Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
Published: June 13th, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal
THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY. KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it. AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost. THE WAR HAS BEGUN. THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING. Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons. Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?
“Monsters,” he said slowly, “all want the same thing: to feed. They are united by that common goal, while you are all divided by your morals and your pride. What do I think? I think that if you cannot come together, you cannot win.”
This story hurt me in a good and bad way. It’s the first book in a long time that made me cry. I was up at 9 in the morning with tears in my eyes. Schwab just continues to amaze me that she can write these stories that completely enthrall me. Every book hurts in the best way and I don’t know why I am still surprised at this point by her. I guess I am just not understanding how she does it and I pray she never stops. We are introduced to new characters (some gone too soon and old characters went too soon) and new monsters that entranced me. We got many of the oldies that we know and love and they’re just as wonderful as before. We saw August & Kate’s inner battles and their fights on the outside as well as inside.
“Doesn’t do much good,” she said, “to fear one kind of death and not another.”
There was never a dull moment in this story. From page one we hit the ground running. So much was happening but I kept up with everything. The writing is still as whimsical and profound as ever. The ending really left me speechless I wasn’t expecting it at all. Sometimes we read books and want them to all be perfect endings. We don’t want to face the harshness of reality. We expect our favorite characters to outlast anything but the reality is it can’t always be so. I loved the book regardless and encourage all to read it.
“People were messy. They were defined not only by what they’d done, but by what they would have done, under different circumstances, molded as much by their regrets as their actions, choices they stood by and those they wished they could undo. Of course, there was no going back—time only moved forward—but people could change. For worse. And for better.”
1) Old & New Characters
“The freedom was so shocking that he lost himself in the violence. He became an instrument of ending.”
Kate was still the perfect bad ass yet we saw a deeper side to her especially when she let people in and looked forward to simple contact. August became what he felt the humans needed and went deeper into himself as he battled between letting go like Leo and being who he is. When they were finally together it was like old times yet so much had happened. Kate becoming a part of the new monster was such an interesting arc and I loved that V.E. Schwab did that. I loved so many of the new characters we met from Prosperity and Verity like Soro a genderfluid Sunai. Some were gone too soon but such is life in a place where nowhere is safe.
“The souls you take—” Her fingers tightened on his. “Do they—stay?”…”I’m sorry.” Tears were running down his face. “I’m not.” Kate pressed her hand down over his…”I don’t know,” he whispered. “I don’t know if the souls stay with me. But I hope they do.”
2) New Monsters
Just as deadly and just as aggravating lol. In Prosperity a monster feeds on the hearts of men. In Verity, you have the cold-blooded Alice who came from Kate’s sins. Sloan was still alive and evil as ever (I kind of liked him but was highly happy when he died FORREAL) lol. Then you have the worst of all neither Sunai, Malchai, or Corsai but a monster of shadow and darkness. It feeds on violence and turns people violent against one another. I really loved all the antagonists in this story and how bone-chilling they were. Schwab has a knack for dark characters.
“Not a Heart Eater, but something else, something shaped more or less like a person, at least around the edges, but made entirely of shadow. It stood, watching the scene unfold with a serenity that matched the killer’s…”
3) The Writing Style
I won’t go on and on because I mention this all the time but it needs to be known. Victoria never disappoints with her writing and can always transport me to whatever place she’s writing about. I can always feel, touch, smell, taste and see whatever the characters do.
“It hung on the air for a long moment, a single, solitary thread, beautiful and harmless, and only when it began to weaken, waver; did August close his eyes and plunge into the song.”
4) The Cities
I loved getting introduced to a new city in the first verse of the book and the city of Verity in general. The world she built in this story was so interesting and unique. I haven’t read of a place like this before in a story so I enjoy it so much.
“There was no right and wrong side, according to Henry, no North and South, not anymore, but the fact was that one side of the city was being run by monsters.”
5) The Pace
Our Dark Duet had so much action and so much happened. I was never bored of this book. From beginning to end the action barely stopped it was like running and something popping up every turn. The pages were constantly turning to the point where I had to put the book down and force myself to sleep. I didn’t even realize how much I read in a day.
6) Relationship between August and Kate
“By not letting go,” she said softly. “By holding on, to anger, or hope, or whatever it is that keeps you fighting.” You, he thought.
The relationship between August and Kate is a hard one to define. The two of them are bound by what happened in This Savage Song but there is something deeper between them as well. Their relationship is slow burning and beautiful. It’s not romantic it is deeper than that. Page 346 really had me shook when they kissed and my heart fluttered. The ending broke me because I wanted more.
“The only one who’d say her name with any sense of knowing was August, and he was hundreds of miles away in Verity, at the center of a city on fire.”
“It wasn’t easy. The world was complicated. Life was hard. And so often, living hurt. So make it worth the pain. Kate’s voice whispered through him, sudden and welcome, and he drew a deep breath.”
This was a great ending to this duology even if it hurt. I can’t wait to read more of her books and let her wreck me emotionally even more. What did you think of the book?