A violent—and violently beautiful—book. | THIS SAVAGE SONG by Victoria Schwab

A violent—and violently beautiful—book. | THIS SAVAGE SONG by Victoria Schwab
This Savage Song
Monsters of Verity #1

Written by: Victoria Schwab
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Release date: July 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 464
Source: Edelweiss
Format: ARC
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository, Audible
Add on: Goodreads


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.

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.

MyThoughts_v2

I’ve been putting off finishing this review for so long, you guys. This is a tough one. But not because I didn’t love it. It’s tough becuase I did love it. Way too much.

Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,

Sing you a song and steal your soul…

I first read This Savage Song back in December, and I fell completely head-over-heels for it. But like many books I love, This Savage Song is not easy to explain, and neither are my feelings about it. I tried writing down some vague notes after the first time I read it, but honestly? I was in such a state of “oh my god this book how why i just can’t ugh,” and those notes didn’t make much sense. So I re-read the book in May, hoping it would help clarify my earlier notes and give me a better idea how to express my feelings. …It didn’t. But what it did do is solidify my very firm belief that Victoria Schwab’s books are all incredible, and they just keep getting better and better. This Savage Song is no exception. It is phenomenal.

This Savage Song does so many things so, so well. This is a violent, and violently beautiful, book. There is a lot of darkness — it’s set in a city where violent acts create literal monsters — but the way that darkness contrasts with hope and light is just… achingly gorgeous. The writing is incredible, as well. Victoria Schwab strikes the perfect balance for me, between words that simply disappear in favor of the story, and beautiful prose that reaches out of the pages and grabs me and doesn’t let go.

Other than those constants in Schwab’s works, there are three other things I want to talk about that This Savage Song does so well: its characters, its emotions, and its message.

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Girl from Everywhere

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – The Girl from Everywhere
The Girl from Everywhere
The Girl from Everywhere #1

Written by: Heidi Heilig
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Release date: February 16th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.

WhyImWaiting_v2

  • Time Travel
  • Duology

That’s all I needed to know to be sold on this book. But add to that the fact that the time travel is done on a ship that can sail to any place or time, and I am 100% on board. …No but really, can I literally get on board that ship because that ship sounds AMAZING.

(And yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I do have this one from Edelweiss but I still have to wait before I can read it!! 😭😭)

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post, I’d love to stop by! :)

Book Review: THE HERO AND THE CROWN by Robin McKinley

Book Review: THE HERO AND THE CROWN by Robin McKinley
The Hero and the Crown
Damar #1

Written by: Robin McKinley
Published by: Greenwillow Books, Open Road Media
Release date: 1st published in 1984
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 227
Source: Gifted from a friend
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Aerin could not remember a time when she had not known the story; she had grown up knowing it.

It was the story of her mother, the witchwoman who enspelled the king into marrying her, to get an heir that would rule Damar; and it was told that she turned her face to the wall and died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son.

Aerin was that daughter.

But there was more of the story yet to be told; Aerin's destiny was greater than even she had dreamed—for she was to be the true hero who would wield the power of the Blue Sword...

MyThoughts_v2

First off, I have to thank Jessie for being a total sweetheart and gifting this book to me (along with the second book in this series, The Blue Sword, and a Beauty and the Beast retelling) — my very first Robin McKinley books. She and Terri were the ones who convinced me I needed to read them, so thank you, guys!

I finally picked up The Hero and the Crown after a long string of very disappointing ARC’s. Almost every ARC I’ve picked up lately has just been a huge let-down, and I have had very little inclination to actually finish reading any of them. So, in complete despair, I picked up Hero, hoping that it would come through where all my other recent books had not. And it did.

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ARC Review: DEATH SWORN by Leah Cypess

I received this book for free from Greenwillow Books. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: DEATH SWORN by Leah Cypess
Death Sworn
Death Sworn #1

Written by: Leah Cypess
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Release date: March 4th 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 352
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.

MyThoughts_v2

I can sum up my issue(s) with Death Sworn in one word: Inconsistent. Not only was this book inconsistent with my expectations (which wouldn’t count as a flaw, by itself), but the inconsistency/inadequacy of its worldbuilding, magic system, characters, and romance, made this a really sub-par read, for me.

The Worldbuilding

In exchange for being left alone, the Renegai continually send magic tutors to the group of assassins who live in a system of caves nearby. However, the last two tutors have died mysteriously. So when it’s discovered that Ileni is losing her magic, she’s chosen for (and willingly embarks upon) a suicide mission to be the next tutor. It’s Ileni’s job not only to continue teaching magic (while hers continues to dwindle), but also to figure out how her predecessors died – or if they were murdered, and by whom. All the while, the Renegai and these assassins are living in the shadow of the Empire, from which they were apparently exiled a long time ago.

This worldbuilding sounds like a great foundation. But that’s all it is. A foundation. We get almost no other background information except what I just explained above. Why were the Renegai exiled? Why aren’t they really doing anything about it? What’s Ileni’s plan, anyway? How is solving the murders going to help anyone when she’s just gonna die there? Who exactly is this Empire, in the first place? Does it even have a name?? I have no idea.

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Review: ARCLIGHT by Josin L. McQuein

Review: ARCLIGHT by Josin L. McQuein
Arclight
Arclight #1

Written by: Josin L. McQuein
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Release date: April 23rd 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Source: Giveaway
Format: select
Buy: B&N, Amazon
Add on: Goodreads

No one crosses the wall of light... except for one girl who doesn’t remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. A harrowing, powerful debut thriller about finding yourself and protecting your future—no matter how short and uncertain it may be.

The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it.

When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?

My Thoughts


I was looking forward to this book SO MUCH. I won a copy of it, and received it the day after it was released (April 24th), and started reading it immediately. I read it, finished it, was going to write a review… and then promptly forgot. I guess it didn’t make much of an impact on me.

I was excited because it sounded like Something New in the world of post-apocalyptic sci-fi. Like maybe it would have some fantasy overtones or a little horror – the Fade certainly sounded incredibly creepy and I was dying to find out more about them. And I was also really intrigued by Marina and her memory loss – I really like plots that utilize memory loss well, and I was hoping this would be one of them.

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