This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab was incredibly original, intriguing, and quite honestly mind blowing.
“Monsters, monsters, big and small, They’re gonna come and eat you all.”
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.
This Savage Song is the first book I’ve read from this author, but I’m going to remedy that as soon as possible. Schwab’s effortless writing style sucks the reader in immediately. The monster v. human dynamic within her bloodthirsty world was a refreshing, yet terrifying, escape for this reader. I’m always down for some bloodletting and Schwab did not disappoint.
Kate Harker, the main female protagonist, was gritty, corrupt and tormented, yet redeemable. August Flynn, the male protagonist, was vulnerable, raw and a deeply genius character. I loved how they were stereotypical opposites (e.g. the kind monster and the evil human). I loved that they were each searching for the same thing (to protect their kind/side) and both unable to condemn the other even though they tried. Their relationship was natural and confusing, unnatural and obvious all at the same time. I loved it!
“It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he felt human after doing something monstrous.”
I particularly enjoyed the different kinds of monsters; ones readers can recognize as pseudo-vampires (Malchai) or pseudo-zombies (Corsai), but my favorite were the Sunai – the soul-stealing, musical, eyes-like-coal monsters. The way Schwab portrayed the way the Sunai feed with music was beautiful. I really enjoyed being inside August’s head.
“He wasn’t made of flesh and bone, or starlight. He was made of darkness.”
Overall, I found myself breathless and mind-blown after reading this amazing novel. It told a unique story with an old-as-time “what makes us human?” undertone. This Savage Song was exciting, bloody and had me sitting on the edge of my oversized, reading chair.
“He could be a monster if it kept others human.”
STARS: 5 out of 5