Nicolas Fiorillo and his gang of children—his paranza—control the squares of Forcella after their rapid rise to power. But it isn't easy being at the top. Now that the Piranhas have power in the city, Nicolas must undermine the old families of the Camorra and remain united among themselves.
While its plot is compelling, there are problems with Savage Kiss: it seems to contain more characters than War and Peace ... The style can be a bit perfervid, too, and the ending is predictable; but, nevertheless, fans of Saviano’s earlier work won’t want to miss it.
Savage Kiss emerges from the pulp-fiction part of Saviano’s imagination ... the novel’s portrait of Neapolitan teen culture is unconvincing ... Baggy plotting, threadbare characterisation and a translation that turns Neapolitan dialect and Italian slang into boilerplate Americanese ('He stuck his cell phone in his pocket, his gat down his pants') compound the clumsiness. The result is a trashy mafia thriller without the thrills.
...disappointing ... Nothing here feels remotely fresh, and Saviano fails to facilitate any empathy for his psychopathic antihero ... Awkward translated prose ... Admirers of Saviano’s journalism will hope he sticks to nonfiction.