Saturday 8 July 2017

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Review: This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab

This Savage Song by V. E. SchwabThis Savage Song by V. E. Schwab (Bought) - Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs of a divided city, a grisly metropolis where violence has begun to create real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the inhabitants pay for his protection. August just wants to be human, as good-hearted as his own father - but his curse is to be what the humans fear. The thin truce that keeps the Harker and Flynn families at peace is crumbling, and an assassination attempt forces Kate and August into a tenuous alliance. But how long will they survive in a city where no one is safe and monsters are real... From the blurb.

V. E. Schwab's books have been raved about for so long now, and after having a customer at work recommend me her books, I decided it was time to give her books a go, and picked up This Savage Song. And I absolutely loved it.

August is a Sunai, one of the monsters formed through acts of violence, who feeds on the souls of sinners, but all he wants is to be as human and good. When Kate Harker comes back to Verity, August is sent to spy on her at school; as the truce between Callum Harker and Henry Flynn is just about to fail, the Flynn's think it would be a good idea to keep an eye on Kate, as Harker's daughter. But then there's an attack on the school, an attack that is made to look like it was committed by a Sunai, and an attempt on Kate's life is made. August saves Kate's life and the two go on the run; Kate's life is in danger, and August's family are being made to look like the ones orchestrating the attack, that it was August who attacked. They form an unlikely alliance to keep each other alive and find out the truth. But when monsters are coming at you from every direction, how do you keep yourself safe, let alone discover the truth?

This Savage Song is so good! It's fast paced and action packed! I loved the world building; how violent crimes now create demonic monsters, and how the two sides of Verity are keeping their people safe; the Flynn's by fighting the monsters with their task force, and Harker by controlling the monsters, and making the people pay for his protection - no protection, the monsters can do as they please and Harker won't stop them. Then there's the mystery behind the attack. I do think it was kind of obvious, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment as August and Kate try to keep themselves alive and figure out the truth.

I also really loved August. He is such a good guy, really fighting against who he is. He has to feed on the souls of the sinners - souls that are brought to the surface of the body by music August plays on his violin - but he hates it. But if he doesn't feed, he will slowly become his true self, a real monster, and it won't be just the sinners who die. August was just adorable, always trying to do the right thing, and not wanting to be defined by what he is, but who he is. He has a heart of gold, but he's haunted by his demons.

I loved Kate, mostly. She's so kick-ass, having learnt multiple forms of martial arts and self-defence at all her previous schools. But she's got her father on a kind of pedestal, even though he's so cold, distant, and can be so cruel. She wants to be just like him, and show she isn't weak - weak like her mother who tried to escape with her when she was 12, and died in the car crash that left Kate deaf in one ear and with scars on her face - that she's a real Harker, one who is worthy of following in his footsteps. She's desperate for love and affection, and it blinds her to what her father is really like. Both characters are dealing with their own issues, and they're just pretty wonderful.

Although This Savage Song was really good, I was a little disappointed. If there had been no hype about V. E. Schwab, I wouldn't have a single problem with this book. But there was a huge amount of hype, and although This Savage song was so good, I was expecting more... because it's no better than other urban fantasy series I've read. I expected to be wowed more than I was. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, and will continue the duology and read Schwab's other books, but I expected something special, something that would stand out among the other urban fantasies I've read, and it didn't. It's what I'm used to. It was just as good, but not better.

Even so, as I said, I loved This Savage Song, and the cliffhanger was fantastic! I'm really looking forward to seeing where the story takes us in Our Dark Duet.

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Published: 7th June 2016
Publisher: Titan Books
V. E. Schwab's Website

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  1. I am so excited to read this savage song! I absolutely adore V.E. Schwab's work.

    1. I hope you enjoy it when you read it! It was really good - I just expected more, sadly.

  2. I get what you mean about the hype. I read A Darker Shade of Magic first and then read this book. I had pretty much hyped it myself because of ADSoM, haha. Then I felt the same as you - that This Savage Song was a pretty standard (but still good) urban fantasy.