Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: 13th June 2017
Genre: YA/Urban Fantasy
Spoilers for This Savage Song ahead.
THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.
KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.
AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.
THE WAR HAS BEGUN.
THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.
Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.
Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within? – GR.
I’ve waited a couple of weeks after I finished reading to write this review because I just needed to gather my thoughts and make sure I was solid on what I wanted to rate this book.
The Monsters of Verity duology is the only series I have in hardback (because books are expensive and Abby has no money) because I just loved This Savage Song so much. This meant that splashing out and pre ordering the hardback of Our Dark Duet set it up for some pretty high expectations.
And it destroyed them.
I loved the characters in this book, both new and old. Even though we only got little snippets of Kate’s little team in the beginning of the book, I really liked all of them, especially Riley and his boyfriend. The way they cared for Kate despite them not having any obligation to other than their own morals is a trope I adore. Those are my type of characters and the kind of person I want to be. I wish we had gotten to see more of them.
The old side characters were back and, in my opinion, better than before! I enjoyed Henry’s character so much more in this book (I liked him in the previous book, but I didn’t connect with him as much as I did in ODD). His storyline broke my heart and made me admire him so much. Again, he has the same deal with Riley in regards to taking in August and Ilsa before the series began, and I really loved their relationships in this book.
I also loved Ilsa more in Our Dark Duet. With the way This Savage Song ended, I was so nervous to see how it would pan out with her character. It was as heartbreaking as I expected. I love how she retained her fierceness, relevance, and intelligence despite what she went through.
We also get a new Sunai in the form of Soro! Soro uses they/them pronouns which is so awesome and their characters is another interesting one. You can definitely see in all of the Sunais how different they are to humans but some of their actions in caring for each other and making sure each other are safe feel so distinctly human. I love how it just continues the theme of the monster and human inside of all of us.
Okay, onto Kate and August.
I loved their character development in this book. It really delves into the darker sides of the two of them and explores the ramifications of what they went through in the first book. They’re both haunted and emotionally scarred and that manifests itself in different ways for them both, which I found really interesting. August almost read like a different character but it worked because of how Victoria Schwab wrote him and his internal conflict. His character arc is so interesting to me and was one of the main parts of the book I enjoyed.
Kate is just as badass as she was before. She doesn’t take any shit from anyone and knows her strength and skill. One of my favourite Kate moments in the book was when she was in a room full of people (I won’t spoil where) and she knows they will react negatively if she reveals who she is but she doesn’t change her name or keep it a secret. She says it proudly because she’s the one who’s made her name, not her father. Kate Harker is hers and her doing that was a massive f**k you to anyone who thought otherwise. I just love her. I love her so much.
Now onto the plot. Holy hell was this dark. I really enjoy dark books as you might know if you’ve been here before, and this is really, really dark. The plot seemed quite reminiscent of AIDEN in the Illuminae Files and I thought it was executed perfectly. It was a little slow to begin with but I don’t mind slower books so that didn’t bother me. Once you hit the 70% mark, the pace just triples and I could not put it down.
The ending was perfection. I’ve seen a few reviews where people haven’t been so happy with it, but honestly I feel like it couldn’t have ended any other way. I was crying and cuddling my dogs but I couldn’t help but feel a whole load of respect for Victoria Schwab. The ambiguity completely fit the message, and the message in this duology was so powerful and so relevant.
I’m gonna miss being in this beautifully crafted world a lot. I’m gonna miss these characters and I’m gonna miss the clever ways Victoria Schwab made these books the pleasure to read they were.
Have you read This Savage Song or Our Dark Duet? I’d love to chat about this duology!