"I know it hurts" She said, "so make it worth the pain"
(the single most heartbreaking line in the whole book)
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Victoria Schwab has just received a new title: Queen of Mean. I was devastated by the time I finished reading this. I can't tell you why of-course, that would be a spoiler, just know you might need a box of tissues!
Our Dark Duet stars off a few months after August and Kate went their separate ways. August is in the South City being the monsters he believes he needs to be in order to keep humans safe. He is reaping the souls of those who committed violent acts and is slowly but surely loosing the part of himself that once wanted to be human.
Kate on the other hand is in Prosperity fighting demons and running from her past. Until she gets face to face with a new kind of monster, is affected by it, and must return to Verity. When she returns her path and August's cross again.
There are two reasons why I did not believe The Dark Duet was as good as This Savage Song:
First, it was very slow to begin with. Having Kate and August completely separate made the story feel a little broken, discontinued... It was a few hundred pages before the story picked up. I understand the need to give the story a background since a new monster is introduced. However, it could have been done a little faster.
And this brings us to the second problem... Kate meets a few people in Prosperity, works with them and become friends with them. Once she lives prosperity it is as if they ceased to exist. We never hear about them again. Have them been incorporated later in the story perhaps that long slow beginning would not feel so disconnected from the rest of the book. It is like the first part of the book was completely forgotten by the author once Kate was in Verity and all old characters came back into play. I finished the booking going 'what?' 'how about this and that person?'
All that being said, obviously the book deserves praise! Once August and Kate were back in each other lives the book evolved and became the fast paced, action packed, heart wrenching story we got to love in This Savage Song.
August is, no shadow of doubt, one of the most interesting characters ever created. VE Schwab did an amazing job. His character developed in just two books in a way most authors would need a whole 5-6 book series to manage the same effect. He is loving, caring, loyal... and he is also strong, fierce, powerful, and scary! It is amazing and impossible at once to imagine that such a gentle wonderful creature was born of a mass killing, gets tally mark tattoos on his body to keep himself on check and not be a monster, and at the same time is exactly that, reaping souls from left to right!
Kate Harker is one fierce female. And yet, not like most book heroins out there, she is not unafraid. She goes head first into problems and doesn't let anything shake her down. And her character development is also amazing... to think she went from being a monster hater to tolerating one particular one, to than being a monster hunter, and in the end not just fighting besides monsters, but even caring for them.
The best and worse part of the book is the end. It will rip your heart. Crush your soul. Be ready!
It was perfect. It could not have ended differently. In order for to have a different ending another book would have been needed to find a solution to a little 'problem'.... so it was the right ending. But it was sad. So very sad...