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.
Hardcover, 449 pages
Published by November 17, 2020
by Margaret K. McElderry Books
First off, look at that cover! I love it. The gold is raised and my copy signed by the new to me author.
This was a combo audio and book read. I seem to be doing that a lot this year and its kinda fun.
I loved the sounds of a Romeo and Juliet retelling. It's also the first book in a series, knowing that ahead of time made it easy to prepare for some unfinished business and little more of the stage being set for the sequel.
It's 1926 and Shanghai literally felt like a war zone. Add in some supernatural elements and you've got a unique story.
While I didn't feel the Romeo and Juliet vibe until closer to the end I definitely felt the era and location. It was dark, atmospheric and complex as different gangs battle for control. The tension was felt and the plot intricate.
Both Juliette and Roma are strong characters, pressured by family to do the right thing. The monster element might have been a bit over the top (just my opinion), but needed to further the plot line.
Like I said at the beginning this book set the stage for Our Violent End which releases in just a few weeks. I've already preordered and look forward to another gorgeous cover on my shelf.
This book was part of an Owlcrate Book Box and part of my 2021 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge.