This Savage Song

This Savage Song

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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#1 New York Times Bestseller

There's no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from acclaimed 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, This Savage Song is a must-have for fans of Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Laini Taylor.

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. In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab creates a gritty, seething metropolis, one worthy of being compared to Gotham and to the four versions of London in her critically acclaimed fantasy for adults, A Darker Shade of Magic. Her heroes will face monsters intent on destroying them from every side--including the monsters within.

Publisher: New York, NY : Greenwillow Books, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062380852
0062380850
Branch Call Number: Y Fic
Characteristics: xxiii, 427 pages ; 22 cm

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Gwen904
Dec 07, 2018

I loved this book. It rapidly constructed a nail-biting plotline that twisted and turned, and August was one of the best protagonists I have ever read about—despite being a "monster" he was more generous and compassionate than the human characters! He was the sweetest kid and very multidimensional.
The poem on the back cover is still stuck in my head:
Monsters, monsters,
Big and small,
They're gonna come
And eat you all.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jan 25, 2018

Wow. This was a wild roller coaster of a book. I absolutely loved it! Combining a dark, creepy dystopian world with monsters that come out at night, with characters that have an undeniable connection, This Savage Song was a treat to read. Victoria Schwab managed to create a duo of Kate and August, combining two forces that created a phenomenon, without any hint of romance. It was refreshing and revitalizing for me in terms of YA dystopian. Verity has been torn into two sides, North and South, in which you either pay or fight for protection from the monsters that attack at night. There are the flesh eating Corsai, the bloodthirsty Malchai and the rarest of them all - the soul stealing Sunai. August is a Sunai. He has a mission to go to high school as a junior and collect information on Katherine Harker. But what will happen when the two cannot deviate between the monsters in their head, and the difference between heroes and villains? A book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, recalling all the stories that scared you as a child. I need the next book! Rating 4.5/5
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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susan_findlay
Sep 22, 2017

Read this for book club, and I very much enjoyed it. I was told I would since I had just shared that dystopian novels were my favourite genre. I don't actually consider this book dystopian because, to me, dystopia is about how human nature and society can go terribly wrong. However unlikely it might be for a given dystopian society to evolve from our current one, I feel like it has to be possible or you're talking fantasy rather than dystopia.

This book has monsters. It's fantasy. It's very good fantasy. Possibly a fantasy/dystopia hybrid.
I'm not one for vampire novels or zombie novels, but I really liked the way that the author used monsters as a thematic device. They quite literally evolved from human weakness. The author regularly calls back to an event called The Phenomenon, about which you learn nothing in this book (other than that it happened). I presume that it was the catalyst for formation of the first monsters, but it looks like we'll have to wait until later books to find out what actually happened (I hope).

I found the main characters nuanced and well-developed. The plot was well-paced, and parts were quite suspenseful. Information is introduced as you need it rather than front-loading with a pile of background. Schwab slowly builds a complex and interesting world that I want to learn more about.

An excellent read, and I look forward to the sequel.

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ErikaCh
Aug 23, 2017

It's one of those books one find a little bit difficult to get hold of the world creating but will get suck into it . While I feel this book's story is more like a prelude. There are not enough conflicts to reflect how good the world building is. Also the romance between the monster and monster hunter is a little awkward.

h
heavenne
Jul 13, 2017

I didn’t know what the hype was all about until I saw the second book released just recently. Took out this book and in the first day I was half way through. It was addicting and it moved at a fast pace.

The plot itself is very interesting and readable. The action is good and not over the top dramatic. The twist near the end is predictable but what you didn’t see coming is the ending and you’re left with either being blown away or….well there’s no other is there? You’re just straight out blown away.

Definitely recommended for YA readers. I’m off to get the second one. I enjoyed this book immensely.

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bookycakes
Jul 08, 2017

This is one of those books that starts off slow and you're feeling like nothing is really happening, and then suddenly it's been 400 pages and BOOM the book is over and you can't figure out who got there. Schwab's writing is methodical and beautiful without being flowery, and there's just enough description of this world where monsters are real to immerse you in the story without being bogged down with details. I think the sequel will be so much better, too, because there was a lot of setup in the first book. Now we're getting into the reality of this dangerous world, and I'm excited to see where the twists will take us, just how dark this story is going to get, and if we'll get to that ever-so-distant light at the end of the tunnel. Highly recommended if you like solid books that suck you in with steady action, a multitude of characters, and a premise that feels all too close to possible.

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pspice
Feb 16, 2017

It is only o.k.. Characters are pretty one-dimensional and their journey not very surprising or exciting. The villains and battles are not that intense or scary. Much better speculative fiction out there. I preferred Schwab's Gathering of Shadows and will read the other two books in that series.

VaughanPLRachelP Jan 17, 2017

I loved the world-building in this - the author drops you into a world at war, between humans and monsters, and lets you figure things out as it goes... and it goes at a breakneck pace. Super creepy too. No romance in this one!

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candacerberger
Jan 10, 2017

This was my first Victoria Schwab read, so I can't compare it to her other writing. I thought the first half or so of the book was a little slow even if the premise of the book was interesting, but I kept reading to see how it'd turn out. Once it picked up, it really picked up, so I'm happy I kept going! It's a bit of a dark little book, but I really enjoyed it.

k
KimoV
Nov 17, 2016

An intriguing concept. It's a good backdrop for thought-provoking questions about the choices we make and their consequences, what makes you human, and who the real monsters are.

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Gwen904
Dec 07, 2018

Coarse Language: A few uses of sh**, damn, and hell. Three uses of f**k.

g
Gwen904
Dec 07, 2018

Violence: Somewhat detailed descriptions of monsters and the ways they kill—Corsai rip you apart, Malchai drink your blood, and Sunai steal your soul. An impending war is a big theme in the book, and guns and knives are used occasionally. People are injured/killed. A woman dies in a car accident, a man is shot by a teenager, a boy is tortured, and a man has his arm ripped off.

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Gwen904
Dec 07, 2018

Gwen904 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Gwen904
Dec 07, 2018

"Why are there so many shadows in the world, Kate? Shouldn't there be just as much light?" - August Flynn, page 351 of 'This Savage Song'

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