Monday, 18 July 2016

This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab // In which I am disconnected from reading and the book is not entirely to blame

Title: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Book Depository
I tried to love this book, I truly did. Schwab has an excellent knack for creating universes unlike any other, but somehow this one didn't grab me with way her Shades of Magic series did.

This Savage Song is about two families on the brink of war, splitting a city in half whilst trying to protect their people from monsters that roam free. In the middle of it all is Kate, an angry yet determined girl with a troubled past, and August, a young monster who longs to be human.

I had such trouble to connecting to this story for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I have been in a huge reading slump, meaning I kept putting reading to the side which kind of breaks up the fluency of a story. But there were also a bunch of little things that, although on their own wouldn't have been so bad, together added up to form a narrative I wasn't that invested in.

The initial thing that got me was the setting. I'm not too big a fan of urban fantasy or dystopias, and This Savage Song was a mix of both. This wasn't so much a fault with the book as it is a fault of my own, so I already felt disconnected from the get go.

The characters were interesting, but felt a bit bland as the plot progressed. Then there were my tiny issues with pace combined with setting. I don't like how static the book started with it partly being set in a school and all, but the sudden juxtaposition with continuous movement with Kate and August running about didn't work for me either. It wasn't as though the pace was fatally flawed, but just the pacing combined with the setting that I didn't love.

I also kind of wanted it to be darker. I wanted to be shocked by the subversion of good and evil but it just didn't feel like anything new, and maybe this was because unlike Schwab's other books, this one was specifically aimed at young adults. I have nothing against YA, but This Savage Song lacked the twists and complex plot devices seen in Schwab's other books.

My emotions towards this book can be summed up in one word: disconnected. I do think my problems are partly because of my reading slump and that this kind of story just doesn't normally work for me, so I still think it's worth a read. But if you want to introduce yourself to Schwab's writing, I'd say A Darker Shade of Magic is a better bet.


  1. Oh, no! I'm sorry you didn't love this one, Helia. Especially if you're a big an of her adult series.

    I hate reading slumps because they can ruin a good book, or make reading a book you might have enjoyed rather crappy.

    I have to say that I did feel some of the disconnection you're talking about when I read this book, too. I really liked it, and I gave it four stars, but it was just missing that something EXTRA for me to give it a five star rating.

    I don't know if you have read Vicious or not, but it definitely delves deeper into the good/evil area! It is absolutely fantastic.

    I hope your reading slump ends soon!

    1. I know exactly what you mean about it missing something extra, which is a shame since I didn't really find anything wrong with the book. But I'm pretty sure my slump was a big factor in how much I enjoyed it, so I might give it a reread before the release of the sequel to see if my feelings have changed.

      Reading slumps really are the worst - I'm currently trying to force myself out of it by powering through books instead of putting them down so hopefully it'll end soon.

      Vicious is very high up on my TBR because I've heard excellent things - plus when the theme of good and evil is done well it's a beautiful thing. Needless to say my feelings on This Savage Song have not swayed my motivation to read this book!

      Thank you <3