Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

August 6, 2016 Review 44 ★★★★

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Purchased
Pages: 464
Release Date: July 5th 2016
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Genres: Fantasy, General, Law & Crime, Monsters, Young Adult Fiction
There’s no such thing as safe.

Kate Harker wants to be as ruthless as her father. After five years and six boarding schools, she’s finally going home to prove that she can be.

August Flynn wants to be human. But he isn’t. He’s a monster, one that can steal souls with a song. He’s one of the three most powerful monsters in a city overrun with them. His own father’s secret weapon.

Their city is divided.

Their city is crumbling.

Kate and August are the only two who see both sides, the only two who could do something.

But how do you decide to be a hero or a villain when it’s hard to tell which is which?

“Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all.”

The hype for THIS SAVAGE SONG was insane, and for good reason – it’s Victoria Schwab, after all. When all the positive reviews came flowing in my excitement reached monstrous levels, (that won’t be the last monster joke in this review, fair warning) and my expectations soared to match. While THIS SAVAGE SONG delivered a wickedly (someone stop me) good tale, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit let down.

I was stoked when I first started reading this one. Monsters? Violence? Ruthlessness? War?


I was like YES, let’s do it!

Sadly, my enthusiasm waned. While beginning on a high note, things quickly died down as the plot began to settle down into the ordinary YA setting of high school and the predictable drama that comes with it. While it didn’t break the plot, it definitely took me out of the story and made me realize just how truly badass this would be if it had been an adult book.

“We are the darkest acts made light.”

THIS SAVAGE SONG, in my opinion, was almost a mix of (a watered down) A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC and THE IMMORTAL RULES but with monsters. Unlike those two novels, I found myself struggling to form a connection to the main characters of Kate and August. I cared about what happened to them but not much else. And the side characters, while immensely interesting, weren’t given much time either. Let’s talk about the positive aspects though – like THE VIOLENCE.


As always, Schwab’s writing is fantastic. Everything is well-described without being tedious, and even the VIOLENCE action scenes were well-written. And don’t get me started on the quotes! The world building is also marvelous, although I wish some concepts had been explained in more detail as we were left in the dark about a lot of things in the beginning. I definitely still have questions.

THIS SAVAGE SONG is a dark book and I am in love with that aspect – I wanted more of it. One of the best things about this book is that the line between good and evil, black and white isn’t so clear; the city of Verity is filled with gray and you can choose your own side. This novel was filled with twists and turns, and although some of them were a bit predictable, that ending came out of nowhere. I’ll be anxious awaiting the sequel.

“Nobody gets to stay the same.”

Rating Report
Overall: 4

44 Responses to “Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab”

    • Alise

      The monsters were probably the best aspect of the book, they have so much potential. As for time, I know what you mean – so many books.

  1. Simona

    Interesting review and I’m glad because I’ve read only amazing things about it, everyone’s been raving about it, but I feel like your review helped me remember that I shouldn’t have such a big expectations. Now, that sounded wrong. I mean, it’s better to be pleasantly surprised than being let down, that’s what I mean. And it’s always good to be prepared. Lovely review. :)
    Simona recently posted…About the fears of writing

    • Alise

      Thank you :) Yeah, I enjoyed this one but it wasn’t all that I thought it would be. Couldn’t agree more!

  2. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    LOVELY review Alise! Needless to say, I am KICKING myself for not pre-ordering this when I had a gift card. I need to get my hands on it soon. I do find sometimes though that with Schwab, as much as the writing is ALWAYS gorgeous, I lack a little bit of a connection with characters. I care for them…but not as much as I’d expect. Despite that, she always delivers fascinating stories and worlds so she’s a must-read author for me through and through! We’ll have to compare notes when I do read it ;)
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Armada

    • Alise

      Thank you :D You make an excellent point because I almost always find myself feeling the same way. It wasn’t until A Gathering of Shadows that I really connected to the characters in that series so maybe that’s what will happen here. For sure, let me know when you read it!

    • Alise

      Honestly, I’m starting to wonder if the fact that this was Schwab is sort of clouding my judgment. Would I have been willing to put up with the high school stuff if it wasn’t? Not sure.

  3. Ali

    I really enjoyed this novel! I agree that I couldn’t quite connect with August or Kate, but I am wondering if our connection with them will build with the next novel in the series. I loved the monster stuff so much that it clouded my vision for the rest of the book, ha! (:
    Ali recently posted…Book Review: This Savage Song + OwlCrate Unboxing

    • Alise

      I really hope so; at least, that’s what happened with me and her other series. I know what you mean, that aspect was pretty awesome xD

  4. Ads @ Glittering Reads

    Interesting review. I just got my hands on this one yesterday, and I’m so excited to read it! I enjoyed reading your review and hearing your thoughts as well. This book caught my eye main,y because of the monsters, and while we get monsters in YA, it’s not normally the basis of the plot, so I’m really excited for this.

    • Alise

      Yeah, I’m definitely glad I read it, I just kind of wish it had been an adult book because I think it would have been A LOT more badass (and without the teen angst/drama).

  5. czai

    So much hype on this one. I bought it and still have it on my tbr shelf. Hopefully soon. I’ve never read any Victoria Schwab books (and I really feel ashamed for that) but I’ve read nothing but great things about her works!! It’s really great to know that it was able to live up to all the hype.
    czai recently posted…WEEKEND READS | Big Little Lies + Genesis Girl

    • Alise

      There really is! I hope you like her stuff, A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC is definitely my favorite series by her so far :)

    • Alise

      That’s interesting! Now I’m wondering what I would think of Vicious. I’m glad you are enjoying this one :D

  6. Romi

    Oh, lovely review (and gif choice), Alise! I know I want to read this one, but I don’t know a whole lot about it (since it is a rare instance wherein I read a synopsis) and your review gave me a nice insight to the story. I definitely get what you mean about it translating to adult fiction really well, and I’m sorry that you felt its potential wasn’t reached in that area. It can be a big let down when a book you’re really enjoying just doesn’t seem to get to the level it could, and you can see the way it would be so much more enjoyable.

    Still, I’m definitely planning on giving this a through try (although I think I’m reading another of V.E.’s novels before anything else. Her writing and characters and worlds, her stories, they just sound so intriguing and encapsulating and I really hope I’m not disappointed, since there’s so much love for them. I don’t imagine I will be, but I’ll probably be concerned about it until I’m not!

    Lovely review, Alise. It’d have been great if you’d enjoyed this that bit more, but hopefully the sequel offers up some more enjoyment for you! xx
    Romi recently posted…Made you Up by Francesca Zappia.

    • Alise

      Thank you! :D Yeah, that’s exactly what happened. It’s harder because I know what the author’s adult books are like and this one would have been AMAZING if it wasn’t tailored to young adults.

      I totally recommend A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC to start, it’s my favorite novel by the author (and a totally awesome book in general.)

      Thanks, I hope so too! :)

    • Alise

      A Darker Shade of Magic is still probably my favorite book by her but this one was definitely enjoyable as well. Hope you like it!

    • Alise

      With the high school stuff in the beginning, I can’t blame you. I could have done without that aspect as well but the rest was pretty good :)

  7. Karen Blue

    I was a bit disappointed to see the predictability in this book, and I really disliked the female protagonist. I was still interested by the idea for this book. And you are totally right, the author writes well. I think this is the kind of series that will be building up in the next book, at least I hope. I am looking forward to the sequel too.
    Great review!
    Karen Blue recently posted…Review: THE GIRL FROM THE SEA by Shalini Boland

    • Alise

      I struggled connecting to the female main character as well and the high school parts were really hard to get through. I hope so too. Have you checked out A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC? The author totally shines in that book.

  8. Kelly

    I think the main thing that I found challenging about this one was I never quite made that connection with the characters… I liked them, but it just somehow felt like there was something missing. That said, it was still a really enjoyable read, and I’m looking forward to the sequel!
    Kelly recently posted…Reread Challenge: The Supernaturalist

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