Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Book Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Posted on 09/06/2016 in Book Review / 3 Comments

Book Review: This Savage Song by Victoria SchwabThis Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Victoria Schwab
Published by Greenwillow Books on July 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 464
Format: Hardcover
Source: Book Subscription Box
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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.\r\n\r\nKate 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.\r\n


“Even if surviving wasn’t simple, or easy, or fair. Even if he could never be human. He wanted the chance to matter. He wanted to live.”

  This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab was the selection in the July OwlCrate. And also the July Uppercase Box. Duplicates again! I hadn’t previously read anything by the author, but it sounded like a book that I would’ve purchased for myself, so I was excited to read it.   The premise is fascinating: in a post-apocalyptic city where humans have become so violent, terrible crimes physically create monsters. Different types of violence create three kinds of monsters: Corsai, Malchai, and the most feared of all, Sunai. The city is divided between those who pay for protection and those who want to fight to protect it, and everyone fears that the peace that has been hanging by a thread is about to come crashing to an end.   Unfortunately, I didn’t find the story nearly as interesting as the premise. Both of the main characters fell a little flat for me, and I didn’t really connect with either of them. Kate has daddy issues: she wants to prove to her father that she can be as ruthless as he is, and she will stop at nothing to get his approval. August is a monster. He is one of the rare and dreaded Sunai, born of the most violent acts of all. He struggles against his nature, and wants to be a helpful part of his father’s revolution. He longs to play his violin and not hurt anyone in the process. In theory, he should’ve been an intriguing character, but I found him to be a little dull. I felt like there were a lot of potential for more. That thought continued throughout the book, not just with his character.   I really, really liked the no-romance aspect of the story. Kate and August have a connection, but there’s no blossoming love, and even better, no insta-love or love triangles. I would’ve liked more world-building, more details about the bleak and violent city of Verity. I also would’ve liked more of August’s sister, Ilsa. There were a couple of twists, but nothing that really surprised me or held me in suspense. I never had that “can’t-stop-reading-must-find-out-what-happens” feeling. While the writing didn’t evoke strong emotions from me, I did think that some of the phrasing was really beautiful.   This was the first of two books in the Monsters of Verity series. I’m hopeful that the second book will hold more adventure, more insights, and give these two characters some depth. The potential is there, and I hope that it’s fully realized.  

“He wasn’t made of flesh and bone, or starlight. He was made of darkness.”