Rating: 5 stars
This Savage Song by V.E. Scwab is set in world where darkness breeds darkness and evil breeds monsters. A place where your terrible actions cause even worse things to crawl from the shadows. This is the world August Flynn(Monster) and Kate Harker (Daughter of a human who’s worse than the monsters) live in.
Verity City is a city divided in two: the northern half pays for the illusion of safety while the southern half lives in a constant state of free war with the monsters who plague them. When Henry Flynn, leader of the south half, sends a spy into Callum Harker’s northern territory it’s a last ditch effort to get enough information to stop all out war. But war is inevitable in a world plagued by monsters.
This Savage Song was a fantastic book that certainly had me hooked from beginning to end. August and Kate were both characters I connected with deeply but for different reasons. August’s struggle to hold onto his humanity and Kate’s strivings to tamp down on hers are a perfect metaphor for the war everyone fights internally every day. It also meant both characters were on diametrically opposing paths that made for thick tension and tantalizing drama.
The monsters in this book had my skin crawling at times and I admit to hearing noises in the darkness after reading late into the night. I enjoyed the way Schwab made sense of where the monsters come from and what act of violence breeds what monster. It really helped to grasp the complexities of the world she was building and sink as deeply as possible into the story.
If you’re looking for romance this book won’t deliver. The underlying sexual tension between our two main characters is certainly there but it’s more implied than acted upon. I was fine with this because the implied tension between them was more than enough for me. At it’s core this book is about darkness; it’s the illusions we weave to feel safe and the wars we fight both internally and externally and so romance was certainly not something I would have even wanted tainting all that.
My only critique of this book would be the beginning was confusing. In time Schwab explained the monsters and the dividing of the city and the history of it all but she took her time doing it and so the beginning sometimes left me wanting to know more right then so that I could be on the same page with everyone else. Though once all was explained and I felt I was caught up with the happenings and rules of the world that the characters already knew there was nothing stopping me from loving this book.
All in all I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to develop a healthy fear of their own shadow. Beware of pretty people who have pretty voices and play pretty music for if you’re bad they might just eat your soul. Don’t side with your parents is they’re pathological dictators without remorse. Learn how to fight monsters so that you can be something that bites back and always carry a really, really bright flashlight with you. Good luck!
Until next time, stay passionate and Excelsior!
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/5c2v/