Title: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)
Author: Victoria Schwab
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.
Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all.
Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,
Shadow and bone will eat you raw.
Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,
Smile and bite and drink you dry.
Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,
Sing you a song and steal your soul.
Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all!
This is my 3rd Victoria Schwab book, and until now, I’m not disappointed with how she writes her stories! I actually enjoyed this paranormal world filled with monsters and that it has a bit of Romeo and Juliet vibes to it – but without the romance and the main leads’ death!
V.E. Schwab is definitely one of the queens when it comes to world-building. I highly enjoyed the idea of only having 3 specific monsters running around in Verity, so it limited us to them quickly. Nothing too hard to imagine and keep track of. It actually helped a lot that we only had 3 types of monsters and each one had a unique description. Just the thought of monsters roaming around the city was so much fun, because unlike in other novels where they are the “bad guys”, but here, a couple were also the “good guys”. I actually liked how the line between good and bad people and monsters were blurred here – which is one of the things I loved about the plot. I had a bit of a hard time at first to imagine what Verity looks like, especially with the North and South divisions, and the other highly important places adjacent to it such as the Wastes. All I had in my head was a picture of a devastated city in the South side and a thriving one in the North side. Luckily, my dilemma was solved once the chapter where the history of Verity was introduced. I love that nothing was too complicated once I had a good idea of how the city of Verity looks like, because everything looks the same – apart from the roaming monsters.
August Flynn is a pure soul and a cinnamon roll. As much as I loved Kate Harker, I had already encountered my fair share of troubled teenage girls who needs to prove something to their superiors (in this case, her father) and seek out all the glory. But August *sighs* is just someone that needs a lot of protection. He reminds me like a black cat – cute but can be feral when poked. I actually enjoyed how his power comes from playing the violin and that he loves his family – and cat – fiercely. He is my most favorite character in the book, and I can’t wait to read more of him! I don’t really care that much for Callum Harker because I thought of him already as a douche from the start, even if his motives of sending away Kate for her safety in the beginning. But when compared to the Flynns, I like them more. I loved how the Flynns had adopted the 3 Sunai as their own children, even with the risk of knowing how powerful they could all be. I died each time the three of them would bond together like siblings do, and how each one of them is protective of each other. I cried deeply inside when I thought that Ilsa had died – and thank God that she didn’t!
Plot-wise, I loved everything! I had already expected something wrong will happen at the end, especially when I reached the middle part of the book, the part that Kate finally has a suspicion on what August is. Things just went downhill from then on for the both of them, but I loved and enjoyed the way that both of them stuck together and faced everything despite them being so-called “enemies”. Also, one of the things I loved the most about this book is that it doesn’t have any romance! Yay! It’s hard to find any YA book anymore that doesn’t tackle on romance between the characters, or that it doesn’t take a turn towards the romantic relationship of the characters. August and Kate’s dynamic from start to finish was more than enough to satisfy me and let me enjoy the book even more. As for the latter parts of the book, it definitely took an unexpected twist of events. A character that I didn’t expect to turn dark, turned dark.
I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book because of that final chapter!