I knew as soon as I finished Shades of Magic I’d be binging Victoria Schwab’s backlist of books. Everything about Shades of Magic was so epic, so exciting and original, I knew it wasn’t a fluke. I also knew that the next series I wanted to try was Monsters in Verity. Look at it! It’s gorgeous! The synopsis has everything. It’s dark. It’s spooky. It’s about monsters! It’s even kind of black and orange!
It’s perfect for HALLOWEEN!
It’s my 2017 Halloween Monster Review!
About the Book: 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.
Monsters in Verity #1
Greenwillow Books | July 5th, 2017
This Savage Song was exactly what I expected. Total awesomeness! It was as dark and as beautiful as I anticipated, with a monster who should be hero, and a heroine who doesn’t want to be. It was another brilliant and original world unlike anything else I’ve ever read. It’s a world that turns beautiful music into a deadly weapon, and shows a monster can be gentle.
“He wasn’t made of flesh and bone, or starlight.
He was made of darkness.”
August Flynn and Kate Harker are on opposite sides of V-City, a town called Verity that’s been overrun with monsters. There’s an uneasy truce between their fathers, forged after years of war, clinging by a thread just waiting for any reason to ignite again. August, one of the monsters, wants only to be human and as kind and wonderful as his adoptive father. Kate, who was born gentle, has forced herself to become dark and wicked to prove she’s strong. Right away I felt a low level of anxiety ignite inside when we’re introduced to these characters. We know how important it is that August feed, even when he doesn’t want to. We sense Kate isn’t who she was supposed to be, and we just want her to come back over on our side of the line. We know Kate meeting August could mean disaster.
Instead it doesn’t. Kate and August feel a connection right from the beginning. They recognize how they are both lost in their own ways, and being forced to protect each other only strengthens that bond. What they have between them is better than romance. It’s friendship. Part of me hopes it stays that way even in the next book. It’s so rare we read a book without a romantic connection, and friendship is just as important.
I can’t even say it was their relationship that was the strength of This Savage Song because it really wasn’t. It was only one facet of why I loved this book so darn much. Even if they’d never met, or hated each other, I still would have devoured every word. It was in the landscape. It was in the creation of the Corsai, the Malchai and the Sunai. It was in the opposition between Henry Flynn and Callum Harker, one man good and the other evil. It was the beauty inside August, and the fire inside Kate. They were both fantastically written, but I frequently like male characters in fiction. I was extra impressed with Kate. I’ll tell you right now, VE Schwab sure knows how to write women! Even human, Kate was a reckoning.
This Savage Song was one of those books where I figured out what was going to happen before it did, but it was also one of those books where I just didn’t care. Figuring out that twist didn’t even compare to what came before and what came after. It was absolutely excellent, and I can’t wait until I can read Our Dark Duet and be with these characters again.
“That’s what he told himself, over and over and over until he believed it, because truth wasn’t the same thing as fact.
It was personal.”
I need to finish the Darker Shade of Magic series. I loved the first book. Her writing is so fantastic and I want to read all of her other books as well. I will definitely be starting with This Savage Song. Great review!
Thanks so much! Savage Song was so much darker than Shades of Magic, I thought. But that was almost good, because there was no way to compare them. 🙂
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This Savage Song was great! I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. While it took me a while to like Kate’s character (I didn’t like her at first, though I really like her character development), I liked August really fast. For me, their friendship was one of the best parts of the book. While I wish the world Building was elaborated on more, I understand why it wasn’t. I also really liked the writing; it was beautiful. And while I also some the twists coming, it didn’t feel cliche or lose suspense, which was impressive.
Yes, perfectly said. It never felt cliche even if I could see what was coming. It more like nervous anticipation.
I actually did like Kate from the beginning, but I think it’s because I’m more drawn to the morally ambiguous characters. I think in a way that’s why I liked August right away too. I loved the idea that Kate started out a sweet and gentle kid, and forced herself to darken. And that August was born a monster, but wanted to be a kind human. It made both of them so interesting to me.
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It embodied that Alfred Hitchcock quote, about knowing what’s going to happen is worse than not knowing.
For me, I just felt like she was a tad over the top at some points, mainly with the scene in the bathroom where she drew a knife on that girl and said she was worse than her father…that part made me think, “Really? How are you worse than your father?” I dunno. I like morally ambiguous characters too, but stuff like that just feels over the top for me.
I really like your idea, that Kate started out sweet and forced herself to harden, and August started as a monster but wanted to be human. That’s good phrasing.
That’s true, that scene was a bit over the top. I don’t think it was true though, I think she was just trying to be worse than anyone at school and using his reputation. It was a little much though.
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I get that, but I just found it to be a bit much. Maybe cornering her and threatening her would make sense. But pulling out a knife and saying she’s worse than her dad (even if she really didn’t mean it)? I could understand using his reputation, but that was overboard.
Yeah, it was. Like she was just trying to hard.
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[…] Storm and Silence is probably one of my favorite romantic series. There’s something in the banter between Lily and Ambrose that keeps me salivating for more. Silence is Golden really upped the passion and has me hungry for the last book. Guarantee that book four will be on next years Best of the Best list too! (My Review) […]