Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre/Themes: Fantasy, Horror, Dystopia, Young Adult
Release Date: June 13th 2017
Page Count: 510
*WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*
As you will learn by reading the review below, I unfortunately has a lot of mixed feelings about this one. On one hand it was beautifully written and extremely creative. On the other, I was left with a lot of questions and a few concerns. This finale was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and unfortunately I must say that it didn’t really live up to it’s expectations for me.
THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY. KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it. AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost. THE WAR HAS BEGUN. THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING. Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons. Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?
What I Liked
The characters, new and old. I loved the return of most of the original characters from the first novel, and I really enjoyed a lot of the new characters that were introduced. Although we see the return of our two main characters, Kate and August, they have definitely changed. August seems to have lost his will to seek humanity and Kate seems to be losing hers. While there were a few new characters introduced, I do feel like we could have learned a bit more about a few of them.
The use of gender neutral pronouns. There is a new character introduced in this story named Soro. It is mentioned that they do not consider themselves male or female, and thus the use of the gender neutral pronouns they/them were used when Soro was mentioned. I don’t think I’ve read a book that features someone who identifies as gender neutral, therefore I had never seen the pronouns used in this way before. It was new and refreshing and I really wish we could have learned more about this character.
The writing. We got three different perspectives this time around. We see the story from the perspectives of August, Kate & Sloan. I love multiple perspectives and I felt as though they were executed really well within the story. Victoria Schwab’s writing is always amazing so I’m not shocked that this story had an amazing flow. It’s over 500 pages long and I blew right through it, regardless of the fact that there were a few things about it that I did not enjoy, which you will learn more about below.
The concept. I still think the idea of monsters being born from murder and other crimes that have been committed is a truly original idea. I love the three different kinds of monsters as well. Not only is this alone a creative idea, but creating a type of monster that feeds by playing music in order to eat the souls of sinners is such an insanely brilliant idea. Only the mind of Schwab could come up with that one!
What I Didn’t Like
Unanswered questions. Did I miss something? Where did this chaos eater come from? Was it the result of a massive event? Did it just manifest itself? What was going on with Kate? I’m not sure if I just missed crucial details or what, but I really felt like I was missing something. That I was just supposed to accept that these things were happening and not question it.
The Chaos Eater. Not only did I dislike the lack of origin details, it also reminded me A LOT of Osaron from the Shades of Magic series also by Schwab. The Chaos Eater was just a little less of a sentient being. I just wasn’t a fan of this antagonist as it felt unneeded. One bad guy would have been enough in my opinion.
A certain relationship. Don’t get me started on this. I’m annoyed. So many people loved the fact that the relationship between Kate and August was platonic. WHY DID THIS NEED TO CHANGE?! And the fact that it ended up happening all for nothing at the end of the novel. Again, this just felt completely unneeded.
The ending. A lot of people cried while reading this ending, and while it was sad…I was just a little annoyed with some other things (see above) that I didn’t feel the full impact of the emotions that I should have been feeling. The ending was also left a little too open and vague for me. It didn’t feel like a solid conclusion for a finale to a series.
Overall, I was left feeling a little disappointed. I know a lot of people feel as though this second books was better than the first, but it was the opposite for me. I’m left with a lot of questions and I don’t have that feeling of closure unfortunately. While it definitely had its wonderful moments, I’m left with a lot of things that I just didn’t enjoy with this story. I’m sad to say that this one fell a little flat for me.
About The Author
I am the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, I have been known to say “tom-ah-toes”, “like”, and “y’all”. I also suffer from a wicked case of wanderlust, made worse by the fact that wandering is a good way to stir up stories. When I’m not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, I’m usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters. These days, when someone asks me what I do when I’m NOT writing, I just kind of laugh nervously. But in truth, on the odd occasion I’m not typing away, I’m probably baking cookies, or watching BBC shows, or wandering. (See how we came full circle, there?)
Thank you for reading!