- Release Date: July 5, 2016
- Audiobook Length: 10 hours 9 minutes
- Genre: Urban Fantasy
- Publisher: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
V-City exists in an alternate America where acts of violence physically manifest as beast like monsters. The Sunai are a rare form of monster, created from events of mass violence. Sunai look and act human but must feed on human souls to survive.
August Flynn is one of only three known Sunai, he lives in the south side of V-City with Henry Flynn, the head of a militaristic taskforce. On the north side of V-City is the autocratic Callum Harker who keeps his citizens safe via extortion Harker and Flynn have been enemies for a long time but have called a truce after a brutal civil war.
But when August is sent undercover to spy on Harkar’s estranged daughter Kate everything starts to change.
This Savage Song was on my 16 Books to Read in 2016 list and I’m so glad I finally got around to it. Victoria Schwab put her foot into this book and I can see why so many people love it. While it starts off a bit slow, it quickly turns into a high stakes thriller where not everything is what it seems. I really loved the way Schwab slowly unravels all myth-building surrounding the monsters. She gives you just enough to get into the world and as more revelations come it all just falls into place.
This book just checked a lot of my YA book boxes: third person narration, unlikeable female characters, people struggling with powers they didn’t ask for. It also happened to check off a lot of the things I like in anime with it’s focus on found family, using western religious imagery as a basis for a magic system and turning things we typically think of as non-weapons into weapons. Seriously by the end of this book this was me anytime as musical instrument was mentioned:
Narrator Therese Plummer has already been praised on this blog by Jess multiple times. Plummer brought her A game as usual, her voices were all on point especially her August voice.
This Savage Song is a fast paced YA thriller full of monsters, mayhem, murder and music to die for. Literally.
I was so ready to ping this book about the Born Sexy Yesterday trope because August was brought into being as a 12-year-old (Sunai are the born the age of their victims and he was created from a school mass shooting ) making him technically 4 in the book, but he’s never sexualized. In fact there is very little romance in this book.
I know Schwab got involved in some weird stuff last year about the lack of people of color in her books and that’s really glaring in this book. It’s stated that cities were quarantined when the monsters started appearing and it’s really stark that in a world created from violent parts of a city there are so few people of color or that neither of the leaders would be people of color. We also only see men commit acts of violence to create monsters, I feel like there’s something in there left to be examined too.
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.