Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on 7/5/16
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian
My content rating: YA (Some violence)
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.
Wow! Just … wow! I haven’t read Schwab before, and now I know what I’ve been missing. I absolutely loved this story of humanity’s worst ills come to life in the form of monsters.
What Fed My Addiction:
- Monstrous! This book gives us a bleak (but oh so fascinating) look at the human condition. In Schwab’s fantasy world, the urban areas have been overtaken by monsters that are born out of violence. Whenever a violent act is committed, a monster is born, creatures that can tear a human apart or suck their blood. But in the case of a truly horrific violent event – something along the lines of a mass murder – the monsters born can kill with a song. (This is the type of monster that August is.) But the way humanity responds to these monsters is just as compelling – as is so often the case with pain and tragedy, some people take advantage, some try to help and others simply try to hide their heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. I loved Schwab’s imagining of what the world would be like if our heinous acts were given breath.
- August. August spends his life fighting against his monstrous nature – he wants to help humanity rather than harm it. Since he can only feed on the souls of people who have created a monster themselves with some sort of crime, his role could be seen as positive, but he still struggles with being the bringer of death. He especially feels what could happen if he goes “dark” – something that happens to his type of monster when they don’t feed. It can cause great destruction. August suffers from great guilt because of who and what he is – a guilt he can’t easily overcome. His city is on the verge of war, so when he sees a way to help stop it (through keeping tabs on Kate), he is eager to do it!
- Kate. Kate’s spent her life trying to show her father that she’s tough enough to survive in his world. After her mother’s death, more than anything she just wants a connection with her father – for him to trust her … and to want her. Because of that, she’s willing to sacrifice being a “good” person – after all, her father wouldn’t fit into that category. Kate’s biggest fear is vulnerability – she can’t allow it. When August shows up, he confuses her and intrigues her. The unlikely friendship that forms between August and Kate is compelling and wonderful!
- Action-packed! This was one of those books that perfectly balanced action and plot with character development. There were so many heart pumping moments in this book, and each one just served to bring more character growth. I adored it!!
What Left Me Wanting More:
- Nothing. It was beautiful and wonderful and superb (and yet dark and sometimes painful). I can’t think of anything negative to say!!
This book gives us a chilling look at what the world would be like if the pain we inflict on each other literally came to life. I loved every minute of this book! I give it 5/5 stars – a new All-Time Favorite!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About Victoria Schwab:
I am the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, I have been known to say “tom-ah-toes”, “like”, and “y’all”. I also suffer from a wicked case of wanderlust, made worse by the fact that wandering is a good way to stir up stories. When I’m not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, I’m usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.
My first YA novel, THE NEAR WITCH, a dark original fairy tale, debuted with Disney*Hyperion in August 2011, and is now out in paperback.
My next YA novel, THE ARCHIVED, is the first book in a new supernatural series about a world where the dead are shelved like books, and it hits stores January 2013, also with Disney*Hyperion.
My first adult novel, VICIOUS, about two brilliant and highly disturbed pre-med students who set out to generate their own superpowers and end up mortal enemies, is out in hardcover from Tor September 2013.
I have more books coming out in 2014, but I’ll get to those later.
These days, when someone asks me what I do when I’m NOT writing, I just kind of laugh nervously. But in truth, on the odd occasion I’m not typing away, I’m probably baking cookies, or watching BBC shows, or wandering. (See how we came full circle, there?)
I’m glad you liked this one. I’ve read a few of Victoria Schwab’s other books and loved them. They’re dark and fast-paced and a lot of fun.
Now I need to read the rest of her books too. I understand why everyone loves her!
This book sounds amazing and a half! Love the concept of monsters being borne out of violence (scary, yes. But amazing, nonetheless). Kinda like that line from a movie about how angels get their wings.
I thought that was such a unique and interesting idea – kind of scary to think about!
Okay, this is going to sound weird, Joy, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to comment on your redesigned site. The box seems to be missing – but I see other people have commented, so I’m obviously missing something. I know this sounds crazy, but – any idea why this would be happening? (P.S. I know this is weird to put on my own post, but I’m pretty sure you’ll see it this way.)
I’m new to Schwab myself, which is kind of odd, since I love unusual monsters and superpowers and a good not-romance-driven plot. I suppose I’ll have to give this one a try! So many people with great taste in books are recommending it LOL.
You should definitely pick it up – it sounds like it would be perfect for you!
Wow, that’s some strong love! I do really want to read this one. I haven’t read anything by the author, BUT I do really hope to read something soon. This one sounds amazing.
Yes! I couldn’t think of anything negative and just want to read MORE!!!
YAY! Welcome to the Schwab fanclub. The MOMENT I read ONE of her books, I ended up adding ALL OF HER BOOKS to my tbr shelf. I started with Vicious, then The Archived, The ADSoM and AGoS 😀 I MUST get my hands on this one – I can’t believe I didn’t pre-order it. Oh well, I WILL treat myself soon because I need it like air. Fantastic review Nicole^^ xx
I have a feeling I’ll be doing the same. I now know what everyone’s been talking about!
Great review! It’s awesome that you liked this one so much–there’s a lot of buzz surrounding it. I still haven’t decided if this is something I’d like, but I just bought Schwab’s book Vicious because so many people adore that one. If I enjoy it, I’ll most likely be picking this one up. Thanks for the review!
I think I’ll read Vicious next – I agree that it gets a lot of love!
I absolutely adored This Savage Song. Schwab has definitely earned her spot on my favourite author list. The way she creates and atmosphere is so effective and her characterization is on point. I loved exploring this theme of identity and monsters. It made such a fascinating journey with both Kate and August trying to be something they’re not.
YES! I loved the juxtaposition of the girl trying to be more of a monster and the monster who just wants to be more human!
Oh goodie!! I can’t wait to read this one! It sounds sooo awesome and intriguing! Glad to hear my initial thoughts were right!! This will be my first (sorta as I DNF’d the Archived) Victoria Schwab book as well! Great review!
I want to read ALL of Schwab now. I’m sure I’ll start with Vicious, though, and eventually make my way to Archived.
I’m so glad to hear you loved this book so much! And that there was nothing that left you wanting more, that’s HUGE!!!! YAY!!!! This is an author I still need to try!
I’m so glad I jumped on board with Schwaab! I will NOT be looking back!
I just read my first Victoria Schwab book (Vicious) and I loved it. I need to read her other books ASAP. Great review!
Yep, now I need to pick up the others!