Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on blog tour for Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong. I am so excited to review this historical, Romeo and Juliet retelling featuring forbidden love and plenty of social commentary
About the BookVespertine (Vespertine, #1) by Margaret Rogerson
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on October 5, 2021
The dead of Loraille do not rest.
Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.
When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.
As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.
TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNING(S): Blood, violence, gore, character deaths, murder (including mass murder), war themes, torture, weapon use, insects, alcohol consumption, parental abuse
About the Author
Chloe Gong is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, studying English and International Relations. During her breaks, she’s either at home in New Zealand or visiting her many relatives in Shanghai. Chloe has been known to mysteriously appear by chanting “Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays and doesn’t deserve its slander in pop culture” into a mirror three times. You can find her on Twitter @thechloegong, check out her website at thechloegong.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honesty time y’all, I did not love These Violent Delights. There were things I loved about it from it’s atmospheric setting and the mystery at it’s heart, but it had some pacing issues for me. So I went into Our Violent Ends with lowered expectations, almost certain that I would find the sequel to be perfectly average.
But I was so glad to be wrong.
Was the pacing on the slower side. Yes!
Did I sometimes want to strangle the characters they wouldn’t just communicate with each other like grown adults? Absolutely!
But there was just something about Our Violent Ends that hooked me in a way Gong’s debut did not.
The story picks up only months after These Violent Delights concluded and there exist the same contention between Roma and Juliet, the continued threat of madness, as well as the murmurings of revolution simmering just below the surface of 1920s Shanghai.
I think what I loved most about the book was the development of different relationships that eviscerated the boundaries of the blood feud. You know, blood conquers and the like.
I also felt like the cast of characters around Roma and Juliet were lent significantly more depth as the reader experienced their points of view and different aspects of the story unfolded through their eyes.
Overall, I gave Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong 4.5 stars, knocking it down half a star because at times I just wanted to shake the characters. I would definitely recommend it for fans of retellings with a grittier touch. I loved book 2 so much more than book 1 and was so thrilled to read it early. Thank you to the publisher and Turn the Page Tours for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Up for grabs, we are giving away ONE (1) finished copy of These Violent Delights and ONE (1) finished copy of Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong. This giveaway will run from November 1st through 20th at 11:59 PM CST and will be open to U.S. residents ONLY. One winner will be chosen. To enter, click the link below!
RAFFLECOPTER LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d48/?
What About You?
Have you read Our Violent Ends? What did you think of it? Will you be adding it to your TBR? Let me know in the comments!