It’s almost the end of the week and for that I am grateful. It’s been super busy at work with a major deadline looming but this is why I love audiobooks now. The ability to still “read” during lull times is absolutely fantastic and I don’t feel like I never have the chance to read even thought my to-do list every morning seems so long.
That being said, I’m currently doing a buddy read on, well, this next book that I wanted to offer some recommendations for. While I haven’t yet finished the whole book (but I will soon!), I feel I can offer up some good reads if you adored These Violent Delights.
About the book (review to come!)
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.
If you loved the dark Romeo and Juliet retelling…
…then Rosamund Hodge’s Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Goodreads) may totally be up your alley! In a world that’s in peril of a ghastly, fatal end, rival clans share what’s left of the city, but things go awry when Romeo and Juliet set off a chain of events that lead to unveiling some serious issues in the streets of their beloved home. More dark fantasy than romance, this book laid out some complex world building that is fitting with the lyrical prose of Chloe Gong’s Shanghai.
If you loved the 1920s gangsters in the city setting…
…then The Last Magician (Goodreads) has to be your next stop! As this book is apparently even marketing towards this book, you must know it’s good. Set in 1900s New York City, we follow our time-travelling protagonist Esta as she joins a crew to pull a grand old con and heist against a group of powerful people. Little do they know, she will betray them all, but at the risk of falling for her enemy, the magician she came to rob.
If you loved the Asian fantasy element…
…then you will enjoy Flame in the Mist (Goodreads) by Renee Ahdieh. I know there are many books now that are out in YA fitting this theme, but I had to include this book in here. Steeped in Japanese lore in the time of samurai and imperial clans, this story about a girl proving her worth by going undercover to get revenge on the clan who attacked her is every bit alluring as it is romantic. I was drawn into their culture, their language and their ways, very much like I feel for the lush setting aptly described in These Violent Delights.
And there you have it, friends! A little bit for everyone depending on why you may have enjoyed Chloe Gong’s debut that has soared to the top charts since its release. I can’t wait to finish it but I already feel such good things about it. I hope these other reads help tie you over until the next book comes out.