Review of Our Violent Ends

Jaiden Heaton, Staff Writer

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong is the sequel to These Violent Ends. Thus it’s the last book in the series of two. Warning: future spoilers contained in this article. Time to see where all the characters left off in the previous book and the beginning of this one. Roma is now the angry one trying to end Juliette for “killing” Marshall. Juliette is trying and failing not to be in love with Roma. Benedikt is a disaster without Marshall and on a self-sabotaging spiral. Kathleen is slowly embracing the communists and (spoiler) has started going by Celia again. Rosalind is acting suspicious and still distrusts Juliette. Marshall barely holds himself back from telling Benedikt that he’s still alive. The monster is back, but there are five of them this time, and they are blackmailing now. The Scarlets and White Flowers form a temporary truce to find and stop the blackmailer. So Juliette and Roma are forced to work together yet again, but this time under orders, and Roma is angry with Juliette feeling guilty. The Communists are increasing protests and power as violence and terror in the city increase. Celia is starting to see that Rosalind makes a good point, even if she doesn’t fully agree with what Rosalind is doing. She starts to consider if the Scarlets are valuing her. The Nationalists are marching for Shanghai, and civil war is about to be unleashed. Marshall is trying his best to protect Benedikt as he descends into his vengeance over Marshall’s “passing.”

Things I liked or felt were positives about this book. Most of the positives I had for book one are the same for this book. Things I wanted that are the same from book one; setting, the characters, the character relationship between other characters and the organization they are a part of, and the plot. While being predictable, it wasn’t a burden on the story. The references to Romeo and Juliet were a nice touch. I don’t know if the writing improved or if I’ve just gotten used to it, but it seemed less overly descriptive. Cilia’s character arc, actually Cilia in general, was my favorite character, and I loved her storyline. There were two times I found myself getting emotional, not the crying type emotional, but those two moments hit. The first was Tyler’s death because I didn’t expect the person to kill him, and I liked him as a character. The second time was after Juliette and Roma’s death. )Alisa’s reaction to it happening a year later and reading Alisa, Benedikt, and Marshall, realizing that they aren’t coming and having to leave hit harder than their deaths). Benedikt and Marshall were great, and I’m glad they got more focus.

Things I should have enjoyed about this book: I was not too fond of the writing style; there was still too much telling and not enough showing, and the pacing was terrible. Most of the story is just a repeat of the first, with Roma and Juliette switching roles. Until the last third of the story, very little happens, and the side characters are the only actually entertaining characters. Roma and Juliette get more annoying as the story goes on. I found Benedikt, Marshall, and Celia to have better and more entertaining storylines compared to the main plot with Roma and Juliette. I wish Celia had more chapters. It didn’t make sense for Lord Cai not to know that Juliette and Roma were once lovers. The monster doesn’t make any sense, I thought this book would answer that, but I didn’t. What is it? Is it magic? Was it a science experiment?

I give this 2.5 stars, the book drags and is far too repetitive, but the side characters helped save this from having a lower rating. The spin-off duology Foul Lady Fortune follows Rosalind and the political landscape after the Nationalists and Communists rise.