Book Review: This Savage Song

this_savage_song_coverKate 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.

I received This Savage Song in the Good vs. Evil-themed OwlCrate, which was awesome because I had been meaning to read a Victoria Schwab book for some time now. It still took me a couple of months to actually get to this book, because my TBR is a never-ending tower threatening to crush me, but I’m glad I decided to finally read it. It was a perfect book for October, what with the monsters inside trying to kill everyone. But I’d recommend it any time of the year!

The Good

Two words: August Flynn. Pretty much as soon as the story started, I knew I loved August. Even though he is a Sunai whose music steals people’s souls, I just wanted to give him a big hug and protect him from the world. He is seriously a sweetheart, but still tries to make the tough calls in order to save the innocent. In fact, he doesn’t really want to punish the guilty, either. He just wants to be human and to feel alive and I JUST CAN’T EVEN WITH HIS BEAUTIFUL HEART.

Then there’s Kate, who I wasn’t quite so sure about at first. She seemed like a total brat; one of those “mean girls” from high school who just seemed more crazy than scary. But as the story progressed and we got to know more of her background, I came to appreciate Kate and what she has overcome. She isn’t the typical good-girl heroine, but she’s not a villain, either. She’s like an onion: she has layers. (Yes, I just made a Shrek reference. I’ll understand if you leave this review now.)

I think Kate and August make a great pair, and I hope they continue to work together in the next book. I don’t know if Sunai can develop romantic feelings or not, but even if they can, I personally would prefer August and Kate to stay platonic. They are opposite in almost every way, which I think makes for a great rebel duo, but not a couple. (Not that opposites don’t attract—I just think they have too much baggage to deal with first.)

I also loved the monsters in this book. Well, not them personally (except for August, duh), but how they’re created. I think it’s an interesting concept and commentary on how people’s actions can have greater consequences than we realize, and by then it’s too late. And the song about them?? Creepy!

The Bad

Some of the writing was a little obvious and kind of took me out of the story, like when Kate was looking at her reflection in a window and that’s how we found out what she looks like (or at least about one of her prominent physical features). And then there was August’s tattoos that got mentioned like 800 times in the beginning of the story. Both of these features are important, but were also mentioned several times later on in the story, so I don’t know why it was so important to drill it into our brains at the start. Especially because the later instances were brought up so much more naturally.

I also wasn’t expecting the plot to advance so quickly; I assumed August would be at school with Kate way longer before she figured out who he was, and there would be more sleuthing and banter. But that’s just personal preference, since that wasn’t the main action and I totally thought it would be because I didn’t read any excerpts before jumping in. *hides face in shame*

The Verdict

This Savage Song is a fast-paced read, with an interesting spin on darkness and who is really considered a monster. I found it easy to connect with the characters, and while some things were a little obvious, I enjoyed the story. I’m looking forward to the sequel, Our Dark Duet.

Rating: ★★★★

Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,
Shadow and bone will eat you raw.

Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,
Smile and bite and drink you dry.

Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,
Sing you a song and steal your soul.

Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all…


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