I’ve had a really shitty (excuse the expression) blogging month this June and an even worse reading month. *dramatic sigh* I’ve read only six books this month… I don’t know how I survived.
Now, I know that many of you read the same amount or less, but I need to devour 10 books a month at least. That’s just the way it works for me.
Anyway, enough whining, Alice.
So, let me tell you about the series I’ve recently fallen hopelessly in love with. Word of Warning: I’m still gushing, so expect, you know, a lot of gushing.
This is going to be the most incoherent review of ever. So, sorry about that.
This Savage Song // Gruesome Beginnings and Bloody Ends
If you’ve spent any amount of time in a bookish community, you’d have heard someone yelling about VE Schwab. And with good reason. She is brilliant. I’m hitting myself in the face with hardcovers for having waited so long to read her books.
And THIS SAVAGE SONG…. vbiweWEOIHWHCEYA.
Okay, I’m calm.
Actually, I can never be calm with this book.
This book is so absolutely raw and real and so full of metaphorical highs. This Savage Song had me entranced form the Prelude itself. Or maybe from the title itself.
This Savage Song is predominantly character driven and what staggeringly colossal characters they are.
I can’t even with this guy. He is so complex and layered and just pure bliss to read. Also, internal struggles FTW. A monster and a boy. A boy and a monster. And an astounding character whom I am irrevocably in love with. His thoughts and feelings and habits and literally everything else…. *dissolves into a puddle of nothing and everything and can’t anymore*
I don’t care much for Kate as a person, but she is still an excellent character. She is wild and unpredictable and for that, I really like her.
But guess whom I like even more?? ILSA. The monster with strawberry blonde curls who sees the cracks and blew up an entire section of a city. Who sings and dreams.
Also, I need to mention Allegro, the cat. VE Schwab managed to cram so much attitude into a freaking cat and I’m in awe.
Even the secondary characters are given perfect depth. Apparently, Schwab can do no wrong.
And the world building!
It is, in a word, artful. I can think of no other way to explain it. What painters do with brushes and canvas, Schwab does with words. I have so much respect for her.
Schwab showers us with details and that makes all the difference. Each place and person and even monster is given so much individuality. The monsters have specific habits and levels of intelligence.
“Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all.
Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,
Shadow and bone will eat you raw.
Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,
Smile and bite and drink you dry.
Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,
Sing you a song and steal your soul.
Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all!”
Monsters are born of violence in Verity. And there are three types of monsters – Corsai, Malchai and Sunai. Each monster has a specific type of violence as its origin. For Sunai, the most powerful monsters, the catalyst is massacre. And each Sunai has a different massacre at its beginning. A different origin story. AND this origin affects their very personality. And I am all the love for this concept.
“And you?” asked Kate. “Your brother is righteous, your sister is scattered. What does that make you?”
When August answered, the word was small, almost too quiet to hear. “Lost.” He exhaled, and it seemed to take more than air out of him. “I’m what happens when a kid is so afraid of the world he lives in that he escapes the only way he knows how. Violently.”
And they kill with music. Now you understand why I want to pick up the violin. Leo, another Sunai kills with a variety of instruments. Ilsa kills with her voice. And August kills with his violin. Well, technically, they steal a person’s soul.
But August doesn’t just use music to kill. He loves playing. He loves getting lost in the music. And that, more than anything, has me ridiculously interested in it.
But the most beautiful part of it all is the writing. Schwab sets fire to the language and lulls us with the flow of words. Every sentence, every word is deliberate and cutting. And I’m scarred in the most exquisite way possible.
Whatever he was made of – stardust or ash or life or death – would be gone.
And the story? TO LIVE FOR.
Our Dark Duet // Stubborn and Hope and Shadow and Stardust
So, yes, that painting is my work. The lesson to be learned here is: me + art = travesty. Seriously, someone save art from my monstrous antics.
OUR DARK DUET…
I have tears in my eyes at the thought of this books. They’re not sad tears. They’re tears born of the 297315 emotions this book has etched in me.
First off, the book’s dedication. #love
Again, THE WRITING. The writing is magic.
Schwab also included the occasional POETRY and come on, how much more perfection can a person take!?!?
the whole city
a book of
to be struck
Our Dark Duet is absolute mayhem and it strikes something so deep in me that I can’t even explain. The book is absolutely visceral from start to finish. From the big bang to the whimper. From the gunfire to the smoke. From the chaos to August Flynn.
Every word, every line, every chapter has me falling deeper and deeper into this expressive and fierce world.
The thing that I like most about this book is the intensity. It wasn’t just the story that was intense but each of the characters. Each. Of. The. Words.
And we get the antagonist’s narration, too! SLOAN was so vicious and turbulent and I love him so much that I’m beginning to question my sanity.
Sloan cocked his head at that.
And then he ripped out the creature’s throat.
Plus, I have a monster named after me, so there’s that. But, if I had to be one of the monsters (from the bad side) in this book, I’d rather be Sloan than Alice. Alice is messy and primal while Sloan is along the lines of I’m going to ravage you where you stand but I’m going to be proper and elegant while doing it. #monstergoals
Just for the record, if I could choose a monster from the good side, I’d definitely choose Ilsa.
And again, AUGUST FLYNN. Everything about him wrecks me in the most beautiful way possible.
The ending is utterly gorgeous. Painful. But gorgeous.
The only complaint that I have is that the series is over. It’s a perfect ending, but still, it ends.
What else? Oh, this book explores. It explores the blurred lines between white and red, between right and wrong and easy. It explores the possibility of being monstrous and human, of being human and monstrous. It explores hope. It explores what it’s like to be unmade and made, to unravel and spiral back. It explores what it’s like to get lost and find oneself. It explores death and light and life and darkness and stardust and sugardust. It explores ambition and love and cruelty and freedom.
It explores and takes the reader along every step, every word.
And I’m so full. So full of the life of this book.
Mind over body over bodies on the floor over tallies seared day by day by day into skin until it cracked and broke and bled into the beat of gunfire and the melody of pain and the world was made of savage music, made and was made of, and that was the cycle, the big bang into the whimper and on and on and none of it was real except for August or all of it was real except for him. . . . [This Savage Song]