Review: This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab

01/10/2016 Reviews 12

Review: This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab‘”Monsters, monsters, big and small,

They’re gonna come and eat you all!”‘

I’ve heard so many good things about Victoria Schwab’s books that I’ve been meaning to try them out for ages! Oddly though, despite having owned A Darker Shade of Magic for ages I ended up reading this one first after I bought it as part of an offer with Empire of Storms

Thie Savage Song tells the story of Katherine Harker and August Flynn, the children of two bitter enemies, each of whom control a different side of a divided City. Kate wants nothing more than her father’s approval, and tries to be as tough and ruthless as him, whilst August just wants to fight his monstrous nature and be human. With war threatening to erupt between their two families and monsters roaming the street, Kate and August find themselves being forced together as they try and keep the peace.

Although this wasn’t a particularly long book, it has seemed to take me so long to read it! I’m really not sure why either, seen as I did enjoy it, but I didn’t find myself really looking forward to picking it up. There were so many things I loved about it though, and I can’t seem to pinpoint what exactly about it meant it didn’t 100% wow me.

For example, the world of the book was really unique and well developed, and I liked how it felt very science fictiony and dystopian, but also had a kind of fantasy element what with the monsters who drink blood and steal souls. I really liked the dark, dangerous feel of the city setting, and the gritty atmosphere, and I was left curious about the wider world of the story and the other territories with their intriguing names (eg. Fortune, Temperance, Prosperity).

The main characters were also really likable, both as individuals and as friends. In fact I really liked how this book, rather uniquely in the YA world, didn’t automatically make the relationship between the main characters a romance just because one is male and one is female. There’s every likelihood that’s where it will go in the later books, but I liked how romance wasn’t a central feature (or even much of a feature at all) in this book.

Whilst Kate is in many ways the typical ‘tough-on-the-outside but good on the inside’ character, and August is the classic ‘monster with more humanity than most humans’, they still felt like fresh, interesting characters. However bad of a person Callum Harker is, and how terrible the things Kate does to win his approval are, there is something very relatable in her need for her father’s approval, and it’s the same with August’s struggle to always do the right thing.

However, I do wish some of the more minor characters had been a little more developed. The Flynn family for example: Henry and Emily Flynn just seem to be goodie goodie characters with no real back story as to why they are like that, and I was fascinated by Leo and Isla and would have really liked to have seen more of them!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I liked the dark tone and the originality of the world it’s set in, and the main characters were interesting and relatable. However, there was just something about it that stopped me absolutely loving it…maybe it just wasn’t the kind of book I was feeling like reading at the time, I don’t know. I’ll definitely be getting round to reading  A Darker Shade of Magic soon though!

Rating: 3.5/5

12 Responses to “Review: This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab”

  1. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Great review! I’m reading A Gathering of Shadows right now, and it’s pretty entertaining. I’m on a wait list for this book, but the list is insanely long. I’ll probably get impatient and end up buying the book.

    • Laura

      I so need to read the Darker Shade of Magic books soon! I’ve heard that series is better than this book, and I did enjoy this book, so I should like them too 🙂
      It sucks that the list is so long for it though! I really hope you manage to get hold of it one way or the other soon!

  2. Jenna @ Falling letters

    Hmm, I also didn’t fall in love with this book (though I too enjoyed it and will check out the sequel). I think it’s because it felt mostly like set-up to me.

    I adore ADSoM, though! That’s why I checked out This Savage Song in the first place 😛

    • Laura

      I’ll definitely be checking out the sequel too, even though I didn’t love this one as much as I thought I would.
      I have heard ADSoM is supposed to be better though, and I have a copy already, so I’m pretty excited about that one! I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much 🙂

  3. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I adored this book, so I’m sorry it didn’t hold your attention. That happens to me sometimes too, when I read a book that just doesn’t click with me for some reason, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. I like it, but I’m not excited to read it. Guess we can’t win them all!

    • Laura

      I do wonder if I just read this book at the wrong time to be honest. It seems exactly like the kind of thing I would love, so maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for it at the time? It does just happen sometimes I guess where you can’t quite say why you didn’t love a book.
      I’m really glad you enjoyed it though! 🙂

  4. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy it more, there are some books where things just don’t click right for you. Looks like this might have been one for you. I will tell you VE Schwab’s writing is amazing, I love her books but that doesn’t mean that everyone does. It was an original book and I loved the concept. WHat I loved about this book is that it looked at what makes a monster and I loved that examination of people. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

    • Laura

      I did really like the concept of this book, and the whole what makes a monster question was really intriguing (August seemed like one of the least monstrous people in the novel, to be honest!), so I really don’t know what it was that didn’t click. I’m definitely going to give VE Schwab’s writing another go though. I’ve heard A Darker Shade of Magic is supposed to be really good, so I’ll hopefully get to it soon, and maybe I’ll like that one better 🙂

  5. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    I’m glad you ended up enjoying this book, I’ve heard so many things about it! I love the sound of the world and the characters, although it’s a shame it wasn’t developed too well. Thank you for sharing your review Laura!

  6. Leo McKane

    Funnily enough, I found this book difficult to get into too! Which is strange because I love VE Schwab! But as you said, there was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on that prevented my full enjoyment of this book.
    Have you read her other book Vicious? That’s amazing, really! One of my all time favourites!
    Love your reviews!

    • Laura

      I’ve not read Vicious, but I’ll have to check it out! This was my first Victoria Schwab book, but I have A Darker Shade of Magic all ready to read, so I’m pretty excited about that! Hopefully I’ll get into that one more.
      I’m glad you like my reviews! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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