This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab
Published July 5th, 2016 by Greenwillow Books
Genres Young Adult, Dystopia, Paranormal
Pages 464 pages
There is no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to their 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 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 is 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 his sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at the chance. But Kate discovers August’s secret and after a failed assassination attempt, the pair must flee for their lives.
The world of Verity is filled with a variety of monsters; Corsai, flesh-eating monsters who lurk in the shadows, Malchai, blood-drinking monsters and the very rarest, Sunai, soul-stealing monsters. Early in the book, the author explains that as violence increased in Verity, so did the monsters, as they are spawned by violent acts. Sunais are spanned from extremely violent acts, such as bombings and mass shootings and Malchai are spawned from murder. Corsai are spawned from violent crime, such as brutality assaulting someone. “Violence breeds violence.” I thought this was a very interesting concept and at least with the Sunai characters, such as August and his siblings, Ilsa and Leo, it helped explained some of their personality traits and behaviors. The author does a good job at making this a fairly creepy paranormal thriller and at the same time, I also felt that we really got to know the main characters Kate and August.
The book is written from a third person narrative and the chapters flip back and forth from August to Kate. Kate is a fiercely independent character, but at the same time is desperately seeking both the attention and approval of her father when she finally returns to Verity. August to me, seems very quiet and soft spoken; he just wants to be human and although he tries to resist very hard to resist what he is, he is still a monster. Kate figures out what August really is pretty quickly but hasn’t confronted him about it when the assassination attempt occurs. The pair is forced to flee together to stay alive, which causes both of them to make some very difficult decisions involving their loyalty, family and their future. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was an interesting perspective on a dystopian world filled with monsters. And although I will admit, I really enjoy romance, it was nice to read a YA fantasy/paranormal book that did not really have any romance at all. I really enjoy the author’s writing (this was the first book I read by her) and look forward to not only the sequel to this book, but reading her other series as well. Happy reading!