Friday, October 27, 2017

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Title: This Savage Song
Series: Monsters of Verity #1 
Author: Victoria Schwab 
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Format: Hardback

Page Count: 464


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. (taken from

"Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,
Sing you a song and steal your soul."

I finally read this one, you guys! I've been meaning to give it a shot for over a year now, and I did it. Boy, is it a fun ride. Let me tell you a little bit about this Romeo and Juliet-esque supernatural tale. 

A city divided, two houses pitted against each other, we've heard it all before. However, you probably haven't heard the version with dark creatures and things that go bump in the night. Kate Harker is the daughter of a famous man who has established a territory within V-City that is safe from monsters, if you're willing to pay his price. August comes from across the border (literally) and resides with a family who battles monsters instead of asking for money. The two were never supposed to meet, seeing as their families are sworn enemies held at bay only by a weak truce. When they do, a whole world of trouble ensues. 

I have heard people compare this series to Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments, and I can kind of see how people might draw that conclusion. Witty characters, lots of bad-ass monster fighting scenes, and of course supernatural creatures with snarky comments and devious plots. Still, I do see differences. Schwab's world definitely feels darker, and she crafts an interesting political situation in which leaders are elected based on their plans for dealing with dangerous creatures. 

August, bless his heart, is my favorite character, and not just because he's a beautiful guy with a sweet soul. I loved learning about his Sunai abilities, as well as those of his brother and sister. Without their unique personalities and powers, I don't think I would have found this story nearly as interesting. Kate is fun with her sassy comments and confidence, but she definitely wouldn't have helped this book earn a four-star rating without the other more interesting characters. 

I love how so many of Schwab's characters walk that fine line between good and evil. It makes her story (and characters) so much more complex. There are no good guys and bad guys, only those who try to do what's best and those who do not. I was intrigued by all of the monsters, including the human ones.

Schwab clearly has a talent for storytelling, and I'm now excited to pick up some of her other popular novels, as well as this book's sequel. If you're looking for a story with some violence, a dash of romance, and lots of monsters, then I highly recommend giving this one a shot. Its intriguing premise, coupled with interesting characters and creatures, make for a worthwhile read.