Published July 5th, 2016 by Greenwillow Books (first published June 7th 2016).
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? (Goodreads)
Victoria Schwab has written several novels however, this is the first one I have read. I really enjoyed it. The writing, the world-building, the characters, and the monsters were all fantastic. I have heard others complain the beginning was a bit slow but I did not feel that way. I was slightly confused but it didn’t take more than a couple of pages to feel immersed in what was happening in the world, specifically to Kate and August. I’ll freely admit August became one of my all-time favorite characters. Who knew a divided city and some monsters could make such a fast paced read?!
Yes, there are monsters. Each type is very specific in their characteristics, even in how they came to be. Different violent acts breed a new monster. There are 3 types. Corsai, Malchai and Sunai. The Corsai are shadow creatures with sharp teeth know to eat humans alive. The Malchai are the vampirish creatures that drink blood. The Sunai look human but have the ability to steal souls by using their musical gift. There’s even a song:
“Monsters, monsters, big and small,
“They’re gonna come and eat you all.
Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,
Shadow and bone will eat you raw.
Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,
Smile and bite and drink you dry.
Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,
Sing you a song and steal your soul.
Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all!”
― Victoria Schwab, This Savage Song
Even with the monsters don’t think of this as a scary thriller or horror story. It’s more about two teens finding themselves in this broken world. Kate is a human teenager making her rounds through boarding schools until she finally gets booted from the last one and is sent home. She returns to school not to be the only new student. Next, there is August who is a Sunai sent to school for the first time. What makes these two teens being at the same school so intriguing is Kate’s dad runs 1/2 of the city and August’s dad runs the other. Each side of V-City has it’s own rules and safety measures. There’s no way August should be going to school but since he looks human he can hide his identity. But for how long?