I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The review below is my open and honest opinion of the book.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 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.
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.
My Thoughts on This Savage Song:
Okay so here’s the thing. I’ve only read two Victoria Schwab books. The first was A Darker Shade of Magic and I completely fell in love with it. It was absolutely incredible and the writing was phenomenal. Then I read the sequel, A Gathering of Shadows and was super disappointed. But I didn’t give up on Victoria. I still believe she is an amazing writer and I definitely wanted to give her other books a shot. Someone on Twitter told me this would be the perfect October read (yes, I am just getting around to reviewing this now…), so I picked it up just in time for Halloween.
I liked this one, but I didn’t quite love it.
What I liked:
- Monsters – the monsters were unique and just the right amount of scary. I loved learning about the three different types of monsters and the Sunai in particular fascinated me. The book really forced you to ask the question, what makes a monster a monster? Is it just their ability to do monstrous things? Or is it more based on the choices they make?
- Music – the Sunai use music to trap their prey and I loved this. I mean, not the trapping their prey thing… bad Sunai… But I loved the emphasis that was placed on music. I loved how much August loved to play his violin. I loved that it hurt him to play it because he didn’t want to be this monstrous thing, but he loved to play. There was a constant internal struggle with him and it was fascinating to read about.
- The politics – oh those crooked politicians. We don’t know anything about that, do we, America? Too soon? Anyway… there were a lot of politics that came into play in this book due to the city being divided. A crooked politician tricking people into paying exorbitant amounts of money for his protection against the monsters and the “good guys” who have monsters as their children? The plot thickens.
What I didn’t like:
- The characters were a bit flat for me. Which is interesting because everybody else seemed to LOVE these characters, but they were just kind of meh to me. I didn’t dislike them, but when I read a book I want to love the characters and I didn’t get that with this book.
- The plot wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. Or as unique. I felt like we got some standard tropes in this book (i.e. star-crossed lovers, tortured boy, etc.). I think since I started blogging, I’ve read so much that tropes just don’t work for me anymore. I want stories that will actually surprise me and this one didn’t.
- The fact that it wasn’t a standalone. I really felt like this could have just stood on its own and I was annoyed that there was a sequel. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll read it. I don’t think this one quite engaged me enough to want to continue.
Overall, I liked the book. But I was hoping to love it and I just didn’t. I’ll continue to give Victoria a try though as I wait in high anticipation for the final book in the ADSOM series, A Conjuring of Light. Oh and I definitely want to read Vicious at some point.
Have you read this book yet? What did you think? What’s your favorite Victoria Schwab book?