Monday, February 22, 2016

Title: This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity, book #1
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Source: from publisher via Edelweiss, ARC gifted by Jessica
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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The city of Verity has been overrun with monsters, born from the worst of human evil. In North Verity, the Corsai and the Malchai run free. Under the rule of Callum Harker, the monsters kill any human who has not paid for protection. In the South, Henry Flynn hunts the monsters who cross the border into his territory, aided by the most dangerous and darkest monsters of them all—the Sunai, dark creatures who use music to steal their victim’s souls.

As one of only three Sunai in existence, August Flynn has always wanted to play a bigger role in the war between the north and the south. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate Harker, daughter of the leader of North Verity, August jumps on it.

When Kate discovers August’s secret, the pair find themselves running for their lives and battling monsters from both sides of the wall. As the city dissolves into chaos, it’s up to them to foster a peace between monsters and humans.

A unique, fast-paced adventure that looks at the monsters we face every day—including the monster within.

You know how some writing feels forced, as if the author had to really work for their words? Victoria Schwab's novels feel nothing like that. Her writing flows effortlessly, as if the story has always been there for her to tell, and it was just a matter of her putting pen to paper. I'm sure she doesn't feel that way, but it doesn't show. Schwab's stories are always such a pleasure to read because they are so immersive, so all-encompassing, even when they're about really awful things.

Here's the thing: now that I've read this book, I don't think I really understood that synopsis before starting this novel. But it makes complete sense and I think it's a brilliant summary. Also, maybe I just read that Victoria was the author and skimmed the synopsis because auto-buy author right here. Forever and always. This book was so amazing. I mean, I knew it would be amazing because it's Ms. Schwab doing her thang, but hot damn, This Savage Song was awesome!

I've said it before, but I just love how all of her characters teeter on the brink of good and evil, how they don't seem to be inherently one or the other. Okay, well, some of them do, but not the ones I feel I'm really supposed to care about. I think V has more than a little evil in her, though, with that ending. Heh, maybe that's why the writing seems to flow the way that it does: she sold her soul to the devil for this impressive power. ;0)

Speaking of incredible abilities, August's is. Impressive, I mean. Using music to steal the soul's of your victims....I've heard of worse ways to die, but maybe none so eerie. The Sunai of Schwab's story vaguely remind me of bean sidhe, often called banshees, whose wailing always portents death. Except in this novel, each Sunai has their own method or instrument for exorcising -- for lack of a better word -- the souls of their victims. And the Sunai's victims are only those who've committed the greatest of sins.

This sounds more or less like a good thing, right? But a power this great could be used as a weapon, so the "youngest" of the only three Sunai in existence must keep his identity hidden. I just loved this violin-playing boy so much and wanted to see him safe and sound. August is a little bit shy and very much sheltered, and I found that I had to keep reminding myself that he was technically a monster. He doesn't act like it, though. I'd liken his character to Pinocchio: he just wants to be a real boy. I worried more for him than I did Kate, who was an actual human.

Kate is something else. So guarded. So in control. So unflappable. I liked her right away. Mostly because it was all a disguise to keep her safe. As Kate fights to win her father's approval, she's also forced to fight for her life. If I'm being honest, I relished watching as Kate and August's worlds practically imploded before their eyes. If that makes me a monster, too, well, I think I can live with it. Because without their lives going to hell, they wouldn't have formed the uneasy alliance that they did, and things wouldn't have started clicking into place.

As with pretty much all of Victoria's stories, don't expect much of a romance. V's books are all full-throttle, ramped up action, and if feelings develop, so be it. But don't get your hopes up. Not this early on, anyway. There's way too much story to tell for the characters to start sucking face at this point. And still way too much animosity.

This Savage Song was fantastic. I'm a hardcore VSchwab fangirl, and so I always set out to read one of her books with the highest of expectations, whether it be YA or adult. But every single time, she knocks it out of the ballpark. Expectations be damned, I'm going to love her books no matter what. And This Savage Song was no different. Schwab blurs the line between good and evil with the best of them, and it's impossible for me to keep from falling for her monsters.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say "tom-ah-toes," "like," and "y'all."

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

Find Victoria:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr | YouTube


  1. I am so happy to see you liked this one Jen! I have an arc copy, but I am probably going to read it closer to the release date. August and Kate sound just like the characters that I am going to love, so I can't wait to read this.

    Anatea @ Anatea's Bookshelf

  2. This one sounds so good! I can't wait until it's finally released. Your review has made me want to read it even more.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  3. Ack. I need to read this. You make it sound so good. I mean, I don't doubt you and all considering the author. Lol


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