Published: July 5th 2016 by Greenwillow Books
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.
So, When I saw this book in the local bookshop, I had to get it. There were a lot of raving reviews about it and it was all hyped up – especially because it was Schwab! I mean, this is actually my first Schwab book! #sorrynotsorry. I think the writing was great and the story itself was actually really interesting and unique… but for me, there was something missing. You know, that spark that just sets a book off… that.
Throughout the book, I actually felt sorry for Kate. She is the daughter of Harker – who basically runs North City. People pay for his protection from the monsters that go bump in the night. She reminded me… well, she basically was, one of those tens who purposefully acted out in order to get their parents attention. I could understand where she was coming from when we actually met Harker. Any kid wants to be accepted by their parents for who thy are, but if they are not, they try to change their spots. I think the whole problem was, I didn’t feel connected to Kate. Sure, I understood where she was coming from a nd in a way, I wouldn’t have done anything different if that was what my life was like… but I still felt like there was something missing when it came to connecting with her on a deeper emotional level.
August (which I think is a poor choice of name), is a Sunai. One of the three types of monsters that are created. I actually really liked August because, despite the fact that he was a monster and despite the fact that he was supposed to be the deadliest one out there, he wasn’t. I loved his compassion for life and the fact that he didn’t liked doing what he had to do in order to live… basically his feeding habits. It was like someone who is something completely different, but they are branded by society anyway for what they are despite the fact that society has no idea what they truly are… sound familiar? Sneaky Schwab. I think August definitely bought the better out in Kate as to who she was supposed to be.
I think the way in which the monsters were made was a really unique take on a story. Monsters are made from crimes – I’m probably about to go and mix this all up, so if I do, feel free to correct me if you have read the book! – Corsai are created from nonlethal acts of crime… Malchai from acts of murder, and Sunai come from the worst acts of crime that are mass murders, bombings etc. There are only three Sunai… so I guess that amounted to something in society!
I think plot wise, it was pretty bland up until toward the end when things started happening. It think that was the spark that was missing. It took a while to get into it because of this! It was also confusing at times and I actually had to stop and think about what the heck was going to to get my brain to understand! I do find the fact that there is no romance in this book pretty unique. In most YA books today, there is normally some form of love triangle going on. This book there is nothing! I’m not entirely sure if this detracted from my reading experience or enhanced it… but it was unique nonetheless…
I enjoyed this book to a point, but I felt like there was a certain spark missing that could have tipped this book over the edge. I feel like the plot was mostly bland, but the writing itself and story line was actually pretty unique and could have been absolutely amazing had it’ve been executed right… However, the writing itself deserved an extra star, where I normally would have left it off! I gave this book 4/5 stars.
Have you read this book yet? What were your opinions?