This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab
Published: July 5th, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Science Fiction, Paranormal
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.
I think it’s time for me and everyone to accept that Victoria can do no wrong. She will always create 5-star stories for me. At this point, I don’t even need to review her stories anymore (but I still will because the world needs to know her stories). This was a dystopian type of novel done so right. Verity is a territory among 10 territories with a North City and South City. The South was chaos and The North was order. It was a place where monsters (Corsai, Malchai, & Sunai) walked among humans.
“It would disturb the illusion of normalcy, of safety – and that’s what people are paying for.”
The North is run by Harker and The South is run by Flynn. Both men have vastly different ways of dealing with the monsters. I don’t want to really give huge spoilers but, what I will say is nowhere in Verity is truly safe. The North is a place where you can pay for safety and live a privileged life of believing there is no bad in the world. They got away with bad things as long as they had enough cash. The South had to live fighting for their lives every day with the help of Flynn and the FTF. So many dystopian novels all start to feel like the same formula but not This Savage Song. This story took that formula and added extra sparks to it and made something magical.
“Monsters, monsters, big and small, They’re gonna come and eat you all.”
1) The Protagonists & Antagonists
Kate & August were such a dope unlikely duo. I really enjoyed that they were similar to partners in crime (minus the crime lol). I enjoyed that this story had no romance either because in this story it really would not have fit especially with the pace. A romance would’ve felt out of place and making out doesn’t exactly fit in your schedule when you’re running for your life.
“I know, she said, fighting to be the right Kate, the one she wanted to be around him, the one who deserved to be around him.”
Kate was bad ass and I loved that she was actually a female character to live by her threats. She was still human and struggled with the issue of her trash dad and home not really being home but she did what she had to do to survive. I loved the growth in her from a girl trying to please her father to becoming her own person and being who she needed to be for HERSELF and no one else.
“You also live. You don’t spend every day wondering why you exist, but you don’t feel real, why you look human, but can’t be. You don’t do everything you can to be a good person only to have it constantly thrown in your face that you’re not a person at all.”
August was a rare Sunai who was born out of the death of 12-year-old boys. He struggles with wanting peace in the midst of a war brewing. His relationship with his family was beautiful also. He wants to be human and not a monster. He doesn’t want to feed or go dark. I love August and when he finally accepts who he is and does what needs to be done I love it. He is a monster but he is not monstrous.
I also liked the antagonists Sloan (a Malchai) and Leo (a Sunai). I hated them (which I am sure we were supposed to) but, they were great bad guys. I suspected some things but that plot twist literally left my jaw on the floor.
2) Verity & The Monsters
The world building Schwab did was awesome. I always can picture her worlds vividly and Verity was no different. I could see the rough looking building and darkness of The South, the rich and beauty of The North, and the evil and scum of the barren waste. One of my favorite aspects of this world was the monsters. It was so fun figuring out and learning what kind they were and the history of each especially when August talks about the Sunai since they’re so rare.
“Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw, Shadow and bone will eat you raw. Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly, Smile and bite and drink you dry. Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal, Sing you a song and steal your soul.”
3) The Storytelling & Writing
The story was exceptionally unique as I mentioned before. I really love how it was presented to us. We don’t learn everything all at once or have to deal with 20 chapters of explanation before we finally get the plot to unfold. We get the history of the monsters and Verity throughout (I love the history class lesson on pages 125-128) the plot and it makes the story more interesting. I always mention her writing style so I won’t rave about that since you all know how much I love it. So, all I will say is that her writing is always captivating, intriguing, and beautiful. AND THE ENDING WHAT THE HELL SCHWAB!!!!
4) The Pace of the Story
Lastly, the pace of this story was phenomenal. This could’ve easily been a slow dragging dystopian novel but it wasn’t. From page one to the last page the story is constantly moving. It goes especially wild when August and Kate are on the run for their lives. There was never a dull moment and I felt like I was watching a movie and the characters were in a race against time. I think I had three heart attacks and was on the verge of having an ulcer.
“There would be time to call the music. Time to summon the souls.”
This will be the last time I say there is no what I didn’t section when it comes to Victoria because she writes amazing and I love her stories immensely. I hope you enjoyed this review and the story if you read it. If you have read it what did you think?