Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on July 5th 2016
Pages: 464
Source:Emma's ARC Adoption

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 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.

This book was sent to me by the loveliest of lovelies, Emma @ Miss Print via her ARC Adoption program. She needs a slogan like, something about creating happy homes for readers in search of the right baby book. Thanks, Emma 😀


True story, this is only my second Victoria Schwab book! You may commence throwing things, I’ll wait for you to finish… ????

We done? Great. If it helps, I will be reading AGOS because you guys made me, so that helps. I mean, I also want to, so there’s that. Anyway. Let’s talk about the actual book in question, hmm?

I liked This Savage Song! I don’t think I knew what to expect, frankly. I only glance at synopses, and even so, I don’t think I would have had much of an idea, in hindsight. But that’s the way I like to go into books, so this is a positive!

I am also a big fan of the moral ambiguity.  Know what it reminds me of? The 100. And um, if you’re new, I love The 100. Maybe too much. But I kept thinking of stuff like this while reading the book:

Clarke and Victoria Schwab could probably take over the world. 

I liked the characters. They were complex, and they had to really think about who they wanted to be and who they wanted to become in the bleak world surrounding them. I found the idea of the world to be enticing, but I also wish I had a few more answers on the past- basically, how it all came to be. But hopefully I will get some in the next book? The way people (and monsters!) related to each other in the world was fascinating also. Trust was a rare commodity, and it seemed that you could be sold out by anyone, at any time.

The writing, of course, is gorgeous. The characters were well developed, and I am definitely looking forward to finding out what will happen next in the world. I am anxious to see who August and Kate will become, and what (if anything!) will happen with their tentative friendship.  This all sounds great so far, right?

To be completely honest, this is a hard book to review. I liked it quite a bit, and I have no real reasons for the things I didn’t like. It sounds kind of lame to deduct a star “because reasons“, but that’s basically what is happening here.  I liked it but didn’t fall in love. There were a few times where things moved a little slow, and I got a tiny bit bored (this was mostly in the middle of the book). But overall, it was absolutely a book I’d recommend- especially since I can’t tell you why it wasn’t a five-star book for me. It probably will be for most of you! And I liked it enough to pre-order a finished copy, so there’s that.

Bottom Line: Victoria Schwab writes pretty things, even when it’s about monsters and evildoers.

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


Have any of you read this one? Do we have any Victoria Schwab fans ready to throw tomatoes and/or books at me? Good news is, I own every book she published, so it is only a matter of time ?

Posted June 30, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review / 24 Comments

24 responses to “Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

  1. Don’t worry, it’s me – who haven’t read a single Victoria Schwab book – people are going to throw things at ‘^^ .
    My intentions are to start with This Savage Song when it comes out in a few days. Ever since reading the summary on goodreads I knew I wanted to give it a try. And now your review really made me want to pick this one up when it comes out (:

    My blog:

  2. I felt the same. And to be honest, I thought the explanation of the Phenomenon was a bit lazy. The world building reminded me of some of the less good dystopian books I’ve read. BUT I still love the writing, and I’m hoping we’ll get more answers in the second book. I’m really hoping for some great character development, especially for Kate, because I think there were already hints for that at the end (like, how she can suddenly tie her hair back and show her scar etc). I think one of my problems was also that the characters in her books just start feeling very familiar. Look at me, talking like I didn’t like the book haha I also gave it four stars. I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO READ AGoS!

    • YESS I think that the character development stuff will be better. Now if we can get the world building on par, everyone will be SET. I mean, I love a dystopian, so this should have been home run territory! It’s okay, we’ll get ’em next time 😉

  3. Despite being a gargantuan VE Schwab fan I shall NOT THROW ANY TOMATOES because I really only read most of her books this year.? I read Vicious last year, loved it, and then proceeded to procrastination ADSOM for eeeeeever. FOR NO REASON. Ahem. Anyway, least to say I’m a rabid fan of that series. :’) This one? not as much though? I STILL GIVE IT 5-STARS AND ALL MY ADORATION. But I think her adult books are a liiiiittle bit better. I also need to read the Archived still. Like, yesterday.

  4. Oh man. Your second? I can’t accept that. We need you hooked on Vicious now. ASAP. It’s an amazing book. With MORE moral ambiguous characters. But with SUPER POWERS. Isn’t that fun?
    Also, there’s The Archived. Which I love. Which is sorta not really about libraries. But I digress.

    I agree with you. Some parts were slow. All the boring yap yap at the school annoyed me. There wasn’t any action. Which made me sad because Victoria’s action is A+++. I love it. But the characters are GREAT. I love August. But Kate? Not so much…she’s a bit…weird. I don’t like her whole ‘I’ll act like a monster to impress my dad’ act. I just got annoyed since she truly isn’t like that. Oh well…

    Awesome review!

  5. Haha I own like four of her books too, even though I’ve only read Vicious. This one is at the top of my need to read list, so I’m glad that you liked it! Some of the reviews haven’t been that great. (Not horrible, but three stars.) I totally understand the four stars though, I do the same thing, it’s how much you enjoyed the book.

  6. Tammy V

    I haven’t read any yet myself but everyone keeps recommending them to me. I admit this one has me more curious and excited to get to her books.

  7. I’m glad this one was a (mostly) hit for you! I am a hardcore Victoria Schwab fan so this was, unsurprisingly a five star read for me but I have seen a lot of reviews mention that they wanted more about the world. And I’ll take it making an ARC Adoption slogan! 😉

  8. I am beyond excited for this book! I am a hardcore Schwab fan and everything about this book sounds like it will be right up my alley. I’m definitely interested to read about the friendship in it as I heard there wasn’t any romance (at least in the first book). This is the first review I’ve read for this book and it’s just making me more excited.

  9. I have yeet to read anything by her…I have A Darker Shade of Magic and an eARC of this one but haven’t read either yet. This book sounds good, and it seems like she writes in a really beautiful fashion, but I’m hesitant because of how hyped this book is. I have a tendency to not really feel much for super hyped up books, so I don’t know. Your review was fantastic, though…really makes me want to just read it already and check it out!

  10. I’ve only read one book by her and I wasn’t a big fan though I want to give her another chance and this book looks really good. I plan on reading A Darker Shade of Magic and then hopefully This Savage song. Thank you for the lovely review it helped me whether I trully want to read it or not. 🙂

  11. I’ve only read one book by her so haha I should probably hide right away. I have this one though and I’m excited to pick it up because it sounds so good. I like the sound of the complex characters, especially. And I agree, her writing is gorgeous. I’m glad this was a hit for you, Shannon!

  12. I think I have more of a reason to hide away in shame because I haven’t read anything by the author, but I do plan to! I mean, EVERYONE is praising her novels, so, even without remembering exactly what they’re about, I want to give them a chance. I’ll either start with this one, or The Archived.
    Wonderful review! 🙂
    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

  13. *Throws tomatoes* YAY THIS IS FUN.

    I’m glad you’ll be reading AGOS soon, BECAUSE HOW CAN YOU NOT. AND YES THIS WAS GREAT. I do agree that I wish there was more. Plus I had a hard time understanding what was going on in the beginning of the novel. There was just so much and I just needed ALL THE ANSWERS. But still. MONSTERS. MUSIC. IT WAS SO UNIQUE.

  14. Ohh great review I heard great things about this book and I am really ashamed I haven’t read any books by VS but hopefully I can remedy that soonish. Thank you for your awesome post.

  15. This is crazy – I recently read ADSOM and while I really enjoyed it, I felt the same as you – great world building, great characters, but there’s not really much to say because hey it was a great book and everyone should read it? I’m so glad you enjoyed this one though Shannon!

  16. You used a bellarke gif and now I can think of nothing else.

    Anyways, if I actually get to this before the summer is over, it’s probably going to be my second of her books too! I want to read AGOS but I think I really need to reread ADSOM first which is a lot of effort so I’m probably going to get to this one first. “Because reasons” is totally valid, if you ask me.

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