Tuesday, August 23, 2016

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Summary 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.
This was my first adventure with Victoria Schwab. And color me impressed. This is an author who seriously understands the fine workings of world-building. She never dumped all the strange, unique elements of her world at you. You kind of had to put it all together through various school lessons, inner monologues, and arguments with family. And I loved this so much. And this was no simple fantasy world.
The concept of this book is so different and so fresh, I ate it up. The idea is that monsters are created (they literally pop into existence out of nowhere) from acts of violence. There are of course three different kinds of monsters too. Not all acts of violence are equally bad. The worst or strongest kind of monster is bred from acts of extreme violence like bombs exploding and mass shootings. What a terrifying and amazing idea!
How did this author even come up with this? And at the same time, all the metaphors! What a relevant book today in a world swamped in mass shootings and gun violence. This is definitely one of those books that can be dissected by high school classrooms, and talked about for hours in book club discussions. There is so much that can be taken from the crazy, insane concept.
I loved that I got dual perspectives: one from the daughter of an evil human leader, and one from a monster, fighting for the “good” human leader. I loved August. What a deep, dark, and special character. I loved the blurring of the lines between what was good and bad and how this book emphasized that no one is really just one or the other.
Also, I’ve heard other reviewers describe the opening in this book as slow. I have to disagree. This was my favorite book opening in a long time. It starts with one of the main characters burning down a church….Just wow. I was not expecting that.What a brave, nuts, and totally different first few pages this was.
The one thing that I didn’t like was how it felt like the two characters were slowly being pushed together for a romantic thing, and I kind of actually like the idea of them being friends better. I never really shipped them. And I guess I just got used to the fresh ideas and amazing writing, so anything that was a-typical annoyed me. I could be wrong though. And maybe I will end up shipping them in future. Who knows? I definitely will be waiting anxiously for the next installment.
I give this one a 9/10. If anything, it was a fast paced, interesting read. I highly recommend it for book cubs and those who love unique fantasy settings.

1 comment:

  1. Eeeep your first Schwab book!! My first was Vicious and I adored it and ended up adding all her books to my tbr shelf and reading most of them quite soon after. I still need to get my hands on this one but it's on my wishlist - I'm really excited that you loved it so much :D