These Violent Delights is what I’ve been wanting to read since I finished Catherine’s Doyle Blood for Blood trilogy. For those looking for a awesome book by an awesome human this is it.
Summary: A monster has awakened in 1920s Shanghai, killing off citizens and stirring trouble between two feuding gangs. The rival heirs, Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai, must work together before the monster destroys all they hold dear, even while the Chinese Civil War breaks out around them.
4 facts about THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS
> In THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS, the protagonist is heir to the Scarlet Gang, which is based off the very real “Green Gang” that ruled Shanghai during the 1920s. I took some liberties with the details, such as how the Green Gang used to have gang bosses controlling different regions of Shanghai, while the Scarlet Gang is headed only by one man, Juliette’s father, but other than that, I tried to stick close to its source of inspiration!
> As an English major, I wasn’t just trying to tell a cool story (though I certainly hope it is a cool story!) but I was also intent on inserting little details that someone might analyse in English class, without being boring, of course ;). I considered why Shakespeare didn’t originally give Lord/Lady Capulet or Lord/Lady Montague first names (hit me up if y’all want my theory, I could talk for hours), and so I didn’t give Lord/Lady Cai or Lord Montagov/Lady Montagova first names either. (This became a pain when I realised that Roma, who is Russian, now can’t have an on-page patronymic. Forgive me – I was trying to be a cool English major.)
> I went to almost all of the places described in THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS for research while writing! I was drawn toward setting a story in Shanghai in the first place because I’m always there during my breaks so it was easy for me to drop into the places from the 20s that are still open today to take notes for description.
> The entirety of THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS was written to two albums on repeat: Halsey’s “hopeless fountain kingdom” and the soundtrack to Baz Lurhmann’s 2013 “The Great Gatsby”.
> I own so many different copies of Romeo and Juliet. So many. It’s become a problem.
Goodreads links/ pre order links
2020 debut novels that Chloe Gong would recommend
ACE OF SPADES by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
THE SILENCE OF BONES by June Hur