Title: This Savage Song
Author: V.E. Schwab
Published: 7th June 2016
Summary: Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city, a grisly metropolis where the violence has begun to create real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the inhabitants pay for his protection. August just wants to be human, as good-hearted as his own father – but his curse is to be what humans fear. The thin truce that keeps the Harker and Flynn families at peace is crumbling. How long will they survive in a city where no one is safe and the monsters are real?
I originally wasn’t interested in reading this book. I’d heard so much about it when it was released that I was skeptical about it being as good as people claimed it to be. But then I saw it in the library and I though why not? Which is something I tend to do a lot and probably need to stop doing to prevent myself leaving the library with 10+ books. Anyway, this book was a pleasant surprise and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.
This novel is a bit different from other YA books as it features no romance. And no romance also means no love triangles which is something I definitely didn’t miss. The two main characters in this book, Kate Harker and August Flynn, are wonderfully interesting. They are contrasting creatures: a human trying to be a monster and a monster trying to be human. August is one of the loveliest male characters I’ve come across for a while, he cares for his family and he wants to protect those closest to him. On the other hand, Kate is tough, closed-off and desperate to earn her father’s respect. The characters come from rival families, reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, so are natural enemies. Exploring these characters’ developing relationship was compelling.
“It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he only felt human after doing something monstrous.”
This story is set in a terrible, beautiful city swarming with monsters and darkness. People are confined to their homes at night to avoid danger. The descriptions of the different types of monsters and the level fear invading everyone’s lives was detailed. But as always, I wanted more. How did the monsters come to be? What’s the rest of the world like?
I can’t fault Schwab’s writing. It captures you and draws you in, right from the first page. Even though the first half of the book was slow it was still engaging. Alternatively, the second half of the book was non-stop action and I could not put it down. There were loads of twist and turns and moments that left me speechless. I love how Schwab intricately wove music into the plot of this novel. As a musician myself, I really appreciated this.
This book deserves all the praise it gets! The story contains some of my favourite things: a strong female character, secrets, monsters, music and cats. This has become one of my favourite books so far this year. I don’t regret picking it up.