Top critical review
Wasn't expecting that
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2018
I purchased This Savage Song the day it came out but then it sat unread on my shelf. Ironic, since I’m a big fan of Schwab and with a story about monsters, I normally would have been all over it. I finally read it, two-years later and I must say I’m unimpressed. I remembered This Savage Song getting incredible hype and glowing reviews but in my opinion this wasn’t Schwab’s best work. The concept of the novel is without-a-doubt unique but it lacked world building and developed characters.
I didn’t find the world building, or lack thereof, interesting. The quick lowdown on This Savage Song: There’s two dominant groups rivaling one another, Flynn (monster leader) and Harker (human leader). You had the usual oppressed versus the oppressor. And two teens caught in the middle, torn between fighting for what they thought was right versus what their families wanted and believed. Readers were told about this long endless war between the two factions but I never understood the why. It all seemed pointless. Or at least nothing I cared about. I honestly didn’t remember much about anything, the plot…and that in itself says it all.
Then there were the two main leads, who unfortunately were also lacking and unremarkable. When readers first met Kate she was in the process of burning down a church. Right off the bat, we’re shown this devil-may-care chick. I for one, am all about kick-ass lady characters…but Kate was just trying way, way too hard to get her dad’s attention. Exhibit A: Burning church. It was also tiresome to read about how much she wanted her dad’s approval and to be just like him. It became annoying and redundant. Kate would go around threatening people and making sure everyone knew who her dad is, that she was a Harker. It all got old fast. August, who happens to be one of the monsters in V-city is not really a monster at all. He takes no pleasure in feeding off people’s soul/emotions but it’s necessity. August also happened to be the complete opposite of Kate. He was quiet, observant, and non-confrontational. I don’t have much opinion on August. He was just a character pushing the story along. I neither liked or disliked him and in my opinion a pretty bland character.
If I can describe This Savage Song in one word, it would be underwhelming. I adore this author and I usually would auto-buy books from my favorite authors thinking I will love everything they write, but boy am I glad I didn’t buy the sequel. With that said, I won’t be finishing the duology. A lot of folks loved this book, and though it wasn’t for me, it may be for you. As always, check out a sample excerpt before purchase!