I remember loving This Savage Song (that title!) and basically all Victoria Schwab has to offer, and I’ve been waiting for the second half of the duology for a long time. I was ecstatic that Our Dark Duet (and this title!) was finally here, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I’ve almost forgotten how much sass and emotions my darlings have, so it’s an amazing experience to delve into the monstrous world of V. Schwab!

What I loved:

  • The protagonists
  • Mysterious formless monster that’s all RAGE
  • So much gore
  • More focus on the monsters’ perspectives this time
  • Did I remember how much of a smol, cold, wrathful baby August was? NOPE!
  • Edgy verse sprinkled between intense prose
  • The plot
  • The ending

Characters

August Flynn became even more complex in the aftermaths of the last book. Now he has Leo (dead evil older brother) in his head, offering tips and pep talks on “How to Be a Great, Fearsome Leader” which August tries to ignore most of the time. However, he does become colder and steelier in this book, embracing his monstrous nature instead of being human. In realizing his difference from humans, he uses his powers to protect those he loves and punishes those who deserve judgment, which sets him apart from the other monsters. Although August is less soft and open in this book, we see a lot of development through his internal dialogues and interactions with Kate. Plus his cat + his violin + slaying bad monsters = A++

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

Kate Harker is angrier and more badass (if you can believe it), and she begins the book by hunting monsters in the neighboring city of Prosperity with a group of vigilante hunters. However, when an unknown force attacks her, she knows she must return to Verity if she is to warn those of the coming monster. The anger and violence she experiences because of the monster’s effect also show us how much she both wants to let go and cling to her humanity, adding more facets to her previously angst-driven personality. Her reunion with August is so heartwarming and squeal-inducing, and the chemistry is still there. I’m glad Schwab didn’t add in too much romance into the book, although I do appreciate the advancement of the two’s relationship.

“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.”

The side characters like Alice (the Malchai version of Kate rising from her act of violence) and the soldiers at August’s compound flesh out the world too, showing us the strife and biases of different species that are struggling to live together.

Setting + Plot

Verity continues to be dark, gritty, and monster-ridden as before. Now that a much more bloody and ruthless leader controls the monster’s side of the city, the conflict between the divide grows more intense, and a showdown towards the end of the book indicates how much violence has been brewing. I’m also thankful we saw another city in the same period that feels so different from the gloom and doom of Verity; Prosperity feels like any other city with coffee shops and teenagers roaming about, with just a dash of violence here and there. This brought the world back into perspective and allowed the readers to see that there’s more to this particular world than Verity.

“If Verity’s sins were knives, quick and vicious, then Prosperity’s were poison. Slow, insidious, but just as deadly.”

Plot-wise, the book may be a little too straightforward, with almost no surprise along the way. Even though it’s a simple plot, I loved how much worldbuilding and character development Victoria Schwab offers that I don’t care too much. What’s more, that glorious writing style has me gobbling the whole book up like the greedy dragon I am. However, the ending did shock me a bit! No spoilers but let’s say I forgot Schwab kills her characters.

Conclusion

Overall I was blown away once again by V. Schwab! This was a completely satisfying trip for me, and if you enjoyed reading This Savage Song, or if you like paranormal, monster-fighting, or simply monsters, why aren’t you buying Our Dark Duet already?!

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) gleeful-grace-book-review-our-dark-duet-victoria-schwab

by Victoria Schwab (Goodreads Author)
THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.
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.
THE WAR HAS BEGUN.
THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.
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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