Mini reviews: “This Savage Song” and “Our Dark Duet” by Victoria Schwab

Is it too late to change my 2018 goals to one post a month because it seems like that’s the direction I’m heading in now. Anyway, on to the rant, I mean *ahem* review.

Victoria freaking Schwab destroyed me AGAIN. I am never trusting this woman again. Never! NEVER AGAIN!

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*deep breath* You know I really need to take up a safer hobby, a less mentally exhausting one. BECAUSE THIS SERIES YOU GUYS OH MY GOSH

Okay, okay, deep breaths again. Whew.

All right, so I am reviewing both books in the Monsters of Verity duology at once because I read them together. Our Dark Duet review is going to have spoilers from This Savage Song so don’t read that one if you haven’t read the first one.

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23299512Rating:
5 stars

“You wanted to feel alive, right? It doesn’t matter if you’re monster or human. Living hurts.”

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 Schwaba 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.

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Victoria Schwab creates a world where every sin (murder) committed creates a monster. The more tragic the deaths, the more powerful the monsters. August is one of those said monsters, one of the most powerful ones, but all he wants is to be human. Kate’s dad is a ruthless businessman who keeps people safe by making deals with monsters. Kate wants to be just like her father, she wants to be feared and respected, (but she’s actually kind of a cinnamon bun?).

I LOVED this book, much more than I thought I would. This was a gripping and terrifying world. The imagery, the world development, the details were all spot on. Yes it’s a book about monsters but it’s believable.

I love how Kate’s and August’s relationship developed. Keep in mind, this is not a romance, but rather a deep friendship. Unusual circumstances bring August and Kate together and they realize there is more to the other side than they thought. They’re reluctant partners in a quest to save their world but become so much for each other.

The book, like most of Schwab’s, question humanity and what it means to be human. What it means to be a good human. And whether or not some sins are more forgivable than others.

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32075662Rating:
5 stars

“I know it hurts,” she said. “So make it worth the pain.”

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?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and NoblesArrow

And there goes Victoria Schwab stealing my heart and soul once again. WHYYYY do I open myself up to such pain. Our Dark Duet was an epic conclusion to the duology, it was everything I expected and more.

The first third of the book, we see August and Kate going upon their lives. August has accepted his fate as the Sunai leader and captain of Henry’s FTF force. Kate has become a bad-ass monster hunter in another province but must return to Verity when her new target goes for her old hometown. The two MC’s have started to fulfill different roles and they’ve come a really long way since the beginning of the first book.

August no longer wants to be human. It seems like he was becoming his biggest fear. Kate was starting to figure out her niche in life, carving her own path instead of aspiring to be her father’s daughter.

The villains were all  wonderful, some of them complex and some just monstrous because it’s what they are. Sloan just wants to rule all of Verity and want to defeat Henry at all costs. Alice wants to kill August and Kate for revenge. And the newest monster who both sides fear just feeds off of chaos and conflict.

The book is dark and compelling and keeps you at the edge of your seat at all times. Also deeply emotional and moving because you’re rooting for these characters from the beginning to the end.

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Spoiler Alert! DON’T READ IF YOU HAVEN’T READ BOTH BOOKS

OH MY GOSH THAT ENDING! I wasn’t expecting it and it shook me up so hard I’m still thinking about it after a month. I was expecting Kate to be injured but live because I needed her and August to be together forever 😥 .

But the ending was poetic. Kate dies by killing the monstrous version of her, overcoming her inner conflict against herself. And August reaps her soul so she could always be a part of him, alive or not. Reading that scene broke my heart but it was also realistic in that situation. There was very little chance both main characters would’ve gotten out of there alive and though most YA MC’s always beat the odds, it’s refreshing to read another take. (Am I only saying this to reassure myself so I wouldn’t burst out crying? Who knows?).

And Ilsa’s death scene also killed me. I loved her! But I was expecting that so it didn’t take me by surprise.

All the side characters, new and old, were great. I loved August’s team because it was so clear they cared a lot about him. And Soro was a great addition to the family, I didn’t know how I felt about them until the end scene. But I can see that Soro is now trying to  understand that sometimes people do desperate things for a good cause and that not all “sinners” need to die.

One thing I wanted more of is August’s scenes with his adoptive mother because they don’t interact much in the two books.

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Have you read this duology? If not, GET TO IT

 

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12 thoughts on “Mini reviews: “This Savage Song” and “Our Dark Duet” by Victoria Schwab

  1. I LOVED This Savage Song so much too! Yes to the dark world and the unique characters [monsters!] and the writing and world-building. I’m about to start Our Dark Duet today so I’ll skip that review for now. I’ll be back to comment when I finish. Happy to see you loved them both as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read this series yet, but it is on my TBR. I am pretty excited to get reading it after finding out how much you enjoyed both of these books. I love it when the characters are amazing, even the side ones. I can’t wait to read it now! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I haven’t read these books yet because I can’t get anyone to tell me if they are graphically violent. I do *not* do graphic violence. I can manage it when it’s only lightly described. Alas. What do you think? Could I manage the violence of this duology? I ADORE the Shades of Magic series (I’m re-reading A Darker Shade of Magic right now, actually…), so I’d love to check out more Schwab.

    Sell the series to me without spoilers, Shouni. I dare you! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a few graphically violent scenes but I didn’t think they were any worse than the “Shades of Magic” books. I wouldn’t say they were lightly described though. Since it’s a world about monsters, there’s quite a lot of killing and stabbing and biting if that puts you off. BUT the character development is FANTASTIC and the world itself is very well crafted.

      There are also similarities between the “Monsters of Verity” and “Shades of Magic” books and since you like the latter series, I think you’ll like this one 😀 (me trying to be vague but convincing). GAAAHHH HOW DO PEOPLE RECOMMEND BOOKS WITHOUT SPOILERS!!??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha– it’s practically impossible to recommend or discuss amazing books without spoilers. Seriously! I find that I have to stop myself mid-sentence all the time. I’ll definitely add Monsters of Verity to my TBR then. Thanks for the clarifications, even if you don’t think they were all that great. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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