This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab
Synopsis: 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.
-Spoiler free review-
I’m going to be completely honest; this book was slightly disappointing.
I am not (never ever ever) saying that this was a bad book, not at all. It was pretty damn good (hence why I gave it 4 stars). But if you’re reading it because you loved A Darker Shade of Magic (review here if you haven’t actually read it), don’t have super high expectations.
I fell head over heels for Lila and Kell’s world, and August and Kate’s world in This Savage Song is… not as great. This book (and this is no word of a lie) took me 2-3 months to get into.
I don’t think V.E. Schwab is completely to blame here, because the premise is actually really interesting. If you find the first 1/3 (essentially until the assassination attempt that the blurb hints at) kind of dull, push through it please! It’s definitely rewarding, it just takes a little time.
Or a few months if you’re me (I also blame summer reading slumps).
So, after saying this, let’s look at it without comparing it to the masterpiece that is A Darker Shade of Magic.
Like I said, the premise is really intriguing. Monsters in a modern setting with musical themes? Count me in! I absolutely adore books that include music, and the way it was woven into This Savage Song totally won me over after the first 1/3. I think I’m also biased because I play the violin, just like August.
Something V.E. Schwab is excellent at is character development, so naturally August and Kate are wonderful characters. The book takes on both of their POVs, which was pretty interesting considering they are very different in body and soul. And when their characters crossed paths? Hoo boy, it’s exciting. The way their relationship evolved was great; I was half shipping the characters, but to be perfectly honest I’m so content with the friendship. So many YA books have unnecessary romantic plotlines, so whenever there isn’t any romance, I silently cheer.
(There might be a little audible cheering too)
Generally speaking, there isn’t much to criticise with This Savage Song as the first book in a new series (since I already had my small ‘ahh 2-3 months’ rant). I don’t feel like I need to comment on the writing style, since it’s just as lovely as in her other books (which translates to really bloody lovely). I did, however, find the plot a bit predictable. I could see who the villain was a mile off, which is always slightly saddening because the plot twist has less effect. (And I do love a good plot twist)I did at times get a little frustrated that a certain character didn’t realise, but they had their own issues, so I forgive them.
I am still going to read Our Dark Duet (the sequel) but I’m not overly fussed about it. A Conjuring of Light is definitely the top of my list as far as V.E. Schwab is concerned.
So there we go, another review tucked under my belt! Thanks ever so much for reading.
I am kind of the worst when it comes to posting ‘on time’ (I use that term loosely because I don’t really have actual deadlines). I don’t think I realised how truly absorbing ALevels are, because it’s pretty crazy how busy I am.
I’m even behind on my Goodreads reading goal *cries*
I’ve got to read 7 books this month and there are only 2 weeks left lmao
Wish me luck!
OH! And I need to review The Girl on the Train soon too, but I know not to make any promises because I’ll just end up breaking them.
(Sorry, but education takes priority!)