One year has passed since the destruction of These Violent Delights, and Shanghai is on the brink of upheaval. Whispers of civil war hang in a mist over the streets, and the Scarlet Gang is stretched thin between the leadership of Juliette and her ruthless cousin Tyler, who threatens to usurp her. The city isn’t the only thing that toes the line between tension and utter chaos, though — Roma believes Juliette has betrayed him, a burden Juliette carries for the sole purpose of guaranteeing that the boy she loves will live to see another blood-stained sun rising over this wicked, wicked city. But a new danger lurks in the shadows of the city, and a pact between the two ex-lovers may be the only thing that can prevent it from tearing Shanghai apart.
This book honestly left me at a loss for words. All of the characters felt so much more developed, and the relationships between them were so bittersweet and tumultuous and tender all at the same time. I especially loved learning about the side characters on a deeper level and really seeing who they were. Like the first book, the author’s writing was vivid and compelling, and the atmosphere was a perfect fit for the story. I found the electric and tension-filled romance I was looking for in this book as well — Roma and Juliette’s relationship felt so much more natural and well-developed, which was something that I felt was missing in the first book. Overall, this book was delightfully emotionally destructive, and one of the best I have had the fortune of reading this year.