This Savage Song.
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 beautiful thing about books was that anyone could open them.”
This book was not even nearly perfect (structurally).
This book had quite a few typos (yes, I know it's petty, but I notice these things).
BUT, this book kept me invested from cover to cover. I stayed up reading till 2 am one time, and that says a lot, as I very much love my precious sleep time!
It made me feel sad for Kate.
And fall in love with Ilsa.
But most importantly it gave me THE FEELS! And it's been a while since a book has done that. FEELS so strong that they got my heart pounding. And I loved it!
“It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he only felt human after doing something monstrous.”
August Flynn is a precious dandelion. August Flynn deserves all the love in the world. August Flynn is a monster. August Flynn is fictional...
“He wasn't made of flesh and bone, or starlight.
He was made of darkness.”
Kate is a character that I would have normally hated. But somehow Kate was a character that I loved.
“She cracked a smile. "So what's your poison"
He sighed dramatically, and let the truth tumble off his tongue. "Life."
"Ah," she said ruefully. "That'll kill you.”
I absolutely adored their chemistry and their conversations.
AND I was so, so thankful that there was no romance.
Ilsa is a precious little star in the universe of darkness that she alone inflicted.
“Nobody gets to stay the same.”
At the end of the book I had some questions, and I really hope that they will be addressed in the next one.
Why Kate's monster rose at that location? Why does it look like her? She didn't do anything at that house, didn't kill anybody. If anything I expected the monster to rise from where she shot her father. Why did the monster take the name Alice. Was it a cruel, cruel joke? Why didn't Sloan have a heart and was un-killable?
END OF SPOILERS
“Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They're gonna come and eat you all.
Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,
Shadow and bone will eat you raw.
Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,
Smile and bite and drink you dry.
Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,
Sing you a song and steal your soul."
Our Dark Duet
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?
Since This Savage Song was such a hit for me I was expecting one of two things happen after I read Our Dark Duet.
1. I thought that this duology has a potential to go on my permanent favorites shelf.
2. I thought that this book was going to break my heart.
Neither of these two things happened. Instead:
3. Major disappointment.
Once again, just to mention, this book had quite a few typos (petty, petty things, but they bother me. It just feels undone, when typos are present in the final draft.)
If I had to describe Our Dark Duet in one word, I would say underwhelming.
This Savage Song made me feel things. I was scared. My heart was racing. I felt sadness for August. I felt Ilsa's emotions.
In Our Dark Duet I just didn't feel anything. It's like the book was missing its soul. Maybe it was because August was so cold and emotionless in this one. Gone was a boy with feelings, and dreams, and stardust... New August was a killing machine. Nothing more.
“I didn't stop fighting," he said, the words so low he worried Kate wouldn't hear them, but she did. "I just got tired of losing. It's easier this way."
We had new characters introduced in the beginning of the book, I can't say that I liked them, as they didn't get enough page time to be completely developed. And they were very briefly mentioned at the end of the book, so I guess they weren't that important anyway.
Prosperity wasn't mentioned in the end either, which was odd to me, since Kate spent so much time there. Verity was 'free', but what about the fates of other cities?
Sloan wasn't a very good villain. I had the hardest time guessing what his final goal even was. He was so driven to find Katherine for most of the book, but then he just gave up that idea in a span of a second. What was the point of killing EVERY HUMAN he could find? What happens after they all are dead? What would the monsters EAT? From a predator's point of view, Sloan wasn't the brightest.
Sloan also got his own POV, but it wasn't very necessary. I feel like the only reason for that was - to bring more gore and gruesome scenes into the story. But plot wise, he added very little. So did Alice. She was either killing humans for no reason, or sitting on the countertop of the penthouse kitchen.
A new character, Soro, a third Sunai, basically a poor replacement for Leo, was barely a character. Maybe he was meant to be so mysterious, but to me he just felt underdeveloped.
Which brings me to an interesting question.
Soro is a monster. Monster is not a human. So, if Soro was gender neutral, wouldn't Soro be called 'it' ? Instead, a proper new nomenclature for a gender neutral human was used 'they'. Which could have had two reasons:
1. To give Soro a hint of humanity? Although he never displayed any yearning to even be human.
2. To include more diversity (which is always a great thing, but it felt pushed, as technically Soro wasn't human, so 'they' wasn't a necessary term to describe a monster with.
Our Dark Duet took GoodReads by storm, and a lot of people absolutely loved it. I felt largely underwhelmed by it (which made me quite sad, as I was expecting amazing things from this book).
To me it just felt rushed. I feel like if a little more time was spent on the book it could have been phenomenal. Which is why I think that publisher's deadlines are a cruel, cruel thing.
Writing a book is an art. And art takes time.
This Savage Song is definitely staying on my favorites shelf. But sadly, Our Dark Duet, will not be joining it.
Maybe I am just too picky?
Freelance BETA reader.