Book: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity 1) by V.E. Schwab
Release Date: June 7th 2016
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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.
This Savage Song is an easy read. I flew through it. But while I enjoyed reading this book, I can’t quite say that I was impressed by this book. I’m actually a bit disappointed by the book. I had higher expectations about certain parts of the story.
I love the idea of this book with the monsters and the divided city. However I did not love the execution. I wanted to read about this world with monsters and how they came to be. And I thought how these monsters were created was rather interesting. But that one of the monster species was under control of a human did not appeal to me as much. Also this is called the savage song. I get the song part and I sort of get the savage part. But I expected there to be more savageness throughout the story. But with these characters it was mostly just bits and pieces or afterwards that we heard things. Maybe I was just expecting more blood and gore? More grittiness I suppose.
Plot wise there was no surprise. One of the things that is mentioned in the synopsis doesn’t happen until after the halfway point so it takes out a lot of surprise elements. You know that is where this is working towards. And what happens afterwards wasn’t surprising either. With themes like good vs evil and so on I expected some switching of sides, especially with the nature of these characters. There was no surprise in who it was because there was no subtly in these characters.
Regardless I did really love August and his personality. And while his struggle and the ending with it wasn’t surprising I still enjoyed seeing it within him. Kate isn’t a bad character but I have no emotional reaction despite her back story. I guess she had up such a wall to be seen as tough (which reminds me of someone in ADSOM) that this wall was also up like that towards us as readers when we read her point of view.
When it comes to the interactions between the characters I missed the snappy and bondy connection that I’ve seen in Victoria Schwab’s other books. And I missed it. I needed my snark. Relationships like August with Leo. I couldn’t feel their connection. Leo was so freaking cold that it was hard to imagine there being any real brother connection. August and Isa brother sister relationship was more real but still very superficial I felt.
So a great idea, but I could not get into the execution. I also expected more in the character relationships as this is a Victoria Schwab book.