It pains me on a personal level to give a book with such a stunning cover such a low rating, but I cannot deny my problems with it no matter how much I love V.E. Schwab's book covers or her writing.
This book has such an intriguing premise.
Monsters manifesting into existence as a result of sin. A city literally divided between two leaders, both with their own ideas about how to protect their citizens. Kate, desperately trying to prove her savagery and be the devil her father always wanted her to be. August, a Sunai monster, hopelessly clinging to his wish to be human.
And on top of this awesome-sounding setup, no love story!
But for all of those unique elements, this book could not be saved from it's own mediocrity.
When I read Vicious, it really set Schwab apart for me. That story is captivating with dynamic and believable characters.
But with This Savage Song and A Darker Shade of Magic, I feel as though something is preventing me from getting on board.
I appreciate what Schwab sets out to do here. Kate is a cutthroat, stubborn, and impulsive. August is quiet and contemplative, a lover of music. These two seem amazing on paper, but for some reason I remain unconvinced.
I adore their ambitions. It sounds great to have a female lead yearning to be a proper villain. It sounds excellent to have a male lead who is vulnerable and searching for his humanity.
But somewhere in the process of breathing life into these characters, Schwab missed the mark.
No matter how much I wanted to care about these characters, I didn't. I couldn't. They didn't feel real. Even with Schwab's amazing talent for weaving words together I cannot in all good conscience tell you that this book will blow you away.
The writing is to die for. Schwab's style is gorgeous and fluid in a way that only a master of writing can achieve.
However, the story, the characterization, and unfortunately even the world building will leave you feeling like something crucial is missing.
I don't know that I'll be continuing on with this series. There were a handful of excellent moments, but whether or not they are enough to salvage my interest will have to wait until June.