Are You a Monster? 'This Savage Song' Review

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This Savage Song

Author: Victoria Schwab

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 Schwaba 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.


I'm so honored to have an ARC of this book. Thank you, Emily for this ARC. Love you!

I wanted to like this book way more than I did. Sure, I did quite like it, but there were some things lacking.

First and foremost, August Flynn is amazing. He's so human it hurts. I adored him. He's not my favorite Schwab character, (By a landslide, that's Victor Vale) but I could really connect to August. He was caring. And he truly didn't want anyone hurt. A human in a monster's skin. Doesn't everyone feel like that sometimes?
His side of the story hurt my heart. I'd love to see more from him. Really.
(By the way, does anyone else read his name as Augustus? I'm not sure why, but I do.)

I want to touch upon Kate Harker for a quick second. She had an intersecting backstory. And if the story was just her story, I might have liked her more. But she acts so brash, so sometimes that it doesn't work. Yes, I know that's contradictory since I liked the brash Lila Bard from A Darker Shade of Magic, but Kate pushes it too far. And while she seems monstrous, her humanity is so significant that it negates her acts and just makes her a brat.

The second half of the book (With August and Kate on the run) was way more interesting than the two of them talking and getting to know each other. I'll touch upon my thoughts on the first half of the book later, but the second half was much better. I felt more engaged in the story and less bored.
As a reader, I prefer stories with action compared to long pieces of talking. Even if I write lots of dialogue in my own pieces.

And the twist ending. Man, I never expected that. It really shocked me. I never expected that. I guess, looking back, I could have guessed it. But still.

Per usual with Schwab books, the action was amazing. It was heart pounding and descriptive. I felt immersed in the fight scenes. I definitely wanted more.

Victoria Schwab is known for her A+ storytelling and worlds. But the world for this book was a bit confusing. I was a bit lost on how these monsters were created. (Just saying, if a Sunai went dark, wouldn't a new Sunai be created?) Admittedly, it's a new and strange world. But I felt like there were some gaps. Why did the Sunai use music? How exactly are these monsters created? What are their weakness? I was lost on whether this was a book about the monsters or the people in this monstrous world.

And the thing that I disliked the most was the slow start. There is too much time spent with August and Kate at Colton. I honestly didn't care much for the boring talk between the two of them. As I said, I prefer action. If the second half with the action and running had happened earlier, I might have been more interesting. This was a main sour point for me since I really couldn't get into the story. I actually had to put the book down. It was that hard to swallow.

What did you think of the book? Who was your favorite character? And are you a monstrous human or human monster?

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