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Our Dark Duet Paperback – 12 June 2018
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|Paperback, 12 June 2018||
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- Publisher : Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (12 June 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 544 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062380893
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062380890
- Reading age : 14 years and up
- Dimensions : 13.49 x 3.11 x 20.32 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 349,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"If This Savage Song was a tense exploration of human nature, this sequel is a reckoning....Schwab folds questions of identity, morality, and judgment into her stunningly crafted narrative. ...readers will be hard-pressed to put this action-driven finale down."--Booklist (starred review)
"Alternating between [Kate and August's] immediate, propulsive perspectives, this sequel's narrative reveals that each is still hunting the violence-created monsters that plague their alternate United States. ...Suspenseful action sequences are well paced, with affecting moments of understanding and tenderness, building to a satisfying ending."--Horn Book Magazine
"Masterly writing, a fast-moving plot, and just the right amount of bittersweet romance make this book hard to put down. A necessary first purchase for all teen collections."--School Library Journal
"The breakneck packing of the climactic latter half eventually resolves into a poignant ending. ...Schwab's style is on point, as always. Happily, the many ardent fans waiting for this volume...[will] delight in the feels."--Kirkus Reviews
From the Back Cover
KATE HARKER isn't afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she's good at it.
AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. But no longer. 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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Top reviews from Australia
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I loved Prosperity's differences to Verity; I loved that each city had their own ways of dealing with the violence and monsters in the dark. I liked Kate's network of sources of information for the attacks, and where she could find monsters. I loved her attempts to keep them distant with them still worming their way into her affections. I really would have liked to see more of them, but the bits and pieces we did see of them were nice.
Meanwhile, the situation in Verity is dire. One side filled to the brim with monsters ruling and humans being herded like cattle, and the other filled with in-fighting and judgements. It was nice to see more characters outside of the Flynn family on the South Side of Verity in this one, and it was interesting to see how much had changed and how much had stayed the same after the events in THIS SAVAGE SONG.
I really, really liked the new characters. I loved Soro, and their initial distrust of Kate. I liked their interactions a lot, and August's reactions to them. I loved August's conversations with Soro and the two of them trying to figure out where they fit. Soro's so sure of their purpose, but August still feels like an imposter.
August was fun in this one; he's so deep into what he feels like he should be that Kate's return just throws him. I love them and their interactions so much♡ They have some really great moments, and even their arguments are great. August still does his best to protect Kate, especially because of the reasons why she came back to Verity and because of what's been going on while she's been gone.
Kate is still stubborn and reckless as hell, and she's ready to take matters into her own hands. She knows how to work things to try to get what she wants, and she's ready to take control of her own life and stop wondering about another Kate's.
She pushes August a lot in this one to stop playing a role, while Kate falls back into her own masks at times as well, August is the one insisting he's changed too much. Kate is a lot more sure of herself in this one and I love it and her subsequent interactions with August about who they both are and their motivations.
The villains in this one were great, and I adored the new monster. I loved that monsters are born out of the violence, and death, and chaos. It's really interesting to see what is spawned from where and how each tragedy brings different personalities or feelings about things within them. I liked how the new monster worked, and the differences and similarities it had to the others as well.
I loved the ending. I do want to read more, and I'm a little sad that it ended the way it did (ugh, crying everywhere), but I really do like how it ended. I don't think it would have worked for the series to end any other way. It was definitely worth the pain.
Top reviews from other countries
Well, I can happily say that I was wrong!
"I know it hurts," she said. "So make it worth the pain."
Kate and August have got to be one of my favourite set of characters in YA. Mostly because they don't follow the typical arc that most other YA fantasy characters do. There is this wonderful kind of tension between the two of them and there's always that "will they? wont they?" in regards to a potential romance between them. At the end of my review for This Savage Song I mentioned that I didn't mind which way it went and felt the same in this book but still found myself waiting for it. Did it eventually happen? I'm not going to tell you, but the way that it did end between them was just PERFECT!
"Every weakness is a place to slide a knife."
The book picks up 6 months after the events of TSS. We find August in Verity reaping the souls of anyone who has committed a violent act, meanwhile Kate is in Prosperity kicking ass and killing monsters. But August is struggling between his duty and what he believes is the right thing to do and Kate is battling the monsters not just in the world but the ones in her head too.
Schwab's world of monsters was just as awe inspiring as it had been in TSS and I couldn't get enough of all the little details we were gifted about the history and mythology of both the world and it's monsters. We get some interesting new characters in this book, Soro especially is one to check out, and the story is told from multiple POVs which gives us a full view of all sides of the war. Schwab controls the flow of the boo perfectly and we get this delicious build up through the first half of the book and then the story just explodes into a fast paced, action filled dramatic conclusion that left me breathless and just about destroyed me!
"I’m willing to walk in darkness if it keeps humans in the light."
I was lucky enough to be at YALC when I finished reading this book and so actually got to speak to Schwab the following day whilst still in maybe hangover mode. I had big thoughts about the way Schwab had ended the book and it was so cool to be able to discuss all my thoughts and feelings about it with the author rather than my usual rambling word vomit style phone call with my bookish friends.
"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."
One thing I especially loved (and we chatted about) was that this book only gives us a small glimpse into this world and the war that is taking place. It's so typical nowadays for book like this to have a conclusion; they win the war/loose the war, they all live happily ever after/they all die. Look at the Hunger Games, Divergent, the Lunar Chronicles. They all end with the war ending. But we don't get that this one. This book is about one battle that takes place in the middle of a war and when we get to the end of that battle the characters remaining have to continue to fight. And that's what I loved. That feeling that even though the series is over, the characters story goes on. How cool is that!
"People were messy. They were defined not only by what they'd done, but by what they would have done, under different circumstances, molded as much by their regrets as their actions, choices they stood by and those they wished they could undo. Of course, there was no going back - time only moved forward - but people could change.
For worse. And for better."
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?
I'm guessing that if you're reading this review, you've read the perfection that is This Savage Song. It pains me so much to say this but honestly? I don't think Our Dark Duet was as good as the first one, but it was still good enough to earn five stars so it's all good! Don't come at me with your pitchforks! Our Dark Duet had more badass fighting from Kate which made me so proud because she just wanted to make her city a safe place. We were also introduced to a new monster that's like a shadow, but when it feeds on chaos, it starts to become more and more solid. This new monster is scary. I know that the Malachai are vicious and bloodthirsty, but this new monster is pure fear. I was scared of it just by reading about it.
“People were messy. They were defined not only by what they'd done, but by what they would have done, under different circumstances, moulded as much by their regrets as their actions, choices they stood by and those they wished they could undo. Of course, there was no going back - time only moved forward - but people could change.
And for better.
It wasn't easy. The world was complicated. Life was hard. And so often, living hurt.
So make it worth the pain.”
― Victoria Schwab, Our Dark Duet
The let down of this book? Again, it absolutely kills me to say this... August. I love him. I really do. He was amazing and my little smol bean in the first book, but in Our Dark Duet, I didn't even recognise him. He could have been a completely different character. If was hard-faced and NOTHING LIKE OUR AUGUST AT ALL... You saw glimpses of him now and then again (mainly towards the end), but it just wasn't enough. Even Kate was getting angry, yelling at him for being so blank about everything. GO KATE!
I can't talk about this book without mentioning how amazing V.E Schwab's writing style is. She's got it bang on. Every word just flowed into the other with perfection and I was hooked... I couldn't bring myself to stop reading so I ended up reading it in a couple of hours. I was absolutely addicted to the writing, the description, the dialogue, the poetry... Everything.
AND THAT ENDING! <---- that's all I can say about the ending because of spoilers, but just know that it was worth putting it at the end in capital letters because OH MY GOD!
Overall, this was a brilliant finale to the Monsters of Verity duology, and I would happily read the series over and over and over again. Even though the character of August slightly let this book down for me, it was still an amazing read and has a storyline that I will never forget.
Our Dark Duet takes place a number of months after This Savage Song and things have changed alot.
V.E Schwab is a truly amazing writer, getting under your skin and sucking you into her words - no song needed here!
Secretly I was hoping for a bit of romance and although there was the tiniest little hint to something more, it wasn't meant to be.
In fact my poor heart was broken, shattered into a million tiny pieces. This author really knows how to play with the readers emotions. My were all over the place trying to anticipate the author's next move but she was always one step ahead. She's probably an evil genius really. It certainly felt like it at times.
So sad that there is only 2 books to this series and both of those books are now over and I am left to pick up those pieces of my broken heart.
If you have already read This Savage Song, one click Our Dark Duet immediately. You are going to want to dive in immediately and if you haven't started this duet yet......WHHAAATT? Do it now, you are seriously missing out.
(Side note: Please could authors consider doing a ‘previously in…..’ feature like they do with TV shows???)
I’m going to start with the end. At 85% I thought to myself that there was too much left to happen, that there was going to be unanswered questions. At 90% I wasn’t sure how the book was going to end. At 95%? That last 5% was the most tense ending of a book I have read in a long, long time. I’m heartbroken, I’m in shock, I’m just… Psht. I’m not even going to find the word for it. It’s such a shame that there isn’t a third book. Not that I know how the author can follow on from this masterpiece.
I love Kate and August as characters. There is no romance (well barely), there is just respect, admiration, and a level of trust. The chemistry between them is real and it makes a change that there is no romantic connection between them.
Now back to the beginning. I thought this book was going to drag but it actually didn’t. The chapters were a decent length, there was no unnecessary filling to them. They were direct, straight to the point and didn’t leave anything out. I liked the constant switching between August, Kate and Sloan.
The section where Kate wasn’t in Verity actually worked well for me. I was intrigued by The Wardens and would love more on them, especially after everything that happens in Verity. Do they find out who Kate was? Do they meet August? Do they venture to Verity?? Questions after questions!!!
Overall, this book was spectacular. I’m definitely on the path of looking for more books by the author, I know that they are out there. 5 humongous stars.
We start off Our Dark Duet with a quite frankly, chilling opening. When we rejoin Kate and August it's been six months since the end of This Savage Song and things are quite different for the both of them. We jump straight in with some action as we join Kate hunting and I loved seeing Kate in her element, hunting down monsters with her little team. I really feel like there was a CSI: Monster Edition kind of vibe, because you've got Kate in Prosperity, which supposedly has no monsters, hunting them down with her team. There's Teo, Bea, Liam and Riley and I was quite disappointed we didn't get to see more of them! They all seemed to work together really well! Anyway, they're working with Kate, it was kind of like Arrow with the Vigilante team at one point, and then at others it was a bit CSI with Kate investigating a murder and so on. I loved it. It felt like such a different vibe to me than the first book but was still recognisably the same world.
August is now a leader of his own little group made up of Rez, Harris, Jackson and Ani. There's also a new Sunai in town, Soro and I'm still not sure if I actually liked him! August is obviously in Verity as they're all fighting against Sloane, Alice and his organised force of monsters. They've got people escaping from one side of the city in to their side and needing to be checked out and trained and so on. We get to meet a couple of the new recruits like Colin, although I couldn't remember if we'd met him in TSS or not. Again, Augusts scenes had a different vibe to Kate's and it was a nice contrast between the two. I had wanted to see more of the world of the book and Victoria really delivered!
Kate's just as badass as ever, she's determined to fight and help and take out the monsters. But she has one struggle. A struggle that makes things very difficult for her.....friendship. Yep. Kate's got friends. I loved seeing her interact with her little group, and worry about them and she's not used to having friends so it was nice to see her with friends who cared about her and worried about her, and how she dealt with that and this new friendship thing that she'd never really experienced much before. Forever loving her sarcasm and witty one liners too!
August has changed a little, he's become colder, more distant and perhaps a bit darker. He's got Leo in his head messing with him, affecting how he thinks and acts. He's trying to do what's right, trying to protect people but he's not the August we know and love from TSS. It was interesting to see this other side of August, and even more interesting to see how he changed again when Kate was back and challenging him. It was like she made him finally question himself and realise how he's acting.
I read Our Dark Duet in two sittings because I was completely glued. There's more action, more monsters, more fighting, more gore, more darkness and more interesting looks at human nature and what really makes a monster. I love how that's woven in and makes you think. There's a new threat to face. We get to see more of the FTF and how it works, and the inner divisions between them all. The different plot threads all tie together brilliantly to make the overall plot, as do the three different POV's we get. Kate, August and Sloane are interesting narrators and they're all different from each other, so they have interesting and differing viewpoints on what's going on. Sloane is just plain creepy to be honest. The plot is filled with nuances and sly plans from Sloane, and it keeps you intrigued, keeps you invested.
I have to say, the ending of this completely broke me. As we get to the end the pace is so snappy that I was forcing myself to calm down and read slowly instead of reading too fast and missing things. The ending...I had to sit there after I'd closed the book for a good few minutes. It was devastating for me. But the last sentence...there was just something about it. The entire book, much like the first, is very vivid. Verity and Prosperity rise up in front of you, the contrasts obvious. You can picture each one of the settings, and you get completely sucked in so that you feel like you're there, helped along by the atmosphere that permeates the book.
When I read that last sentence in the book, I could picture it so vividly, like it was playing out on a cinema screen, and after that last sentence it fading to black and the credits rolling. If this is the final book...then it's brilliantly wrapped up and a very satisfying if not heartbreaking conclusion to the story. Having said that, while it's heartbreaking...the ending and how things end up are actually very fitting for the book if I'm honest.
Buuuuttt I've heard that this is a duology and then that this is a series...I mean...I wouldn't say no to a third book you know? But at the same time...I feel like August and Kate's story is done. I would really like to see some more of the world of the book though, there's so much left to explore!