Monday, July 11, 2016

Book Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Title: This Savage Song
Series: Monsters of Verity
Written by: Victoria Schwab
Published: July 5, 2016 by Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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'm not at all sure that I can write any kind of coherent review for this book. I don't think I can express my thoughts for it with anything besides expletives and the phrase "wow, this was so good" over and over again. But let's try, shall we?

I couldn't wait to read this book. It would have wanted to read it just based on the synopsis, I mean a dark fantasy with literal monsters and warring families. On top of that however, it's written by an auto-buy author who has not disappointed me yet and didn't disappoint me now. This was exactly what I hoped it would. A dark fantasy with a violent world, great and complex characters, and a thrilling plot.

First let's talk about the world of this book. Verity is definitely and dark, compelling world and setting. It's a little dystopian with the struggle for power between two different families and a fragile truce that attempts to protect people from things far worse. It's a little fantasy with a world full of literal monsters. It has dark and blood-thirsty creatures that are created from violent act. It's a fascinating concept and is expertly handled by Victoria's brilliant world-building. It's subtle and we learn more about them as we see the monster's in action. It was a great springboard for a story that is just as dark and violent as it's setting.

Because yes, this is a book with dark and violent plot development. Most notably because of the monsters. Wow, seeing them do their thing was violent and so badass. I kind of feel like a bad person saying this, but I loved seeing the monsters in action. It made for such a great story. Plus there is a ton of action and suspense throughout the book including fight scenes, narrow escapes, and more than one moment that had me nervously fearing what was going to happen next and what the consequences would be down the line. It even had a little bit of mystery and a twist that caught me by surprise. And yes, there was a lot of exposition in the beginning but then it suddenly went from 0 to 60 and I was hooked. Then it gets to the climax and wow, that was one hell of a big finish. When it was all said and done I was left totally in enthralled, reeling, and anxiously awaiting what will happen next. But what I liked is that it did actually finish, it's one of the things I love about Victoria Schwab. She writes a first book in a series with a great ending that leaves you wanting more.

But This Savage Song is a surprisingly character-driven read. Part of what made the monsters so compelling is the fact that it played with the idea of what it means to be a monster, why people do bad things and the consequences of those actions. It was all about the main characters figuring who they wanted to be within those constructs of humans and monsters. It of course then played with the ideas of good and evil. But the best part is that it did it from both an internal and external perspective. It wasn't just about society's evil or your person actions that may be good or evil, it dealt with both. This of course made for a ton of conflict and great characters.

And speaking of those characters, they were complex and likable. August Flynn is a monster and doesn't want to be. He's fighting his violent urges and his true nature. I couldn't help but sympathize with him and want him to succeed in that fight. Kate Hacker wants to be a monster, or a least a very violent human who controls them. She's badass and could easily become a femme fatal caricature but she's surprisingly complex. The two are very different and yet they find common ground and make a great team. Plus they also both have great development throughout the book which is the heart of the story and gave me an emotional gut punch when the book ended. I'm always a fan of Victoria's characterzation and I think she did a great job here by creating characters that were well-rounded, likable, and engaging.

On the whole This Savage Song is seriously another brilliant book by Victoria Schwab who is an auto-buy author for a reason. It's a violent and dark read with a thrilling plot, great characters, and a compelling world. I loved it so much and now I cannot wait to find out what happens in the next book.

I give This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab 10 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY! Absolutely buy this book. Victoria Schwab has written an amazing and dark YA fantasy with characters that you will fall in love with and feel things when their stories end. It is a thrilling read that will leave you reeling, and a world that leave you wanting more. READ IT!

Have you read This Savage Song? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I so neeeeed to start reading this one already!!

  2. Replies
    1. Oops I meant to type more before I pressed publish lol.. The twist! Are we thinking of the same one?!? I hope so because I was so surprised too! Like "ahhh that's a good one!" ;)

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