Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian, Paranormal
Series: Monsters of Verity #1 (Duology)
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
I have recently become a huge fan of Victoria Schwab (aka V.E. Schwab), so I had certain expectation when it came to this novel. And I have to say, it didn’t disappoint.
Before I start the review, I just wanna get it out there that there’s no romance in this novel. The author said this very specifically before the release because usually, even when the romance isn’t the main plot, it’s still there. In this case, there is none of it. And while I love romances, it’s kinda refreshing to go into a YA novel knowing there will be no romantic arc. I liked it.
That aside, it took some time to really get into the book. There was a new setting, two protagonist, the history of the city and the country, as well as explaining how the monsters worked. The first quarter, for me, was slow going. I wasn’t invested in the characters yet and the world was unveiling slowly. I had to push those chapters. But after that, things went smoothly.
The city of Verity is like Gotham. There’s a lot of crime. But instead of Batman saving the day, the crimes of the people manifested into literal monsters. Like, you kill someone and few hours later, a monster pops up at the scene of the crime.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to the divided city of Verity. August is a monster who wants to be human. He wants to help his father protect innocent people. Kate wants to be just like her father, who lets monsters roam free and makes people pay (money; no blood or revenge plots) for his protection against them. 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.
And yeah, I took some of the synopsis from Goodreads. I tried to make it short but this is about as short as it gets. It’s a unique world.
Now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way… I love the book. After getting through the difficult chunk in the beginning, I couldn’t put it down. The world is endlessly fascinating, thanks to Schwab distributing information throughout the novel instead of writing a bunch of exposition scenes.
Kate and August are both very different, and their contrasting personalities pull you in. And then seeing them both grow keeps you hooked. August needs to learn to accept himself as a monster and Kate needs to realize that maybe wanting to be just like her father is not the best idea. And seeing their relationship develop is the best. August is a good, but he’s also a monster; Kate is human, but her father is an evil maniac. Safe to say, trust does not come easy.
The book is beautifully written, has a great plot, great world-building, awesome characters and is one that I hundred percent recommend. I’m quite excited to read the sequel, Our Dark Duet (which came out today!). You should definitely give this one a read.