I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Greenwillow Books on July 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian
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There’s no such thing as safe.
Kate Harker wants to be as ruthless as her father. After five years and six boarding schools, she’s finally going home to prove that she can be.
August Flynn wants to be human. But he isn’t. He’s a monster, one that can steal souls with a song. He’s one of the three most powerful monsters in a city overrun with them. His own father’s secret weapon.
Their city is divided.
Their city is crumbling.
Kate and August are the only two who see both sides, the only two who could do something.
But how do you decide to be a hero or a villain when it’s hard to tell which is which?
The worldbuilding was my FAVORITE part of this book! It’s hard to find something truly unique these days, but the world and monsters that Victoria Schwab has created in this book are nothing like anything I’ve read before. In a way, they had some resemblance to monsters we are familiar with but they were completely different at the same time. This dystopian world was a lot darker than I had expected. It was very intriguing and I am looking forward to learning more about the world since we are only exposed to one city during this book. The worldbuilding was a little hard to grasp at first and it took almost half the book before I understood how the mythology around the monsters in this world worked. Still, the mystery of the monsters was a pull that kept me reading!
Both Kate and August are complicated and interesting characters! Kate is fierce – like REALLY fierce. She has always been trying to prove herself to her father, who is ruthless. I loved reading a female MC who wasn’t the typical hero of the story. Kate still has a good side though and struggles between being who she thinks her dad wants her to be and being true to herself. August, on the other hand, was born a monster but all he wants is to be a normal human. I loved the role that music played in this book. August is a violinist, and I am/was one as well so I really connected with that!
I would describe the pacing of this book to be slow and steady. Things about the characters and the world are slowly revealed as we go along. There were times that the pacing seemed a bit off for me, but I was also reading this at a busy time in my life (I was moving), so that could have been more me and not the book. Still, I was so intrigued by this world and its monsters that I didn’t struggle to stay interested. There was a bit of a plot twist that I saw coming, or at least wasn’t surprised by. While I enjoyed the plot, it was the part I liked least about this book – but only because the world building and the characters were the shining stars!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! The unique worldbuilding and complicated characters were fantastic and held my interest from the first page. The plot and pacing didn’t quite live up to the standards set by the worldbuilding and characters, they still didn’t detract from my overall reading experience. I recommend this book to all Victoria Scwab lovers, as well as people who like dark dystopians that are a little gritty and a unique world of monsters.