Book Review

This Savage Song

This Savage Song

  • Author: Victoria Schwab
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publication Date: June 5, 2016
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books
  • Series: Monsters of Verity #1

TRIGGER WARNING: arson, gore, death of a parent, suicide, murder

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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?

Welcome to the future — it’s a post-apocalyptic version of the United States that’s broken into large cities that rule themselves in varying states of lawlessness. The story takes place in Verity, one of the major cities that’s held together by a tenuous truce between two ruling families, the Harkers and the Flynns.

“Twelve years since the Phenomenon, when violence started taking shape, and V-City fell apart. Six years since the truce that put it back together, not as one city, but two.”

The story centers around two morally gray characters: Kate, who is human but strives to behave like a monster, and August, who is a monster that strives to be human. They are both driven by the desire to please their parents, while fighting against factors beyond their control. 

Verity in itself is a dangerous place to be. It’s populated by humans, but also by three types of monsters:

“Corsai fed on flesh and bone, Malchai on blood, and whose it was meant nothing to them. But the Sunai could feed only on sinners. That’s what set them apart.”

Kate and August cross paths, and quickly become involved in a situation that only they can see the truth of. And they are the only ones that they can solve. 

The book was fast-paced and I loved the story. It was unique and intriguing right from the start. It’s told from the POV of both Kate and August, and the voice of both characters are so different that I never struggled with figuring out who was speaking. The plot twists were shocking and completely unexpected. I definitely appreciated that the book ended with a definite sense of closure, while also leaving me with the sense that there’s plenty more to the story. I’m looking forward to reading the final book in this duology to see where this story goes. 

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 15

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