9 Jan 2023

Review: MONSTERS OF VERITY DUOLOGY by Victoria Schwab


Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Source: Audio from Kobo
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: July 5, 2016

Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

Representation: main character with a disability, genderfluid side character, gay side character

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Content Warning: murder, attempted murder, suicide, death via car crash, torture, physical assault, and domestic violence

This Savage Song

I need the next book now. What a great start to this series! I am usually not a huge fan of urban fantasy, but I guess Victoria Schwab can get me to read and enjoy just about anything. I loved the build up and slower pace of the first bit of this only to have some explosive action in the second half - and at the end!

I thought Kate and August were both fantastic characters, strong and independent in their own way. I loved seeing how they came together, learned to rely on one another, and the ways that they had to learn to trust one another given their own histories.

I thought this had a lot of really great conversations around what it means to be human and a monster. Schwab does a fantastic job of writing the anti-hero and making you root for the people who become monsters by trying to save their humanity.

I highly recommend picking this one up!

Our Dark Duet

This takes place 184 days (or 6 months) after the end of THIS SAVAGE SONG. I basically read it that many months after too so it felt like a good representation of time for me.

The relationship between Kate and August remains one of my favourite aspects of this series because their experiences in This Savage Song forged into an incorrigible bond, which grows in intensity and depth in Our Dark Duet. Their friendship is a wonderful exploration of how two people can be so different and yet see straight through to each other's hearts. 

The story itself is good and has a lot of nuance to it - what is really good and what is really evil is a common theme among these two novels. But I thought it was a bit slow in the first half and took too long to get up to a good pace considering this was a sequel.

While I really enjoyed this book, I think it would have almost been better as just the first novel with an ambiguous ending and being able to choose your own adventure for our main characters. But it is such a unique story and series that I still absolutely loved it.

This is definitely a series I recommend!

Have you read this series? Are you going to pick this up?

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