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?)