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Sunday, October 23, 2016

My Thoughts: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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

If you have read my September wrap up I mentioned that a few local bloggers and myself started a book club of sorts. Well our first book for said club was This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. While only two of us actually read the book, props to Ola who is one third of The Autumn Bookshelf for being with me and finishing this book. I actually completed this one fairly quickly and I have a few thoughts about it.

This Savage Song is told from the perspective of our two main characters, Kate Harker the human girl determined to take over her father's empire, and August Flynn one of three rare breeds of monster, with the ability to steal one's soul with the sound of music. Both Kate and August are from opposing teams (for lack of a better word), one is monster, one is human. One is determined to be a hardened criminal, and the other wants nothing more than to be good and protect the community. Somehow, the two end up together in an attempt to figure what's going wrong with their beloved city.

What do I think? What do I think? Well, the first half was SLOOOOOW! Slow enough that if I wasn't so curious about August, I probably would still be reading it. Don't get me wrong, Victoria Schwab is a brilliant story teller, but she spends a lot of time setting the stage. Way to much time. I spent the first half of the book waiting for something to happen.  The second half of the book picks up a bit, but not in a big way. Really, the story was really kind of meh for me. I absolutely hate saying this, but it felt a bit generic. Not the most original plot I have ever read- aside from the city being overrun by monsters. That was pretty interesting, and the process in which the monsters were created (from intense acts of violence) was neat, this is probably why I gave this book a higher rating.

I had some trouble connecting to Kate. I didn't particularly like her- I didn't understand her motif for why she was the way she was. She was angry and rebellious and stand offish in a way and for reasons I just did not get. I found August and his situation way more interesting. August, our tortured monster, who lives his life day by day trying not to lose control and succumbing to the his volatile monster self, his instinct is to feed and he resists this urge like an alcoholic resists their vice. I really loved this part of the story. I also must admit I enjoyed the parts where Kate and August got to know one another and developed a better understanding of each other. I enjoyed seeing their semi-friendship grow. I am curious to see where that will go in the next book- Schwab has insisted that there is ZERO romance in this novel, so these two will simply remain friends, which I think is pretty cool.

Overall, I gave this book a 3.5 stars. The beginning was slow, I didn't like the female protagonist, and I wasn't super convinced with the story. However, Schwab's writing was lovely, I really liked August, and I thought the concept of the monsters was unique. Even with my sharing about all that I didn't like with this book, I am standing my my 3.5 star rating. I enjoyed the novel enough to stick behind that rating. And I am pretty sure I will read the conclusion to this duology once it's out next year.

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

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  1. Hmm, too bad this one wasn't a win for you like Vicious was. I do love Schwab's writing and storytelling abilities as well, but I can see how having too much set-up would make this a less than thrilling read.

  2. I love Schwab as a general rule, but some of her books have worked better for me than others. I still haven't read this one and I know I will but I'm worried that I might feel a bit like you did here about it. My favorite will always be Vicious, I loved ADSOM but didn't LOVE it like some other people...so we'll see I guess. Thanks for the insight^^ xx


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