By V.E. Schwab
Reviewed by SA
This book has been out for a while now, and I’d been meaning to read it for ages. I can’t believe it took me so long to pick it up – it’s fantastic! V.E. Schwab has done it again! Another amazing book that sucks you into a world so carefully crafted you feel as if you’re actually there. If you haven’t read it yet, you need to.
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.
Have you ever just forgotten how good an author is, then pick up a book and start reading and say to yourself, ‘dang, I want to read everything this person has ever written!’ before realizing that you have? That’s how I felt when reading This Savage Song. Schwab’s style is fluid and engrossing, like magic.
The city of verity is split in half: the north is controlled by Harker, Kate’s father, who deals in protection for those who can afford it. The Flynn controlled south takes a more violent approach, and August’s family run the task force that defends their half of Verity. They share the same problem – that monsters are growing. Born from murders and violence, they are a danger to any and all. Fear of the dark is not irrational in Verity.
While Kate is trying to gain her father’s approval, August is just trying to fit in. Back in Verity, Kate is finally where she wants to be – in the same city as her father, who can no longer send her away. When she starts to attend a prestigious school, the Flynns jump at the chance to get close to Harker’s only daughter, and enroll August under and assumed name.
Admittedly, it took me a little while to get into. I’d say I couldn’t put this book down, but that was only true in its second half (which kept me up reading at 2am – sorry not sorry). The author had to establish the world first, which was engrossing but not gripping, a little slow paced. Anybody who thinks they should put the book down should rethink that action. The pacing in the second half is so quick that it’ll actually boost your heart rate.
I love the characters, too; the monster who wants to be human, and the human who wants to be a monster. Or maybe, things are not as black and white as they seem at first. It was exciting to unravel August’s identity, to understand Kate’s anger. To see them grow closer as friends and allies. To see a badass girl and a sensitive monster.
What is to there say, other than “It’s Victoria Schwab, you know you’ll love her books.” So now, I patiently await the sequel!