Title: This Savage Song
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Author: Victoria Schwab
My rating: 5 hearts
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pub. date: July 5th 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
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. (synopsis from Goodreads)
I absolutely loved this book. There are no words. I read this for an English assignment, and I should get some sort of medal for not finishing it the day I started, for actually being able to draw it out for a week. I didn’t know I had that kind of self-control. But anyway, back to the book. I already knew Schwab was great at transporting you into another world, but this was incredible. The world was so intricately built, and the characters were absolutely great. I loved reading about Kat and August, and honestly, the monsters of this story are terrifying and certainly different from anything I’ve read before.
Kat is awesome!
You all know how much I love badass characters, and Kat is nothing if not that. She is stubborn, and never gives up – when she wants something, she will fight until she gets it. And I think her want to be someone her father can be proud of is something everyone can relate to one way or the other, and this is what made her so great. Kat is this totally badass, stubborn girl who always gets what she wants and refuses to hear the word ‘no’, but she has weaknesses, too. In the end, she just wants her father’s approval like everyone else – which makes her really relatable. But it doesn’t make her weak.
I love August!
As awesome as Kat is, August was even better. There is just something about him that reaches into my chest and squeezes my heart every single time I read about him. His struggles, his hopes and dreams, everything about him just touched something in me, and I can’t put my finger on it. He’s just one of those characters that you read about that leaves a trace, that you just know you won’t forget. I really just want to take him and hide him from the horrible world and protect him from everything.
World-building to die for.
The world-building is exquisite. Schwab just has a way with words, that just catches your attention and keeps you stuck. Despite the relatively slow start, the slow introduction into the world, it was amazing. Honestly, the slow start only added to the plot, made the build-up so incredible and absolutely heart-stopping. I don’t even know how she does it, but the author does world-building in such an amazing way that the world feels very real.
The plot is great!
As I mentioned, the start is pretty slow, and most of the action happens in the last third of the book. I honestly have mixed feeling about it; on one hand, it added to the mood of the book, but on the other hand, I think maybe the start could’ve been a bit better. The problem isn’t big enough to lower my rating, it didn’t really bother me that much, but it’s still worth mentioning, because if you want action from page one, maybe this isn’t the book for you. But I loved it regardless; the mood of the book makes it just as intense.
I have to say something about the monsters.
The monsters in this book are amazing. They’re absolutely terrifying and probably a lot of people’s nightmares. Reading about the same old monsters, vampires, werewolves, ghosts or whatever, after a while, it just stops being as scary. These monsters hit a bit closer to home. Honestly, Schwab is a genius who bases her monsters off of humanity’s crimes. I think with everything that’s going on in the world right now, this book just… really works. No matter if you love it or hate it, you won’t forget it.
And another thing I loved about the monsters was that things weren’t just black and white. August is a monster – a Sunai who can take people’s souls – but he can only take bad people’s souls, and he isn’t bad. August is anything but that.
If I haven’t convinced you to read it yet… read it!