Thursday, June 30, 2016

ARC Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity (Book 1)
Publication: Greenwillow Books (July 5, 2016)

Description: There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from acclaimed 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, This Savage Song is a must-have for fans of Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Laini Taylor.

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. In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab creates a gritty, seething metropolis, one worthy of being compared to Gotham and to the four versions of London in her critically acclaimed fantasy for adults, A Darker Shade of Magic. Her heroes will face monsters intent on destroying them from every side—including the monsters within.

My Thoughts: This is a story about monsters. It is a dark urban fantasy which takes place in a city divided in two and beset by monsters. One side is ruled by a crime lord who sells protection from the monsters. Kate Harker is his daughter. Her father has kept her away at a series of boarding schools but she wants to come home and make her father proud of her. The other side is ruled by Henry Flynn who has established a large crew to protect his part of the city. August Flynn is one of his adopted children and one of the monsters.

I this city monsters come in three kinds - corsai, malchai, and sunai. Corsai hunt in packs in indiscriminately. Malchi are sly blood drinkers. Sunai are the rarest and use song to steal souls. August is a sunai whose instrument is the violin. He doesn't want to be a monster but consoles himself with the fact that he can only rip the souls from sinners.

Kate and August meet at the most recent boarding school Kate is attending. August is in disguise to meet Kate. He also wants to preserve the very fragile truce between both sides of the city. Kate and August get to know each other and, as they do, Kate starts to question who the monster really is. When they go on the run after an unsuccessful assassination attempt at school, the two need to depend on each other and keep each other safe since both sides are hunting for them.

I liked the world building in this story. I liked the idea that monsters were created because of all the violent acts. I liked that August was determined not to give in to his monster side. I liked Kate despite the fact that she felt she needed to be hard and cruel in order to be accepted by her father.

I am eager to find out what happens next for Kate and August and look forward to the next book about them. Fans of urban fantasy will be the perfect audience for this engaging story.

Favorite Quote:
August stood very still as the man's energy rolled through him. It didn't feel electric, didn't leave him high with power. If anything, it simply made him feel ... real. the anger and the sickness and the strain were gone, washed away, and August simply felt ... whole.

Is this what it was like to be human?

And then he looked down at the man's corpse, and a quiet sadness crept through him like a chill. Suddenly normal felt so far away.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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