Release Date: 7th June 2016
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.
Here was my initial review on goodreads:
Okay, can I point out here that I’m not a major ‘monster’ person. If it ain’t realistic then I ain’t gonna like it. Harry Potter? It makes total sense. Game of Thrones? HELL YEAH. So when I first read the synopsis of this book and it mentioned monsters, I wasn’t too sure if it was going to be my cup of tea.
OH BELIEVE ME, IT IS MY CUP OF TEA! So much so that Victoria Schwab has definitely become one of my fave authors (I can say that after reading one amazing book right?) I found that the whole monster thing was really realistic and I loved the irony of a human wanting to be a monster and a monster wanting to be a human.
The writing style is so smooth and graceful and it’s quite creepy how Victoria Schwab can write some of the gruesome scenes and make them seem tranquil. We read from two different perspectives with a smooth transition between them The perspectives are from Kate Harker and August Flynn, whose families hate each other’s guts. It kind of reminds me of the Montague’s and Capulet’s in Romeo & Juliet but minus the romance.
This leads me onto the lack of romance. HUZZAH! I found a book that doesn’t need or rely on a romantic plot or any inkling that a romantic relationship will form. I feel like Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins should have took note of this, but that’s a TOTALLY different post.
Moving on to talking about Kate and August as characters. Kate is like a hard knock who can’t show emotion, God forbid that she should cry or show affection etc. Her dad is slightly psycho and for the record a ‘baddy’. However, August is a monster with a family who are seen as the ‘goodies’. OH and August has these cool as hell tally marks and a violin if you please?! Another detail I love about August is the battle he has with himself about being a monster and yet he is good deep down. Monster or not, he brings justice to the World.
To explain this a bit more, let me familiarise you with the monsters involved in this world:
Corsai – These monsters are basically shadows that will eat every bit of you. Flesh, blood and bone.
Malchai – These monsters do not look human and are compared to vampires as they drink blood.
Sunai – These monsters use music to steal your soul but can only feed on guilty souls.
One thing I will say about this book is it is confusing to begin with and until you’re engrossed in the World, it can be a little tricky to remember which monster is which. However, you will love it and must read it pretty pretty please!
The sequel, Our Dark Duet, is out in June next year so read it before then, ASAP!