5 / 5 stars
Title: This Savage Song
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books
Genre: YA Fantasy/Dystopian
Date: 17th August 2016
Source: ARC provided by Titan Books.
Synopsis from GoodReads:
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
As a whole, I thought this book was fantastic. The pacing was a little slow in the first half of the book, and there was a lot of info dumping, but overall I loved it.
The info-dumps did feel a bit painful to get through, but they really helped with giving the characters background, and with world-building. This Savage Song is written in third person, with chapters alternating between Kate and August’s perspectives. I ended up feeling very attached to the two main characters (August especially..what a cutie!!), and I liked seeing the world from both of their points-of-view.
Kate and August live in very different worlds, and because of this they have very different views on life and family and have very different morals. I really enjoyed the exploration into humanity and violence, and thought that it was extremely well done. Some summaries that I’ve heard basically describe the book as being about “a girl who wants to be a monster, and a monster who wants to be human”. The plot is definitely deeper than that, and whilst the story has a strong plot that it follows, I felt that the characters were developed well, and the story almost felt more character-driven than plot-driven.
This book has no romance. None. In saying that, there is definitely the potential for a romance between Kate and August in later books, not that I’d mind, but it was refreshing to read about a strictly platonic relationship between the protagonists.
Without giving too much away, I will just commend Victoria on the plot twists in this book; they were perfectly timed, and not really hinted at throughout, so they definitely shocked me.
The world-building, while heavy and slow at the beginning, was really well done, and by the end of the book I felt really comfortable in this world. The descriptions were dark, gritty and perfect for the darker feel of the book, and I enjoyed them. Overall, the writing had great pacing and flowed well, and the second half of the book just flew past.
This is my first venture into Victoria Schwab’s work (even though I own everything she’s written) and I can’t wait to dive into more. Definitely a book to check out.
- No romance, like at all. Yay for something new/refreshing!!
- Well-developed, interesting main characters.
- Fantastic, flowy writing that was super easy to read and enjoy.
- August is a precious cinnamon roll, and Kate is a kick-ass no-nonsense chick. Awesome.
- Interesting insights into what makes us human, into morality and how our actions have consequences.
- It has a cliff-hanger style ending that makes me crave the next book (like, NOW)
- The beginning was a littttle bit slow due to the info dumps (but those do pay off in the end, so push through if you’re struggling).
No spoilery stuff today, I’m afraid. But message me @sophreadsbooks on Twitter if you want to chat.
That’s all for now,