This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publication: July 5th, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Format: Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Read: July 2016
There’s no such thing as safe.
Kate Harker wants to be as ruthless as her father. After five years and six boarding schools, she’s finally going home to prove that she can be.
August Flynn wants to be human. But he isn’t. He’s a monster, one that can steal souls with a song. He’s one of the three most powerful monsters in a city overrun with them. His own father’s secret weapon.
Their city is divided.
Their city is crumbling.
Kate and August are the only two who see both sides, the only two who could do something.
But how do you decide to be a hero or a villain when it’s hard to tell which is which?
Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
The first part of this books was slow. It felt more like a build up or introduction into the world which didn’t really bother me. Once you get to the second half, it definitely picks up and gets full of action. There are so many twists and turns and a crazy that sets up the course for the next book. The world building is slow but deep, I had an easy time understanding it but some people don’t. This book doesn’t have romance but it deals with friendship, self-discovery and acceptance of oneself.
Writing Style – 5 out of 5 stars
You guys know that this lady is one of my favorite authors of all time, so it should come as no surprise that I love her writing style. The way she crafts her stories is always deliberate and precise. It’s descriptive and detailed and it has a certain atmosphere while you read that lends to the creepiness and the mystery of the plot. It’s intense and powerful and lyrical and just plain creepy. I loved it.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I love the way Victoria writes characters but I have to say that I didn’t fall in love with the ones in this book as much as I wanted to. There are two main characters in this book, August and Kate, and I definitely connected with one more than the other. August won me over pretty quickly. He’s really sensitive and sweet. He has an earnest personality and he really wants to be a part of his family and to do good in the world, even if he’s a monster. He’s adorable but at the same time powerful and I loved his determination and strength. Kate on the other hand is a little more rough around the edges. She tended to annoy me a bit more because of her motivations and the reasons she did what she did because I didn’t agree with them. She’s snarky and tough which I usually like but it was almost like a mask to push people away. She was putting up a front and it felt like she was trying too hard to be badass which is kind of annoying. But slowly but surely, I started to feel for her and her situation though I don’t love her as much as I love August. The side characters are all complex and intriguing. There are a lot of them, not including the myriad of monsters that are overriding this poor city and yet I felt like some of them didn’t have enough exposure. I’m sure this will be rectified in the next book.
I don’t think I could ever be disappointed by anything that Victoria writes. And if it ever happens, prepare for a huge depression. But luckily, that’s not the case this time!
The plot is intense. We follow two different perspectives in a world riddle with monsters that arise from random acts of human violence. Kate is a young girl who is determined to prove to her father that she can handle monsters and be monstrous herself if need be. August is a monster who wants nothing more than to live and feel alive, like a human. I quickly fell in love with this crazy, complex world. I read this as part of the monthly book club which I am part of and while my buddy readers had trouble really imagining the world and the way the characters are formed, I picked it up really quickly. I think it’s such an imaginative and powerful yet subtle way to criticize violence and the way it warps our lives and the way we see the world. The plot is centered around this push and pull relationship between the two sides of the city. The push and pull of what a person desires and what they actually have. The push and pull between monsters and humans who all want power and control. And how everything ends up getting flipped on it’s head when they get tired of a truce and two teenagers end up right smack in the middle of it. It’s gritty and violent and honest and intense and powerful. The first part of the book was slow and was mostly used to build up this amazing world. And it took awhile for things to build up but the second half was action packed and intense. Things took a turn for the crazy and I was on the edge of my seat wondering where everything would end up. And while that was an awesome ride, this book is mostly about the characters.
August is so easy to love. I connected with him so quickly and with so many different facets of his personality. I connected with his vulnerability and with his desire to be good and to do good and to help. I connected with his frustration over his existence, with how he really didn’t understand his purpose. He is, as my book club says, a beautiful cinnamon who needs to be protected. And yet his growth is astounding. He’s such a quiet and tender soul but he comes to learn some truths about his life and what he’s meant to do and takes them in with such grace and determination. I loved reading his perspective.
Kate on the other hand started off by really annoying me. She’s this tough chick who does what she wants and takes no prisoners but it’s all just a big facade. On the inside she’s just a girl who wants acceptance and love from her father, who’s never given that to her before. That innate desire in her really bothered me because her father definitely did not deserve her attention but she also has excellent character growth throughout the novel. While August is the sweeter of the two, I think that Kate has the most harsh truths to learn about the two of them and their effects on her are intense and powerful.
I wanted to mention the side characters really quickly. Kate’s father is gross and I hate him. August’s siblings are both intense and complex in totally different ways. And there are quite a few prominent monsters that I really want to know what is going to happen with them next.
Overall, I am completely and totally in love with the way this woman crafts a story. The plot started off pretty slow but the second half was action packed and intense with a slightly open ending. The main characters caused polarizing feelings in me but they both ended up winning me over and I can’t wait to see how their story ends. OH! And isn’t it awesome how this book has no romance? Yeah, it’s awesome.
So that’s it for this review! If I haven’t convinced you to read a Schwab book yet, I am doing something wrong. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this book and what your thoughts were. Let me know what you think of my thoughts. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!