Book Review: This Savage Song

Posted July 7, 2016 by Kara in book review, Kara / 3 Comments

Book Review: This Savage SongThis Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on July 5th 2016
Genres: young adult, fantasy, dystopia
Pages: 464
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

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.

Baa, baa, black sheep have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir three bags full. That is me right now because…I didn’t really enjoy This Savage Song all that much. There’s no denying that Victoria Schwab can write, and I have liked her books in the past. I really enjoyed The Near Witch and Vicious. I read part of The Archived and really liked that too but then I put it down when I realized the series wasn’t finished and might never get a conclusion. But I also didn’t love A Darker Shade of Magic. I DNFed that due to pacing issues. So my luck with this author is a bit hit or miss. And this book was mostly a miss for me too. *shrugs*

So what bothered me? Well, the book felt really derivative for one. It felt like a mash-up of a bunch of dystopian novels, like In the After, Arclight, and The Immortal Rules. It all felt like it had been done before, and maybe better.

The other thing that really bothered me was the shoddy world-building. Rules are explained early on, and then later on in the novel, the author breaks her own rules. This definitely happened once, and there were a couple of iffy times where it could be argued either way. I read an ARC, so hopefully this has been corrected in the finished copy. It’s just not explained clearly enough for me. The rules are vague, the explanations are a bit vague, and so later on things don’t make sense.

I also was not particularly attached to the characters. I don’t really feel as if a lot of time was spent on making me engage with them either. They did have background stories, but it did feel like they were quite cardboard. I never got attached to them, and though I liked Kate, her character motivations to be that much of a bad-ass bitch didn’t really convince me. I felt very similar with August. He felt like every other male character in a dystopian novel, other than the fact that he played a violin. But the vampires were just vampires and the Corsai weren’t all that frightening, to be honest.

The whole book just felt like it was lacking something. As for whether or not I will continue on with the duology, that just depends on how long my motivation to read it lasts. I did actually like the plotting, but even that could have gone deeper than it did. The story arc wasn’t strong enough to me. I wanted more to happen. I feel like the book didn’t really get going until the halfway mark, and the only reason I really stuck with it was because of who the author was. It doesn’t matter that much though–I’m sure Victoria Schwab’s next book will be a hit.



3 responses to “Book Review: This Savage Song

  1. I think because I have only read ADSoM that I don’t have much to compare Victoria Schwab’s other books, but I really enjoyed This Savage Song. I had my problems with it as well though, mainly the “twist,” and you brought up some other good points–the overall vagueness in particular. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

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