Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Posted July 25th, 2016 in book review / 20 comments

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria SchwabThis Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Publisher: Greenwillow Books on July 5, 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Dark, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a 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 the 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’s 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 her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

At A Glance

Very unique and interesting read.

The Good

This Savage Song was all sorts of unique with a very different premise. Monsters want to rule the city but an uneasy truce is just barely keeping them in line. A city divided: one side has August, a monster that wants to be human, the other has Kate, a human that wants to act like a monster. Victoria nailed it with the monsters. Monsters are “born” based on human crimes. There are three types of monsters that arise depending on the crime, each once scarier than the other. A frightening thought, right?

August is one of those monsters, the one that looks the most human. He is both the scariest and most logical monster you can get. But all he wants to be is human. I felt August’s struggle every step of the way. He felt so much, even when he shouldn’t. If he had a soul, it was filled with passion for a life he would never have.

Kate was a bitch. Well, she did her best impersonation of one to impress her corrupt dad. She has dedicated her life to becoming hard, ruthless, and indifferent in every action and thought. Then August comes along and her world crumbles. They are suppose to be enemies, but they are thrown together in a race for their lives and the city’s survival. Enemies become allies, allies become enemies and Kate and August have no choice but to trust each other.

I love how their relationship progressed into a tentative friendship that opened them both up to a new view of the world. Once the story picked up, there was a lot of tension and action until the very end. I loved the detailed world-building and explosive but open ending. Book 2 cannot come fast enough.

The Bad

It took quite some time for me to get into this book and for the real action to start. Plus, it took forever for me to care about the characters. I’m not sure what it was, but I really had to work hard to love this book, but at one point I totally found that love.

The Snuggly

No romance, yay!!! It was nice to see two characters thrown together and them not fall in love.

Final Thoughts

I am really hard on young adult books, I don’t even know why, so when I say This Savage Song is worth the read, you know I mean it. If you are looking for a book with a different concept and a focus on the story and not the romance, you have found your gem. Highly recommended.


“It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he only felt human after doing something monstrous.”  

“But the teacher had been right about one thing: violence breeds.
Someone pulls a trigger, sets off a bomb, drives a bus full of tourists off a bridge, and what’s left in the wake isn’t just she’ll casings, wreckage, bodies. There’s something else. Something bad. An aftermath. A recoil. A reaction to all that anger and pain and death.”  

“I read somewhere,” said Kate, “that people are made of stardust.”
He dragged his eyes from the sky. “Really?”
“Maybe that’s what you’re made of. Just like us.”
And despite everything. August smiled.”  

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20 Responses to “Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab”

  1. Melliane

    It’s complicarted when you can’t get into the story and when you don’t care about the characters but it’s great to see it changed.

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      Yeah, at least it got better. I do hate struggling in the beginning though.

  2. Kristin

    For someone who is all about the romance I kind of like that this one doesn’t have it. You’d think from the synopsis that romance between the two would be a given but I’m glad the author didn’t go that route. Sucks that it took a while to get into it. Kudos for sticking with it. I don’t know if it’s this move or what but I’ve got no patience with books lately. If it can’t grab my attention within the first couple of chapters, then I move on to something else.

  3. Lekeisha

    I can’t wait to read this one. I love her other series, Shades of Magic.

  4. Melissa (Books and Things)

    This was so different and I agree with you! So good. I think it was hard to get to know them because they kept everyone, including the reader, at a distance emotionally. However, it did work for consistency. 🙂 I also can’t wait for the next book!

  5. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    OOoh nice! Hearing awesome things about this! The no romance being one of them, but I love how (as I hear) that there’s the potential for more between August and Kate! I have yet to read this one but I am very much looking forward to it. Quite possibly when the next (and last) book comes out. I’m getting into the habit of waiting to binge my duologies as sooo many started this year! LOL! Great review!

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      There is some potential romance which makes it more intriguing since there was none in this book.

  6. Jaclyn Canada

    Based on the cover and title, I would have thought this was a contemporary or new adult read. I was surprised to see monsters in the review so I scrolled back up to see the genre. I’ve had a few books that it took me quite some time to get in to , and they still won me over in the end. I think this is one that I will enjoy. Great review!

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      I never noticed but your right, the cover is a little contemporary.

  7. Olivia Roach

    I hope book two is coming out soon for you to be able to read and love it! I have this one but haven’t read it yet. I’m looking forward to the no romance side of it because as much as I do love a good romance, the idea of there being none also appeals to me quite a bit.

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