“It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he only felt human after doing something monstrous.” ― Victoria Schwab, “This Savage Song”
Victoria Schwab steals the attention of the readers with her unique storyline in her YA novel, “This Savage Song.” As with her previous young adult collection, Schwab will not let the reader down with her awe-striking tales.
Schwab’s YA novel explores her new idea of monsters being born from people’s crimes. The story takes place in V-city, a divided city as a result from war and the appearance of monsters. This book is composed of three different monsters, Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai, each born from different levels of crimes. The main characters of this book are August Flynn and Kate Harker who are heirs of the divided city. August is a monster, the third of his kind, who desires to be human and to protect innocent humans from the monsters that stroll the night, just like his human “father,” the leader of South City, Verity. Kate, on the other hand, wants to be as ruthless as her father who has monsters under his control and makes his people pay for protection against them. Kate and August’s paths cross when August is asked to keep watch over Kate while undercover as a normal teen. Since they are both new students, Kate and August create an unusual friendship. Kate eventually learns of August’s secret of being a Sunai (a monster that steals souls), but before she can do anything, a failed assassination attempt sends both Kate and August on a run for their lives.
The most enjoyable part of this book apart from Kate and August’s friendship is the dark and realistic tone that Schwab maintains throughout the story. She writes, “People are users. It’s a universal truth. Use them, or they’ll use you.” This book like her other works of literature are spellbinding, it will catch your attention and not let it go. “This Savage Song” is a must-read, and readers will find that the lyrical and memorable lesson each of the characters expresses to one another is gruesome, but honest. Throughout the story, there are many thought-provoking moments, such as when Kate says, “[T]he teacher had been right about one thing: violence breeds. Someone pulls a trigger, sets off a bomb, drives a bus full of tourists off a bridge, and what’s left in the wake isn’t just shell casings, wreckage, bodies. There’s something else. Something bad. An aftermath. A recoil. A reaction to all that anger and pain and death.”
Any fan of dark and the supernatural literature is going to be captivated with Schwab’s books. “This Savage Song” is a book to be read again and again. This thrilling tale has been written with a great depth of understanding. “Being. Not being. Giving in. Holding out. No matter what I do, it hurts,” said August Flynn whose character shows the strong and painful feeling of dealing with the challenges that life brings. With writing like this, Schwab will leave her readers with a strong connection to both her stories and her characters.