Where Monstrous Acts Make Monsters: A Review of V E Schwab’s Our Dark Duet

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication date: June 13th, 2017
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Malaysia
Page Count: 365
Series: Monsters of Verity #2

Read my review of the first book in the duology,
This Savage Song.

Add to Goodreads
Buy from Book Depository, Kinokuniya Malaysia, MPHOnline


KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.



Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

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It’s official. V E Schwab killed me, not for the last time I presume, with Our Dark Duet.

Our Dark Duet is the conclusion to the Monsters of Verity duology. It picks up six months after This Savage Song ends so if you haven’t read the first book yet, you’re in for some spoilers from the first book!

I reread This Savage Song just so I could familiarize myself again with Verity, or V-City as it’s known. I highly recommend you do this if it’s been a while since you’ve read the first book. Our Dark Duet doesn’t give much refreshers from its prequel so it could affect your reading experience if you’re struggling to remember the differences between a Corsai, Malchai and Sunai.

Schwab’s writing has a way of sucking me right into the story leaving me gasping for breath and wishing for more. Every word in this series is a reminder of the thing we fear: how our actions have consequences that we are afraid to face.

“Violence begets violence, and monstrous acts make monsters”

Our Dark Duet picks up in Prosperity, the city Kate Harker found refuge in for 6 months, hunting the monsters in this city. While August Flynn has become a FTF Leader using his music to reap sinned souls and helping to keep South City safe. We see such a huge transformation in August from the lost lonely high school boy to this lean confident soldier.

“I’m willing to walk in darkness if it keeps humans in the light.”

As the book progresses, it does get pretty gruesome and creepy in some scenes. The way the monsters are described created such vivid images in my mind that monsters ripping out the throats of humans was so easily imagined. I got scared in many instances of the book because it got a bit too tensed and I didn’t exactly know where the book was headed.

But overall, Our Dark Duet questions the possibility of fighting the monsters within us as well as fighting those surrounding us. And that is what made this book so freaking amazing. The monsters Schwab talked about are real, and always have been. They might not rip your throats out or drink your blood, but they exist in the violence and hatred we see every day in the world. And the monsters living inside us, whispering nothing but blackness sucking us in, are just as real.

“There were two kinds of monsters, the kind that hunted the streets and the kind that lived in your head. She could fight the first, but the second was more dangerous. It was always, always, always a step ahead.”

I fell even more in love with August and Kate in Our Dark Duet. There’s great character development in these two and I appreciate how much they’ve had to grow in order to survive in such terrible predicaments. This Savage Song had Kate being this tough girl putting on a front to create fear, while in Our Dark Duet she doesn’t need that front anymore. Because my home girl is all fierce and kicking monsters’ asses like nobody’s business.

I love how well written Kate’s struggles with her inner monster was in this book. We see a side of her that’s vulnerable but still cares so much for August. August has changed a lot in Our Dark Duet but Kate still sees his true self. She fights for him to see himself for who he is, and not for the person he’s forced himself to become in the past six months.

And that is why their friendship remains my favourite aspect of this book.

“I don’t know who I am, and who I’m not, I don’t know who I’m supposed to be, and I miss who I was; I miss it every day, Kate, but there’s no place for that August anymore. No place for the version of me who wanted to go to school, and have a life, and feel human, because this world doesn’t need that August. It needs someone else.” 

Although, you’re in for a bit of a surprise when it comes to how their friendship progressed, ahem.

But no worries, in true Schwab form, 99% of this book centers around killing monsters.

Speaking of murders, that ending killed me. I knew the book wasn’t going to end happy but I did not see that coming. My heart broke into a million pieces at that last chapter. So I would recommend you brace yourself.

However, I did think the ending was quite abruptly executed. Like there was this slow incline to get to the climax of the book, and then it crashes pretty quickly to the ground. I still got my heart ripped out, but I would have loved more action and details.

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Overall, this series have such a special place in my heart. Schwab has rekindled my love for fantasy through her Darker Shades of Magic series and I’m grateful to have read her Monsters of Verity series.

She has a way of writing characters that we could relate to so well. She writes of pain and death so brilliantly that you can’t help but to see the similarities between the world she’s created and the one we currently live in.

“I know it hurts,” she said.
“So make it worth the pain.” 

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Thank you Pansing Malaysia for sending a copy in exchange for an honest review!
And thank you Sarah from Written Word Worlds for hosting a giveaway which won me my hardcover US edition of Our Dark Duet!


2 thoughts on “Where Monstrous Acts Make Monsters: A Review of V E Schwab’s Our Dark Duet

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