This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab kicks off with a really interesting premise that makes me wonder why we haven’t thought of this before! It’s a dark urban fantasy set in the city of Verity in the not so distant future, but here’s the twist: it’s a city in which violence spawns actual monsters.
The story itself revolves around two teens: Kate, the daughter of the man who runs the north side of the city by severely questionable means, and August, a monster who works with the humans in the south. August is sent to a school in the north to keep an eye on Kate, but a violent event forces the two into an unlikely team of sorts when they realize there’s more going on in the dark than anyone in Verity is willing to see.
The style and theme itself lends to a dark and haunting tale, but it’s also quite poignant in its design. It asks really tough questions with answers that lie somewhere in the gray.
Violence begets violence, so what do the people who cause it deserve? How do we actually stop violence without violence? What happens when you are something you can’t stand and yet can’t change? How far do you have to go, physically and emotionally, to survive? Honestly, I think this book brings up more questions than answers. Just as soon as it sounds like it’s going to start preaching at you, gray is introduced.
The beginning of the book was a bit slow, but once it hit the halfway point, the story took off and did not stop until the end. It’s gritty and intense and has a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming (which is hard to do with me. So mad I didn’t catch it!).
While the premise was fascinating, the story itself didn’t entirely work for me. I found it difficult to see the main story goal until much later in the book, so I felt lost much of the time. It was definitely an interesting read, though, and asked some important questions. So for those reasons, I would definitely recommend This Savage Song.