This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

this savage song

The basics

Title: This Savage Song

Author:

Series: Monsters of Verity #1

- This Savage Song (2016)
- Our Dark Duet (2017)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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.

in short

Kate’s father is the mayor of one half of the city. He’s basically a gang leader and people pay him to keep them safe from monsters. August is a monster and he goes to school disguised as “Freddy”. He’s keeping an eye on Kate. Kate meets August and gets very suspicious of him. She finds out that he’s a monster.

Mayor Harker’s right hand man, Sloan, is suspected to be trying to mess with the peace. Mayor Harker tells Kate that he doesn’t think Sloan did anything. Sloan then kills Ilsa, August’s sister. It turns out Sloan has been working with Leo, August’s brother. Leo kills Sloan for killing Ilsa.

It turns out that Mayor Harker orchestrated this entire thing, and he’s kinda batshit crazy. Kate shoots him and August kills him.

what went down

  • Kate Harker wants to return home, and in order to do so she feels she has to set fire to her boarding school. This gets her father – the mayor’s – attention and she’s allowed back.
  • Kate’s father, Mayor Harker, made a tonne of money by fighting monsters.
  • Kate enrols in Colton Academy, which is also where August goes. August is told to keep an eye on Kate.
  • August doesn’t photograph well because he’s a monster, so he sneaks out of class to take a photo for his student ID in private.
  • Kate and August run into each other at lunch when August is trying to get some fresh air.
  • August isn’t feeling well because his monster abilities are acting up. His parents check in on him to make sure he’s keeping everything under control.
  • August draws someone in by using his violin. August eats the man’s soul.
  • Kate attends her father’s court. One man is behind on his payments and Mayor Harker sets a monster on him. Kate then kills a monster who murdered a family that was under Harker’s protection.
  • During class, a teacher talks about how the USA separated into ten territories forty years ago.
  • Kate fights her self-defence teacher and breaks his collarbone.
  • Kate and August have a chat. Kate asks about the tallies on August’s arm and his violin. She asks him to play for her but he refuses. The tallies are how many days August has gone without going dark, btw.
  • Kate Googles August but she can’t find a trace of him.
  • Leo, August’s brother, makes someone confess to hurting an FTF agent. Ilsa, their sister, kills the perpetrator with her voice.
  • Ilsa is the one who created the Barren, not Flynn with his bomb like everyone suspects. She was to be confined as part of the truce.
  • Kate and August chat about their families.
  • Kate asks a member of the school orchestra if Freddy (August’s fake name) is there. The guy doesn’t know who Freddy is. Kate badgers August about his violin and he says he brings it with him because he can’t play at home. Kate is determined to figure out what his deal is.
  • Kate takes a photo of August, and sees that his eyes are black. She realises that he is a monster.
  • Kate finds videos of Leo killing people. Kate decides to bring August to her father.
  • Leo gets August to kill a couple of murderers with a knife instead of with the violin.
  • Ilsa is worried about going dark again because she’s hella powerful.
  • Kate offers August a ride to school. August thinks she’s acting weird, and tells Leo that he thinks Kate knows who he is. Leo doesn’t listen.
  • Kate waits around for August after school. Her driver doesn’t show up.
  • Kate gets attacked by two Malchai. August helps her kill them. August freaks out over killing a monster and passes out.
  • Kate ties August up and interrogates him. He gives her his real name and says he was told to watch her.
  • August thinks this whole thing was a set up to make it look like August killed Kate. This would end the truce and all hell would break loose.
  • Kate doesn’t turn August in because he seems like a decent person. The two of them hear footsteps and they escape out of the window.
  • They hide out in a restaurant. August calls Leo, who is acting weird. August doesn’t tell Leo where they are. Kate texts her father.
  • A tonne of Malchai show up. August plays his violin to keep the monsters away. The music doesn’t affect Kate because she hasn’t committed any sins. The two of them go into the subway. The Corsair attack and August protects Kate.
  • August tells Kate about what he is, what the tallies represent, and other stuff about going dark.
  • Kate remembers the night that her mother died in a car accident. She thinks she remembers seeing red eyes.
  • Mayor Harker calls Kate, who tells him that she is alone. He tells her to head to the coordinates that he gave her.
  • Ilsa finds Kate and August and fights the Malchai off.
  • Mayor Harker calls Kate again and asks if she is with August. Mayor Harker says he asked Sloan about this whole thing and that Sloan turned out to be innocent.
  • August gets hungry and gets a fever. The pair go to Kate’s mother’s old house and August takes a bath.
  • One of Sloan’s men shows up. Kate shoots him. Sloan and another Malchai show up and capture Kate and August.
  • Sloan wants August to go dark so that he can kill him like he killed Ilsa.
  • Kate escapes her handcuffs.
  • Leo arrives. He kills Sloan and a bunch of Sloan’s men. It is revealed that Leo and Sloan teamed up to stop the violence, but Sloan killed Ilsa and that’s not okay.
  • Leo calls Kate back with his flute when she tries to escape.
  • August goes dark and turns into a creature with horns and wings. He goes to attack Kate but he kills Leo instead.
  • August’s tallies reset when he returns to human form.

how did it end?

August and Kate go to see Mayor Harker. Harker reveals that it was all his idea, and he wanted to use Sloan to break the truce all along. Sloan caused Kate’s mother’s death under Harker’s orders because she was apparently a liability. Kate shoots her father. August stops her from killing him. August takes Harker’s soul.

August discovers that Ilsa is alive but she can’t sing. August is the only Sunai left. August received a new violin from his parents as he needs to be ready to fight.

Kate drives off into the sunset.

A monster named Alice comes to life in Kate’s mother’s house. She brings Sloan back to life.

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