June 9, 2016

What Does It Mean To Be A Monster? • This Savage Song

This Savage Song book cover
I’m slowly, but surely catching up on Victoria Schwab’s novels, friends! Admittedly, by reading This Savage Song, I skipped ahead a little (I still haven’t read Vicious, A Darker Shade of Magic or A Gathering of Shadows). But hey, I can’t say that I regret it! This novel follows Kate Harker and August Flynn, two teens who live in a city infested with monsters bred from violence. Kate lives with her father in the sector where he protects the humans from monsters, while August lives with his family in the sector where many citizens are trained to fight the monsters. Their paths cross when August is sent to Kate’s school to keep an eye on her. One assassination attempt later, these two are forced to flee together and to really think about what it means to be a monster.

This Savage Song was a lushly written novel, with the basic hallmarks of a Schwab novel: creative world, dynamic characters and complex plot. I honestly cannot fully stress how interesting it was to learn about Kate and August, about the other people in their lives and about this world. It’s such a potent mix of terror and anger and heartbreak and love, with the entire story really inviting the reader to ask just one question: What does it mean to be a monster? It’s a novel that definitely got (and held) my attention! Schwab does make her readers work for it, as you have to piece together the fragments you get (about the monsters, the word, the main characters). But it’s definitely worth the effort, because it coalesces into something really cool by the end of the story – and it will make you want the next one too. I certainly found This Savage Song to be thoroughly engaging (if slightly odd and slightly terrifying), and I will most definitely check out the sequel when it comes out next year. 

What is your favorite classical piece?

While I do have a particular love for the Moonlight Sonata, it was edged out just the slightest bit by Fur Elise. I remember hearing it played by a pianist as a child, and falling completely in love with the tempo changes and melodies and the way it made me feel. I was super determined to learn how to play this - and I did! (I'm pretty sure I could play it still, as long as I had sheet music and a couple of days to practice too.)

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Publisher: Greenwillow Books | Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Source: ARC downloaded from Edelweiss (Thank you!)

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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