Book Review: This Savage Song

review23299512There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from acclaimed 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, This Savage Song is a must-have for fans of Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Laini Taylor.

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. In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab creates a gritty, seething metropolis, one worthy of being compared to Gotham and to the four versions of London in her critically acclaimed fantasy for adults, A Darker Shade of Magic. Her heroes will face monsters intent on destroying them from every side—including the monsters within.

Synopsis from amazon.


I absolutely loved This Savage Song! From the moment I read the song on the back page, I knew I’d devour it, which I did although it took me longer to read than I’d have liked due to life getting in the way of reading, I’m sure we all know that struggle though. I wasn’t even into it one hundred pages when I realized that I needed the sequel, Our Dark Duet, but I do have to wait like everyone else, unfortunately.

I do have to admit that I think August might be my favorite out of the two perspectives. He’s so naive  when it comes to certain things but he’s also someone who can steal your soul. The chapter where it was revealed what happened when they “eat” was pretty thrilling and I amazed at Schwab’s cleverness with coming up with the concept – especially the soul becoming stained red when the victims had done evil doings.

The second way the Sunai can steal a soul was actually rather horrifying to read. I have a rather vivid imagination and I tend to picture scenes while reading that so I felt a little revolted by the description. Leo’s one scary guy (but he sounds really hot) and I think that only made it worse. He appears human but he’s really wicked.

Kate’s coping mechanism of imagining herself having twelve different selves in different universes was rather interesting. I must admit that it did confuse me for a while until I realized that was how she coped with her life.

I wasn’t expecting Ilsa to kill the way she does. She really is how I imagine an angel of death to be, with that nurturing quality as she’s stealing a soul.

Kate and August working together was perfect!!!! I’m surprised she didn’t react more when August admitted to what he was, although she did already figure it out.

It was interesting to hear about places outside of V-City – Kate’s old house and the truck stop. It was even more interesting to find out how else the hunger effects August, and how vulnerable the Sunai can really be. The familial betrayel definitely came as a shock, although I shouldn’t have been surprised given who it was. Nevertheless, it was a nice little twist to the storyline.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but, I actually liked August’s true form when he gave into the darkness. I pictured it kind of like Sora from Kingdom Hearts when he’s in his Anti form, when he was turning, at least. But his form also sounds like a demon, I couldn’t really figure out which way I was supposed to picture him.

I actually love the cliffhanger we were left off because it wasn’t quite a cliffhanger. It’s one I can live with until Our Dark Duet comes out. I really hope we learn more about Alice, and that Sloan dies for good.


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