Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two books that are first of a series, although they belong to completely different genres… Blindsighted turned out to be a great start of a crime series, while I did end up having mixed thoughts about historical fiction/horror/fantasy mash up These Violent Delights.
“Sometimes it takes thinking you’ve lost something to realize the real value of it.”
My goal this year is to finally catch up with the Karin Slaughter series, and I’m currently starting the Grant County books before I continue with the Will Grant series… Blindsighted has been a great start, and I quite like that the focus here is on medical examiner Sara instead of having your typical detective focus. Sure, there is still a lot of investigation going on, as Sara’s ex-husband and Police Chief Jeffrey plays a key role in the plot, but I like the balance between the two. And Karin Slaughter most definitely isn’t afraid to go dark, gruesome and twisted with this one! Blindsighted is not for those with a weak stomach, and you cannot get a more gritty serial killer thriller than this.True, I did guess who was behind it all, I wasn’t a fan of the cheating angle and I was really annoyed by especially Lena’s character, but as a whole I still had a great time reading this first book. On to the sequel it is!
Title: These Violent Delights
(These Violent Delights #1)
Author: Chloe Gong
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Horror
First published: November 17th 2020
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Finished reading: February 22nd 2021
“Hope was the most vicious evil of them all, the thing that had managed to thrive in Pandora’s box among misery, and disease, and sadness – and what could endure alongside others with such teeth if it didn’t have ghastly claws of its own?”
This was a buddy read with Kelly @ From Belgium With Book Love and we ended up having a great time with this one! I think I definitely enjoyed the story a lot more because of our buddy read and discussing what was happening along the way… Because the fact is: I ended up having mixed thoughts about These Violent Delights. There were things I loved, and other things that didn’t work for me that well… Although as a whole it was still entertaining enough for me to read the second book of the duology when it comes out.
What irks me is that These Violent Delights shouldn’t have been classified as fantasy; it feels more like a mash up of historical fiction with horror and supernatural elements instead. I was a bit surprised to be honest that the beginning read mostly like a historical gangster story, with only a hint of the supernatural with the mention of the monster… And the supernatural parts were definitely more horror than fantasy. We both agreed that this isn’t a story to read while eating something! I did really enjoy the historical context of this story though, with the 1926 Shanghai setting and the two rival gangs. I might have liked to see a little more description of the setting itself, but as the story had a lot of descriptions in the first place it probably would have made the story feel even slower. Because the fact is: especially the middle part has a considerably slower pace, and I felt the story got a tad repetitive in parts… The final part did make up for it a little, but as a whole I thought I was going to get a little more action after reading the blurb.
This is of course a Romeo And Juliet retelling, as you can tell from the names of the two main characters that are pitched against each other: Roma and Juliette. The whole star-crossed lovers vibe is most definitely there as well, although thankfully there isn’t too much romance involved in the plot itself. The neverending tension between the two characters can get a bit annoying though. There were some characters I liked more than others, and as far as the plot itself goes there were certain developments (especially towards the ending) that felt a bit too convenient. Thankfully the cliffhanger wasn’t as big as feared though! All in all, These Violent Delights turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag, but as a whole it was still entertaining.