This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab
Publication Date: June 7th 2016 by Titan Books Ltd
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia.
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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.
This was just the book I needed to get me out of the slump I’ve been in these past couple of months. This Savage Song follows a lot of the themes explored in Schwab’s other series but still retains its own individuality.
The book tells the tale of monsters vs humans, a city divided and on the brink of war and two young individuals that are trying to be something that they’re not. I will admit that it took me a while to understand the landscape of this world and familiarize myself with the terminology but once that clicked into place everything kicked into gear and I could sit back and enjoy the ride. That being said there wasn’t as much of a plot as I thought there’d be so this book really serves as an introduction to our main characters and the theme’s explored.
The central theme to this book is identity. Kate Harker is a young girl that is looking to emulate the image of her father; a ruthless and brutal leader, a man that buys his way into power. However, as much as she tries to be this aggressor, this image is merely a front, no matter how hard she tries to convince herself otherwise.
August Flynn, on the other hand is trying to prove that he is not the person everyone thinks he is – a monster. He tries to follow the moral high ground but sometimes his hunger means taking action in ensuring he doesn’t turn into a danger to himself and to those around him. He’s has an honourable heart and I loved exploring his inner conflict as he struggles to retain this goodness without giving in to the darkness that lingers in him.
These two are an unlikely team but following their journey and the characters they come across you’ll ask yourself, who is the real monster? Humans are capable of committing terrible, barbaric acts while the monsters embrace the dark viciousness that created them. So what makes us any different to them? Is there even a difference? This book explores the choices that make us who we are.
If you’re looking for romance, this is not the book for you. In it’s place you have two individuals that are thrown together out of necessity and in this game of cat and mouse, Kate and August must work together in order survive and make sure that the society they live in does not crumble before their feet. Along the way, they begin to realise that they aren’t all that different from one another.
This is the first in a duology and while the ending of the book ties up the initial conflict, there is a taste of the things to come and the threat they may pose to our characters and their world.