Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Titan Books. I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review!
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: June 7th 2016
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
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.
After the success of Victoria's 'Shades of Magic' series thus far, This Savage Song appealed to me as Victoria's writing is so melodic and fluid. Trust me, you don't realise how appropriate the word melodic is for this book until you read it! In a world divided where monsters are born from violence, our two main characters fight for survival in their own unique ways. What I found so beautiful about Victoria's book was that whilst this book was very dystopian in its intend, the messages it portrays about modern society were so realistic and foretelling. Monsters born from violence. Ringing any bells? I followed Victoria's process on Twitter through the inception of This Savage Song, and she details it as being her dark monster baby. You can definitely tell that Victoria has poured every ounce of her being into this work, and it is totally one that she needs to be proud of.
Exploring the world of monsters was fascinating, especially from August's point of view. Seeing darkness from the perspective of the supposed 'evil' in the world greatly arouses curiosity and wonder. Now, whilst character's battling their inner evils is nothing new within YA, Schwab delivers her readers with the exploration of normality and the struggles that people can conquer to try to achieve it. It is interesting to see the emotional journey of these characters, who centre the majority of this novel. One thing that Schwab delivers effortlessly are solid and realistic characters, who have relatable ties to the emotional well-being of her readership. If you find yourself drawn instinctively to character focused novels then This Savage Song is the book for you.
However, whilst I adored the character journeys in this book, there was a lack of plot enthusiasm for myself, which surprised me for a Schwab book. In comparison to her Darker Shade series, which really awed me and enticed me, that is very heavily focused on a perfect blend of character development and plot line, This Savage Song fell slightly flat, hence the star rating I'm awarding it. That isn't to say that there wasn't a plot, because the very evidently was. I just felt that it wasn't as defined as I would have hoped for. Obviously, this is just the opinion of one sole blogger, and you will find hundreds, if not thousands of reviews praising the plot. Will this stop me from continuing on with this duology? Not in the slightest! Luckily, the intrigue of the characters enticed me enough to continue, and this sole blogger looks forward to seeing where the story continues in the next instalment. I award This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab a 3 out of 5 stars. Once again, Schwab impresses with her development of realistic characters.