This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre/Themes: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: July 5th 2016
Page Count: 464
The second I heard about this new series by the one and only Victoria Schwab, I knew I needed to read it. I recently finished reading A Gathering of Shadows, the second novel in her Shades of Magic series and I was just so eager to read more from her!
This Savage Song is the first book in a series that explores a futuristic dystopian world in which what was once the United States of America is now divided into four different cities. One of them is the city of Verity, where there is a divide between humans and monsters, of which there are three distinct different kinds. The Corsai hide in the shadows with their sharp teeth and claws. The Malchai are almost vampiric as they like to bite and drink your blood. The Sunai look the most human, but are potentially the most lethal. They use music to take the soul straight from the human body.
This is probably one of the most unique takes on a dystopian world that I have ever read. Maybe not so much in terms of the split between different territories, but definitely the idea of the three different types of monsters and their very unique differences from one another.
I think that this futuristic dystopian world could have been explored a bit more. The story never really went into detail about how this world came to be in the first place. How did the States divide into these separate cities? How did the monsters come to creation? Especially the Sunai. I know there was mention of some sort of catalyst so that whenever someone commits a terrible crime, a Sunai is somehow created…but I don’t think it was explained enough. It was definitely confusing and I still don’t quite understand it. Also, I know it’s terrible that I think about the world this way but, wouldn’t the Sunai be a lot less rare if they are created every time a terrible crime has been committed? Also, we only learned a little bit about Verity. What about the other cities? I’m sure we will learn more about them in future novels, as the ending of This Savage Song suggested, but there still so much to learn about Verity first!
There are two main characters within This Savage Song. August Flynn has been taken in by Henry Flynn, a human in charge of keeping the Monster side of Verity in control. August is one of three Sunai that are treated as Henry Flynn’s children. As tension begins to brew, August would like to help in any way that he can. He is thrown into the human side of Verity where he poses as a human student in order to get closer to Kate Harker. Kate is the daughter of Callum Harker, a glorified criminal and the mastermind behind the protection racket that keeps the Corai and Malcai at bay if they should somehow pass into the human side of Verity.
I absolutely loved August. He was sweet and innocent, despite being a Sunai. All August wants is to be human, to feel normal. He despises what he is and tries to ignore what makes him a monster. Kate, on the other hand, did not jive with me so well…at least not at first. She wasn’t very likeable at all, but as the story continued, her character began to change and grow. While she is supposed to be the human in this story, she definitely acted the most monstrous of the two protagonists. However, as the story continues, the friendship and camaraderie between August and Kate that shouldn’t be possible becomes the best thing about this book.
I loved the idea of the three Sunai siblings, the three rarest and most mysterious monsters coming together to form a family. Although this doesn’t turn out to be as ideal as it first seemed, I loved the family dynamic in its early stages. We learn a little bit about how August’s siblings Ilsa and Leo came to be, but I think that there was still a lot more to learn about them. Not only did I want to learn more about them, but I found myself asking a lot of questions about Henry and Emily Flynn. How did they come across all three Sunai? Did they happen to be at each crime scene in which they were created? Why were the three of them so willing to work under Henry, a human? As you can see, I’m still left with a lot of questions.
The dual perspectives of Kate and August was one of my favourite things about this book. It’s one of my favourite things about any book. When dual perspectives are done well they provide a look into the story from two completely different characters. We see the moments where the friendship between August and Kate begins to form. We know the moments in which Kate and August begin to trust each other. The writing was fantastic and extremely fast paced. Victoria Schwab can honestly do no wrong.
This Savage Song is a fantastic start to a new series by the amazing Victoria Schwab and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book! It’s going to be really hard to wait for this one!
I read this book as a part of #ReadThemAllThon!