Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on July 5, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Kindle eBook
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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 acclaimed 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, This Savage Song is a must-have for fans of Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Laini Taylor.
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. In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab creates a gritty, seething metropolis, one worthy of being compared to Gotham and to the four versions of London in her critically acclaimed fantasy for adults, A Darker Shade of Magic. Her heroes will face monsters intent on destroying them from every side—including the monsters within.
Two archenemies learn to trust each other in this young adult dystopian fantasy. Let’s dig in.
This book had some really wonderful main characters. Their archetypes are not new to the genre – the tough girl and her “monster” counterpart. However, their personalities felt unique and their arcs ended in a satisfying way. I enjoyed their burgeoning friendship. I could see the second book in the series taking their relationship romantic, but in this novel no romance brews between them. I LOVED the author putting them in dangerous situations, and it actually being dangerous. Usually main characters are placed in dire circumstances, yet escape it at the last second. Not this book. You will feel every painful hit, emotionally and physically, Kate and August receive.
If I loved the characters so much, why am I only giving it three stars? Reasons – world building and pacing. The beginning of the novel is so…very…slow. Honestly, it didn’t actually get interesting until 58% into the book. That means over 50% of the book is buildup. In regards to the buildup, the book need better world-building. I found myself really confused about the actual setting of Verity – the layout of the city, the different types of monsters, and the history behind the setting. I don’t need everything explained, but the world-building seemed very jumbled.
This book felt very uneven, but I do plan on checking out the next in the series.
tl;dr Great characters, slow pacing, and jumbled world-building.