Title: This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Rating: ★★★★ / ★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: The city of Verity has been overrun with monsters, born from the worst of human evil. In North Verity, the Corsai and the Malchai run free. Under the rule of Callum Harker, the monsters kill any human who has not paid for protection. In the South, Henry Flynn hunts the monsters who cross the border into his territory, aided by the most dangerous and darkest monsters of them all—the Sunai, dark creatures who use music to steal their victim’s souls.
As one of only three Sunai in existence, August Flynn has always wanted to play a bigger role in the war between the north and the south. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate Harker, daughter of the leader of North Verity, August jumps on it.
When Kate discovers August’s secret, the pair find themselves running for their lives and battling monsters from both sides of the wall. As the city dissolves into chaos, it’s up to them to foster a peace between monsters and humans.
Huge thank you to Greenwillow Books / Harper Collins Canada for this ARC!
TBH this is a low 4 stars. Not quite 3.5. Idk. I liked this but at the same time I felt like I’d already experienced this story and these characters somewhere else. The closest I can get is that it’s a mix of two Japanese anime; D.Gray Man & Tokyo Ghoul. But even then I feel like I’m missing another title or movie that I’ve already seen.
The characters are cliche but enjoyable. There’s not a lot going on for the first half of the book. If you want solid explanations on the HOW and WHY you aren’t really going to get it. If you’re okay with vague ideas then you’ll be set.
This is also a super quick read despite the length (big font and short lines on the page). It is compelling, but didn’t live up to the OMG hype for me. It also didn’t disappoint but that might be because, for me, Schwab isn’t an OMG FAV, but just another author who’s work I enjoy.
I adore Victoria Scwab’s books. They are often very imaginative and easy to get sucked into when it comes to story and characters. Here’s the thing, I LOVED This Savage Song but read it reminded me a lot of watching anime. It’s an exciting, crazy read, but it feels like something I have, admittedly, encountered before.
This Savage Song explores a world that is divided by humans and monsters. Both struggle to exist together, and this also gives us our two protagonists: Kate and August, one human and one monster, and their common goals. This idea of humans and monsters co-existing is nothing new, but I actually loved our heroes and thought they were a lot of fun to follow around, even if they were a touch cliche. Part of the issue with this book is that the world does take a long time to develop, and there’s a lot of vagueness. Sometimes I don’t mind that, but in this case, having a lot of the world be more fleshed out would have been a bit more of a benefit.
Despite the the vagueness, which sometimes made me feel a bit lost, this book was compulsively readable and it was like reading candy. I kept turning the pages, wanting to read and know more, and when I didn’t get more, I still didn’t seem to mind because I was just so glued to trying to understand anything and everything that was going on. I do hope some of the vaguer aspects of the world gets explored in the sequel, because I WANT TO KNOW MORE. The ending worked so well for me, and around the two hundred page mark, I was really glued to trying to figure out the story.
I do think there’s a lot of action and fun with This Savage Song, but for me it wasn’t perfect. In fact, it was far from perfect because even though I was so glued to the pages, there was a lot of cliches and vagueness that just felt there and needed a bit more explaination. The characters are fun, cheeky, and that ending does have me sold to see where things go. Plys the lack of romance in this novel worked insanely well to its advantage and will say that watching Kate and August’s friendship blossom was an absolute delight. I still wanted more about the monsters, more about the world, more about the Harkers.
If you are a die-hard Victoria Schwab fan, I still think you will find merit here, but it’s not a book I would recommend as a starting point. It did, inevitably leave me wanting more information, and I think if more had been explained, this would have been a slam dunk for me.