Saturday, September 17, 2016

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 464
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Genre: Fantasy

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. 

Review:  It began with a bang.  Or, more accurately, burning a church down.  This Savage Song is a strange, twisted tale in a city overrun by monsters.  Needless to say, I loved every second of it.

Imagine a world where violence breeds literal monsters.  That is the unique, intriguing spin that Victoria Schwab presents you in all its vicious glory. a hinted at dystopian America, which admittedly isn't as original an idea.  Frankly, the dystopian aspects detract slightly from the running from monsters part.  

It doesn't matter if you're monster or human. Living hurts.

The start is a confusing rush with vague references to monster types and a brewing war.  There isn't a structured plot until the end of the book, but the rest, while not necessarily focused, is a delight of demons chasing demons.  Every page is packed with action, if a bit predictable.  There's not much that sets This Savage Song apart from the crowd (other than the monsters--seriously, that is a clever idea), but nevertheless, it is a compelling story that you cannot help but connect with.

Victoria Schwab has this effortless way of writing.  Her words aren't too forced or flashy. It is precisely what it needs to be, nothing less and nothing more, telling the story as it is without any gimmicks or overdrawn metaphors.  

For a book overflowing with monsters, there are some surprisingly likable, human characters.  Even the monsters themselves are never quite as monstrous as the people are.  The side characters never seem unimportant or only useful to die.  There's no epic romance, but an equally epic friendship.  

The beautiful thing about books was that anyone could open them.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are on opposite sides of a war.  As can be expected, that causes a few bumps along the way--oh, and maybe because August also happens to be the rarest kind of monster.  He's conflicted and kind, possessing more humanity than half the humans.  Kate is nearly the opposite: a person wearing a monster's mask, but never quite fitting her role.  She's whole and real, and her motives are as authentic as they are misguided.  

Victoria Schwab never fails to deliver a captivating story with a certain amount of finesse, and This Savage Song is no exception.  Now all that's left to do is wait anxiously for the sequel.  


  1. Does Victoria Schwab ever disappoint?? I've only ever read one book by her - but it blew me away! Glad to hear that this one was pretty good for you! :)

    1. She definitely hasn't yet! Which of hers did you read? You should read the rest of hers, they won't disappoint. Thanks for commenting, Geraldine!

  2. I seriously need to pick up a book by Schwab. Everyone raves. One day I swear! Lovely review!

    1. You really need to! Her books, all of them, are fantastic. Thanks for commenting, Grace!