If you’re reading this post, then you probably want to know something about These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong.
Whether you’re wondering if it’s worth reading, who the main characters are, or how it ends, we got you covered.
This is my attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions about this novel!
Is These Violent Delights a stand-alone or a series?
These Violent Delights is the first novel in a duology. Our Violent Ends – the sequel – is out already and we can expect a spin-off series, with the first book out in late 2022!
Is These Violent Delights a young adult novel?
Yes, These Violent Delights is a young adult fantasy book. The characters are around 18-years-old. The writing itself is very characteristic of a YA novel. You can find plenty of dialogue and a fair amount of descriptive writing in this book.
What is These Violent Delights about?
These Violent Delights is a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920’s Shanghai.
It is about two rival gangs – the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers.
Their heirs, Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov have unresolved history.
Then mysterious deaths start to appear.
Rumors about the victims clawing out their own throats surface. They must work together to find out what is going on in this city.
How long is These Violent Delights?
These Violent Delights is less than 450 pages long with 38 chapters as well as a prologue and an epilogue.
Who are the main characters?
The story follows Juliette Cai who has returned for her mantle as the heiress of the Scarlet Gang. Roma Montagov, the heir to the White Flowers, is the other main character. He is also Juliette’s first lover and betrayal.
What are the main themes in These Violent Delights?
The main themes in this book are family and loyalty as well as finding your own place and identity.
Does These Violent Delights have romance?
These Violent Delights does have romance as you would expect from a Romeo and Juliet retelling.
It is only a subplot though.
So if you are going into this book solely for the romance, you may be a bit disappointed.
There is tension between the main couple that twists anyone’s heartstrings who is rooting for this couple.
The author herself has said that the romance will be more upfront in the sequel.
Is These Violent Delights LGBTQ+?
The main romance we follow in this story is not an LGBTQ+ couple. But there is a male-male romance between the side characters.
Does it have spice?
These Violent Delights doesn’t have any spice but the tension and banter make up for it.
Does These Violent Delights feature a love triangle?
There is not a love triangle in this novel.
Is These Violent Delights good?
YES! These Violent Delights had me turning pages at a rapid pace and the mystery had me gripping the edge of my seat.
This story has not left my mind since reading it.
It ended up finding its well-deserved place in my top ten favorite books of all time!
The story has many twists and unexpected funny moments.
Many others seem to share these delights with me (see what I did there?) since the book is quite popular. These Violent Delights ended up on The New York Times bestsellers list a week after coming out.
It also snatched up a Junior Library Guild selection. It has a 4.00 rating on Goodreads, while Our Violent Ends, the sequel, has 4.63.
Of course, if you truly want to know if it’s good, you will have to find it out yourself!
Is it like Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight at all?
There are some similarities like opposites attracting and those involved in the romance resisting feelings toward the other.
That’s where they end though.
Twilight has magical people.
These Violent Delights has a monster at large that creates havoc.
In other words, these two stories differ significantly.
If you are looking for something more like Twilight, you should probably find a different book to read.
Does it end on a cliffhanger?
Mild spoiler warning – it does end on a cliffhanger.
Like with any other books that do the same, things are already looking okay and you start to hope for the best.
Then you notice that there are still too many pages left and the epilogue hits you at which point you are left with more questions than answers.
If you are someone who avoids cliffhanger endings, you probably want to have the sequel ready at hand.
FROM THIS POINT ON, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THE ANSWERS
Who dies in These Violent Delights?
We end up thinking that Marshall dies in the end, but the epilogue reveals that he survived. Named characters that die are Paul Dexter and Qi Ren.
Does These Violent Delights have a happy ending?
The ending needs to be considered from each character’s perspective, but it is not a happy ending for anyone.
And in general, I wouldn’t say it has a happy ending.
How does These Violent Delights end?
This is a summary of the 38th chapter
Qi Ren – and so the monster – dies.
Juliette and Roma then leave to wake Alisa after checking to make sure the other is alright.
We cut to Alisa’s location, where she is waking up because the insects inside her begin to climb out of her skin and hair.
After awakening, Alisa sees the gun pointed at her.
Tyler Cai is holding the gun at her temple, while two others have Benedikt and Marshall at gunpoint as well.
We cut back to Juliette and Roma again.
They are hurrying through the rioters to get to the border of Nanshi.
It is quiet and Juliette and Roma wonder whether the riots have started here yet.
They are running to the hospital where Alisa is.
When they get inside, there are no doctors or nurses.
They hear a shout and Marshall’s voice.
Roma runs off towards the voice and Juliette is too late to stop him.
Juliette arrives as well and sees the fellow members of her gang pointing their guns at Roma now.
Tyler still has his gun pointed at Alisa’s forehead.
Juliette doesn’t know what to do but ends up lowering her gun.
She realizes that Tyler knows about her alliance with the White Flowers.
And so he has turned the Scarlets against her.
Juliette devises a plan after hyping herself up that she can save them.
Tyler accuses Juliette of betraying the Scarlets.
Juliette tries to reason with him by calling him an idiot and saying it’s a trick. Tyler is still not convinced and calls Juliette a liar.
Then a shot rings out. Marshall takes the gun to the Scarlet nearest to him and instead fires it at him.
The Scarlet gangster is dead on the floor.
Marshall lunges forward trying to save Alisa by knocking Tyler out of the way.
Tyler shoots Marshall in the ribs. Benedikt tries to approach Marshall but the gun pressed to his temple stops him.
Marshall’s blood is coming out faster and bleeding out on the floor.
He says that Montagovs and Cais alike are cursed.
Roma was able to get free for a second to take a shot at Tyler, managing to only skim his shoulder.
Juliette yells for everyone to stop and the room goes still.
She demands everyone to listen.
They hear chanting from afar and it’s getting closer.
Juliette tries to reason with everyone that when those people get there, they will kill them all.
Juliette realizes that Tyler would not let the White Flowers leave in time to save Marshall.
That one sacrifice needs to be made for Alisa to live.
Juliette sticks her hand into her pocket.
She wishes that there were something that would defuse the situation.
She pleads with Tyler that they have to go before it’s too late but Tyler isn’t convinced.
Juliette proposes that they only kill Marshall, for the Scarlet lost.
Roma says that it isn’t going to work and she should let them have a fair fight.
Juliette wonders why Roma did not realize that cutting off all ties between them would be the only way – the only way for them to walk away alive.
Then she realizes that Roma does know this and is choosing to stay for her and will not walk away from her again.
Juliette lies to Roma saying that the alliance has been a mere tool to get information. Roma doesn’t believe her. Juliette interrupts him with the words ‘Mybergh Road.’
Roma recognizes the address. It’s his mother’s safe house.
After the attack on the Scarlet house, Juliette lost her temper.
The Scarlet members escorting her onto the boat to New York thought her a mere child.
Juliette had revealed all she knew about the White Flowers. That included the safe house location.
The men hadn’t taken her seriously and Juliette told herself that Roma had betrayed her first. Her gang could do what they wanted with the information and it would serve him right.
Juliette then admits to Roma that his mother’s death was her doing.
Roma is having trouble believing this, breathing hard and heavy.
Juliette says that she could never be his lover, only his killer.
Juliette kneels down to Marshall and strikes him across the face.
She says “a life for a life,” and then we hear a bang.
Marshall is motionless on the floor.
Juliette asks for the Scarlets to let Benedikt see Marshall for himself.
Benedikt tries to get Marshall to wake up. Then Juliette demands them to leave before they kill them all. The White Flowers retreat.
Juliette watches them leave and forces herself to remember that moment.
The voices from outside burst through into the hospital.
Juliette says that she’ll deal with Marshall and Tyler and his men to go out the back door.
She remains in the room with her hand on the body and with the weight of her sins.
The epilogue starts here
We then cut to further in the day, Juliette is gathering food into a basket.
The riots are said to not have lasted long since the police forces came with the help of the gangsters.
The workers would return to their jobs and those who killed their bosses would go to jail.
Juliette lets a maid know she has an errand to run, so she will not be at dinner. She also says she sent her cousin Kathleen out for an errand.
Kathleen is searching for a fist-sized insect for Juliette near Huangpu River.
There is no giant insect to be found. Kathleen asks the other Scarlet members to move out Qi Ren’s body. She sees a briefcase under a wooden box and opens it. The contents spill out and Kathleen shuffles through them.
She sees a letter postmarked with ‘copy’, leading her to suspect it’s a receipt of something Paul sent out.
The address in the top corner places the sendee’s destination in the French Concession.
Kathleen reads through the short message. What she sees horrifies her. We don’t get to see the message.
Juliette knocks on the door of the Scarlet gang safe house. Marshall answers and Juliette steps inside.
She gives Marshall water and food.
We find out the details about how Marshall survived.
Juliette gave him the stolen serum and orchestrated the shooting.
She then found a doctor in the hospital and got her to remove the bullet that Tyler fired.
Marshall is asking how much of the whole thing between Juliette and Roma was a trick, and she admits that none of it was.
He says that Juliette loves Roma enough to have him hate her. Marshall tries to convince her to let Benedikt know that he’s alive. Juliette says no, but promises it won’t be long.
Juliette returns to the streets.
A messenger stops her. He says that there was no giant insect but gives a letter from Kathleen to her.
It is the same copy of the letter.
Juliette reads Paul Dexter’s message.
It says ‘In the event of my death, release them all.’ Juliette panics and tries to think.
The bells along the streets begin to ring, marking the seventh hour. In the distance, a chorus of screaming starts.
The ending explained
We find out that Paul Dexter left quite a message behind; “in the event of my death, release them all.”
Well, his death did come and someone went through with his command.
We can suspect that “them” in his message means all means the insects, and they will once again begin terrorizing the city.
It does start at the very end, since there are screams heard in the distance.
It goes without saying that this illness hasn’t been defeated quite yet.
You just have to wait and find out what happens next in the sequel, Our Violent Ends.
SPOILERS END HERE
Thank you for reading! I hope I was able to answer some questions you might have had about this thrilling fantasy novel!