This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
A Book Dutchesses Review
I have to say that I’m a big fan of romance in a book, but it’s refreshing at times to read a book with a strong friendship. Nothing more, nothing less. This Savage Song is a good example of that type of book. This is a really unique read and I’m mad at myself for taking so long to get to it!
About The Book
This Savage Song is the first book in the Monsters of Verity duology. 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.
I have the UK paperbacks and I love how they look!! So simple yet very beautiful. I think I like them better than the other edition.
“She cracked a smile. “So what’s your poison?”
He sighed dramatically, and let the truth tumble off his tongue. “Life.”
“Ah,” she said ruefully. “That’ll kill you.”
A lot of people say this book is slow, but I have to disagree. The pace is pretty slow to start, but I think we needed it to truly understand this world. It starts off with Kate getting herself kicked out of another boarding school and trying to get to stay home. August, who isn’t human, wants to be as human as possible and gets to go to high school. That is where their worlds combine. Both are interested in the other. August knows who Kate is, because he has to keep an eye on her. Things get tricky when a murder is staged at school. In this world, August and Kate’s family are on opposite sides of the war. They live in a world with actual monsters. Kate’s family runs her side of town. People buy their safety. August is a monster. He is a Suani. He was brought to life by tragedy. If he plays his violin he can take someone’s soul if they have sinned. This is such an unique story. First of all, I love that there wasn’t a romantic aspect in the story. A friendship was a breath of fresh air. Not that I don’t like romance, I read enough of them, but it was a nice change.
Most YA books these days have some sort of romantic element. When they are both set up at school, I love how they have to either learn to trust each other or work against each other. It was nice to see them choose to help the other, even if it may cost them in big ways. The world Schwartz created with their own monsters in a dystopian setting was very unique. There was a lot of action, but also a lot of emotions. Schwab made me care for these characters and wrote in a way that made me not want to put the book down. This story was told from Kate’s and August’s POV and that made the world more real to me. On one side there was a family who cared for each other and Kate’s family, where she was trying her best to be loved and still didn’t get the love she craved. While this book ends without a major cliffhanger, I wanted to pick up the next one immediately. The only thing that would’ve made this book even better is if we got more background on Suani. A monster that rises from tragedy is so interesting. All in all, this is an amazing book that I would highly recommend! This Savage Song was also a book with a few plot twists I did not see coming.
“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.”
Kate is a character that has been to many boarding schools and seems to always cause trouble. At first she really annoyed me. I honestly didn’t think I would grow to care for her, but after reading more I understood why she did what she did. All she wanted was to live at home with her father. Her mother is dead and she just wanted more love and security. I felt bad for her. She just wanted to prove to her father she belonged. He just didn’t care. No matter what she did. Kate is a lot stronger than she thinks and in the end she learned she needs to fight for what she believes in. Even though she isn’t sure what that is. Even being close with August is difficult, because she is supposed to see him as a monster and letting anyone in is hard for her. Yet she is able to let herself be vulnerable for him and that was an amazing thing to see.
August is a character that I was curious about from the first pages I read about him. A monster who wishes nothing more than to be human. Who doesn’t want to take a life to be able to feed, even if that person isn’t the nicest one around. August wants to belong to his family. Just existing after tragedy struck is still a hard thing for him to believe. He became even sweeter to me when he took the cat home after feeding. I thought that was so cute. He is very much human in the emotional sense. He does what he needs to do in the end to keep Kate safe and I thought he was very big of him. He sacrificed a lot. Another interesting aspect are the markings he gets after not going dark everyday.
Kate’s Dad and Sloan are characters I didn’t like from the start. There was just something about them. I knew he wasn’t a nice person, but to not even show love to your own daughter is just wrong.
August’s family all seemed sweet except for Leo. There is just something about him that didn’t appeal to me. I guess he embraced being a monster. Ilsa was a character I wish we saw more of. She seemed really interesting. She seemed to live in her own world at times and I am sure she has a darker side we haven’t seen anything about. It seems like she knows more than she lets on.
“Why would you even want to be human? We’re fragile. We die.”
“You also live. You don’t spend every day wondering why you exist, but don’t feel real, why you look human, but can’t be. You don’t do everything you can to be a good person only to have it constantly thrown in your face that you’re not a person at all.”
Why didn’t I start these sooner?!? Have any of you read This Savage Song? What did you think?