Title: This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publication Date: July 5th, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Series: Book #1 of Monsters of Verity
Synopsis: 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.
Book provided by publisher for an honest review.
“Plenty of humans are monstrous, and plenty of monsters know how to play at being human.”
— V.A. Vale
I always love a solid epigraph, it always sets a good tone for the main theme of the book. You can only imagine my joy when this book happened upon my doorstep. Though I have not read any of Victoria Schwab’s other books, word from the grapevine entered my thoughts as I became inevitably hyped for this book. It’s safe to say that I was not disappointed.
This Savage Song is by far one of the most unusual, interesting and even creepiest books I’ve read all year. Even after finishing it I cannot pinpoint the exact genre. Personally, it feels like a blend of scifi, fantasy, and even dystopian. This book definitely gave some Tokyo Ghoul/Code-breaker even Gotham vibes. Victoria Schwab is able to create a haunting and phantasmagoric atmosphere that at the same time doesn’t feel over complicated.
The city of Verity, otherwise known as V-City is inevitably split two North and South sections after constant tensions and war between the two leaders. With our two protagonists belong to opposing sides. August and Kate are distinctly different from each other, but they really do blend well together which makes reading this novel worthwhile.
Kate Harker is a very demanding and imposing type of person. The type to know what she wants and doesn’t care what she must do to get it. Being the daughter of the leader of North Verity, Kate feels to compulsion to prove her worth in being by her father’s side. At first, I’ll admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of Kate, her ruthlessness and sometimes arrogance can rub people the wrong way, but as I read on I began to truly appreciate her as a person, and understand her actions. Not to mention her character arc is incredibly well written.
“That’s life, August,” She said. “You wanted to feel more alive, right? It doesn’t matter if you’re monster or human. Living hurts.”
August Flynn is essentially the complete opposite. Out of the three types of monsters, August and his siblings are the rarest. Sunai, who have the ability to steal people’s souls with music. Being sheltered in the compound for most of his life, August wants nothing more than to feel normal like a human would. You often see him struggle with what coincides with being a monster, But how do you fight the very thing that you are? Unlike his older brother Leo who embraces his being, seeing himself above humans and other monsters. I really loved August in this novel, and at times you can’t help but feel bad for him.
“You also live. You don’t spend every day wondering why you exist, but 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 have it constantly thrown in your face that you’re not a person at all.”
Kate and August have such an interesting dynamic together, which is what made me love this book all the more. They seem to have a mutual understanding of each other that never once feels forced or cheesy. Especially once they are on the run, they essentially can only rely on each other and that seems to strengthen their bond.
Honestly this book was a whirlwind of emotions for me. For this being my first Victoria Schwab book I was so relieved to not be let down, and cannot wait to explore more of her works.
I’d definitely recommend this if you’re a fantasy, scifi, or dystopian lover and want to experience something a little different. The violence and gore definitely gave me haunting and creepy vibes which would make this a perfect fall read. Which I might reread during that time, because that ending has me craving the next book immediately.