Genre: YA Fantasy
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
V.E. Schwab is quickly becoming one of my favourite fantasy writers. I love how fast and quick paced this was. There’s always something to pay attention to when you’re reading her books and TSS is just great at capturing your attention.
From beginning till the end I could barely put this book down. And I am being biased to how much I like this book because I met VE Schwab at a book signing event in London earlier this month. Listening to her explain how and why the book was written has allowed me to experience a book like never before — with full knowledge of how the author intended the book to be read.
TSS is a reflection of all the violence and crimes that occurs in the US. It was written in 2012 during the deadly kindergarten mass shootings and that is where August was ‘born’. If you’ve noticed, he was born in a room of body covered in black plastic in the shape of kids. This scene is related to that mass shooting and gripped me so hard because we were all heartbroken by that tragedy.
It was so amazing how real this book felt to me. How every scene in TSS reflected a real crime and violence occurring somewhere in the world. What made me sad was how there is no line between monsters and human. That sometimes a human can be more destructive than a monster.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a monster or a human, living hurts…” – Kate
Another interesting fact I found out after meeting Schwab was how she writes her female characters. I used to think the badass female characters were annoying because I found myself being appalled by them. But they were written to show how tough girls can be and how selfish teenagers are in real life. Just like Delilah Bard in A Darker Shade of Magic, Kate Harker is one evil bitch. But with a conscience. And that makes it just amazing for me.
“Why is there so much darkness? Shouldn’t there be just as much light?” – August
There should. And someone out there is always filled with a kind of light to give us all hope again.
I cannot wait for Our Dark Duet to come out next year. I am officially collecting all of her books!
A definite recommendation by me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂