“It doesn’t matter if you’re monster or human. Living hurts.” // Review of “This Savage Song” by V. E. Schwab

Title: This Savage Song
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: YA/fantasy/dystopian
Date Read: 18/08/2016 – 22/08/2016
Rating: ★★★


I’m starting to think V. E. Schwab is a one-hit wonder for me. I loved A Darker Shade of Magic, but every other book I’ve read by her, including this one, has been a bit of a disappointment in comparison.

Verity City is split into two parts; in one, you pay for Callum Harker’s protection from the monsters. In the other, Henry Flynn’s task force protects the public. Kate Harker and August Flynn come from two very different worlds, but after an assassination attempt, are thrown together in an uneasy alliance and discover that the truce between two sides of the Seam is breaking, and not everything is as it seems.

One of my main issues with this novel was that I never warmed to the main characters. I think I was supposed to think Kate was really badass, but I can’t support a character who burns down school buildings simply because she doesn’t want to be there, and who pulls a knife on schoolmates just beacuse she was called a freak. I actually didn’t mind August too much at first, but once I realised he was one of those monster characters who just wants to be human, and will do everything to ignore his monster instincts, which puts a lot of people in very immient danger… then I rolled my eyes at him and wanted him to just suck it up.

I did like the premise of the novel, that people’s sins manifested into real monsters. The monsters came in three different types, all were well-established as creepy. What puzzled me, though, was that there seemed to be no additional effort to curtail people’s violence. If you knew that punching that guy would lead to a new monster on the streets, would you actually punch them? And where was the incredibly strict law enforcement? There wasn’t really much detail about how the USA had become the dystopia it is now, and thus it seemed strange that there would just be these two powerful families fighting monsters while everyone else just carried on.

It may be that the speed I was reading (because for all of this, dammit, Schwab keeps you reading) at made me miss details, but I did sometimes find the plot a bit confusing; the Truce between the two halves of the city was clearly breaking, but I kept getting confused about who was betraying who, and I thought the reveals towards the end got a bit far-fetched.

Having said all that, there is no denying the Schwab is a good writer. I read the book quite quickly, as her writing style is easy to follow and keeps you turning pages.I just wish I had been able to get a bit more involved.

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4 thoughts on ““It doesn’t matter if you’re monster or human. Living hurts.” // Review of “This Savage Song” by V. E. Schwab

    • Emily Witt says:

      So had I, so I was really hoping I’d like it. But then, everyone was going on about how A Gathering of Shadows was such a great sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic and I was also disappointed with that one, so I’m getting a bit wary. I think possibly the hype played a part in me not enjoying it, to be honest.

      Liked by 1 person

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