of relieved the series was finished to move on

Plot/Blurb-

The year is 1927, and Shanghai teeters on the edge of revolution.

After sacrificing her relationship with Roma to protect him from the blood feud, Juliette has been a girl on a mission. One wrong move, and her cousin will step in to usurp her place as the Scarlet Gang’s heir. The only way to save the boy she loves from the wrath of the Scarlets is to have him want her dead for murdering his best friend in cold blood. If Juliette were actually guilty of the crime Roma believes she committed, his rejection might sting less.

Roma is still reeling from Marshall’s death, and his cousin Benedikt will barely speak to him. Roma knows it’s his fault for letting the ruthless Juliette back into his life, and he’s determined to set things right—even if that means killing the girl he hates and loves with equal measure.

Then a new monstrous danger emerges in the city, and though secrets keep them apart, Juliette must secure Roma’s cooperation if they are to end this threat once and for all. Shanghai is already at a boiling point: The Nationalists are marching in, whispers of civil war brew louder every day, and gangster rule faces complete annihilation. Roma and Juliette must put aside their differences to combat monsters and politics, but they aren’t prepared for the biggest threat of all: protecting their hearts from each other.

Character Development- hhhmmm. Many characters learned that the blood feud was pointless, but individually I can’t say I have a solid grasp on what Juliette and Roma learned uniquely about themselves

Best part- page 300

What I would change- head hopping/POV switches. I don’t think the side stories were as needed with the amount of focus put on secondary characters. Yes, they entwined in the end, but it could have been accomplished in just Juliette and Roma’s perspectives.

 Setting- I felt immersed in Shanghai’s vibe of violence, but I often wanted more physical description of my surroundings. I could imagine the safehouse well, and the streets, but not their homes or Laurens’s lab

Prose- There were some epic moments of poetic prose with the “dark vibe”

Character goals/motivations
– I felt frustrated that both Juliette and Roma went back and forth between love then hate then kill then save. I feel like there should have been one solid turning point and to stick with that instead of alternating often.

Message/Theme-
Choosing who to love/prioritize instead of who you are related to, Family runs deeper than blood

Vivid sensory descriptions-
The first novel had better sensory details in regards to the monsters/insects.

question and response. I often needed to go back and reread to remember what was asked.

Diversity- Lots. Multiple languages-
French, Russian, Chinese, Korean. Many different ethnicities. There is also a M/M secondary romance

Ethics/morals- murder on every page.  The characters were desensitized. I started to wonder how many gang members were in one gang since so many died, how many would be left?

Conflict/tension/obstacles- The spy, parents with different agendas, feuding families, monsters/devil insects, traitors, choosing love or hatred, guns/fights/feuds, kidnapping. The author did a great job of piling them all on at once in the all is lost moment.

Ending- Expected. I was still slightly hoping for something different. The epilogue is needed for a reader, yet kind of contradicts itself in the grand scheme of things.

Pacing- medium

Quote-

“I will fight this war to love you. I will fight this feud to have you, because it was this feud that gave you to me, twisted as it is, and now I will take you away from it.
Juliette searched his face for any hint of hesitance. ‘What pretty words,’ she whispered.
‘I mean them all,” Roma replied. ‘I would engrave them onto stone if that would have you believe me more.’
‘I believe you.’ Juliette let herself smile. ‘But you shall not engrave it onto stone, because I don’t need you to take me away from the feud. I’ll be running by your side.’”

“She would rather hold this hope so close to her chest that it feels like a fire on its own, flickering against the darkness, even where other embers burn out. There will be hatred. There will be war… but alongside everything, there has to be love- eternal, undying, enduring. Burn through vengeance and terror and warfare. Burn through everything that fuels the human heart and sears it red, burn through everything that covers the outside with hard muscles and tough sinew. Cut down deep and grab what beats beneath, and it is love that will survive after everything else has perished.”

Thoughts while reading-

Page 31- was hoping for a different plot line instead of the same insects attacking them again.

Page 76- inconsistent character response on Juliette’s part. She has said “what’s the point of the feud?” a few pages ago and now tells her father she craves violence and should ambush them…

Page 121- there wasn’t really any point to chapter 12. Also, I often have to reread paragraphs because the dialogue is spread out with big chunks of narration in between someone’s question and response.

Page 139- nice!

Page 148- I don’t believe they IOU’s would be believable from gangsters

Page 160- I don’t understand the point of the Celia/Kathleen trade? Why has that been relevant? How does it progress the story?

Page 197- uh, what? Roma is switching back and forth too much. He needs to pick a decision and perspective abs stay in that lane.

Page 250 & 258 were both awesome scenes and long anticipated.

Page 261- well I guessed the spy identity accurately. Now let’s wait to see if it’s a plot twist later.

Page 278- the kidnapping makes things more interesting

Page 300- oh shit. I wasn’t expecting that. Brilliant!

Page 381- this book is way better than the first one.

Page 393- oh man. I’m afraid to keep reading.

Page 414- everything is going wrong! So, despite having some trouble getting through the beginning, the second half is much more engaging. Miraculously, the author truly got me to care for these main characters and I’m invested in the outcome. It doesn’t look good, folks.

Page 450- the climax scene is getting tiring because of how long it is and how much switching of who is saving who.


Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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