ARC Review: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab

3.5/5 Stars 
Published by Greenwillow Books
Published July 5th, 2016

Synopsis: 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 was my very first Victoria Schwab book. After watching tons of praise filled reviews fall from the glorious mountaintops I said to myself: "lillie you're gonna like this book." And to my surprise, my prediction was wrong. I didn't find any reason to be goggling at this book when I finished it, despite the initial storyline being good. I was intrigued by the idea: a divided city, monsters, music, a platonic relationship, monsters - but I felt as though this book dragged on for 100 more pages than it needed. Besides this, however, I really liked the characters in this book and the direction the plot took because of these main characters and their internal processes, emotions, decisions, etc. And when it did get moving and intense, it was really good
Kate Harker and August Flynn are an unlikely pair to cross paths, let alone become "friends". Kate wants to prove her merciless nature, and all August wants to do is be human. They each succumb to their dark pasts, to the even darker present, and try to fight the overbearing city limitations and oncoming war. I found that the dynamic between the two of these character, especially in times of duress, was an interesting combination of two completely different threads, though ultimately beneficial to each other. While they would naturally be enemies in this divided city, they somehow learn to see the better in one another and from there, discover themselves.

I found the monsters and their hierarchy super cool; something I'm really looking forward to exploring more of in later books. Are there more monsters? Are they evolving? I just want more monsters! This Savage Song was a promising start to a series, and I do find myself hopefully enjoying the next installment now that the base of this story has been established. There is potential for the next book to be even more action packed - which I honestly hope it is. When the epic fight scenes were happening, I felt as though I was flying through the pages. Then when it was all over, all I wanted was more. more more more more more. Victoria Schwab, it appears, has a knack for thrilling brawls.

While I'll admit I was a little disappointed that the hype just didn't live up to my expectations, I will be reading A Darker Shade of Magic and Vicious - this will not stop me. Though I had some problems with this book, - mostly pertaining to the slow pace and lack of interesting plot until halfway - I must say I am looking forward to the progression this series takes. I did like the writing style, which means I should (hopefully) like her other books. Take a chance with this book! I think the monsters of Verity have a load of potential to wreck havoc not only on their city, but on you personally, as well.