This Savage Song is the latest YA novel by Victoria Schwab and is the first of the Monsters of Verity duo logy. It’s a dystopian based novel, not one of my favorite genres but this novel has a twist in it: it’s about monsters.
In the dystopian future, the USA doesn’t exist as we know it. After the Phenomenon, the US is scattered into areas with places of high population and areas filled with monsters. Verity is one of the high populated cities somewhere in what was once the midwest. Verity is divided into two halves due to an uneasy truce: North City, controlled by crime boss Callum Harker who offers protection for those who can pay, and South City, controlled by Henry Flynn who tries to keep the peace by controlling the monsters. They are separated by the Seam, which individuals can cross provided they have the proper credentials.
In this future, crimes created monsters. There are three types of monsters. The shadowy Corsai, created from non-lethal but violent crimes, are always hungry and don’t discriminate between good and evil; the vampire like Malchai, created by murders and who feed on blood; and the mysterious Sunai, created from unspeakable crimes, who are practically indestructible. Harker controls most of the Corsai and Malchai, but Flynn has the only three Sunai. One of the Sunai, August, wants nothing more than to be anything but a monster.
August is sent on an undercover spying mission to gather information on Harker’s daughter, Kate, who has returned to Verity after being expelled from her sixth boarding school. The two strike up an unlikely relationship. When Kate finds out August’s secret, all she wants to do is turn him in to her father. Her plans are interrupted by an attempted assassination (hers) and framing (August’s). This causes the two to work together to find out who is responsible. In the process, they learn things about each other – and themselves.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book in the beginning. It was a bit slow paced at first, but picks up in the middle. From then on it was a page turner, one I was forced to put down when I had to. I really liked both Kate and August’s characters and how they grow by the end of the novel. Their relationship doesn’t go beyond a deep understanding of each other (perhaps a friendship) but doesn’t become romantic. I really liked that, reading a novel where the two characters do not end up romantically involved.
The only thing I wanted was more information on the Phenomenon, the event that appears to have brought about the monsters. I am hoping it will be explained more in the next novel. I did enjoy learning about all the different monsters through Kate instead of knowing everything at the beginning. I was sorry to see this novel end, but look forward to the next book in the series.
My rating: 4/5