This is the second (and final) book in V E Schwab’s duology. The first book is called This Savage Song, so if you haven’t read that, please be aware that this review will likely spoil you for the prior plot.
Okay, now the warning’s done, let’s get into the review!
Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.
Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.
Title: Our Dark Duet
Author: V E Schwab
Genre: urban fantasy, fantasy
Publisher: New South Books (Titan Books)
Link to buy book here.
I read and adored This Savage Song in 2016 and I was worried I’d have forgotten this world by the time Our Dark Duet was released. I WAS WRONG. SO VERY WRONG. The beginning of this book captured me effortlessly, we pick up with Kate as a hunter months after the events of the first book. And just like that: I was back in.
Kate is in Prosperity helping a group of teens (The Wardens) fight monsters. August, meanwhile, is still in Verity, fighting a battle and losing himself in it. I also loved the addition of Soro!! So awesome to see the they/them pronoun used in YA that isn’t contemporary! Their character helped to add a layer of intensity and an interesting insight into August, though I really wished we found out more about them! How Soro and August varied when compared to one another was incredibly intriguing, too. The concept of greys didn’t seem to exist with Soro, they saw things in black and white only. You are a sinner.
YES I AM SKIRTING AROUND A POINT BUT SPOILERS. Soro is great, even though I initially had squinty suspicious eyes about them.
Humanity and identity and morals are so brilliantly conveyed in Our Dark Duet, Kate is determined to be heartless, but undoubtedly lets people in. Her toughness remains, though, as well as her sarcasm and wit, which gives me LIFE. Give me a sassy, strong lead and I’m IMMEDIATELY in love. And Kate is epic.
She’s so flawed and wounded but so determined. Obviously, her and August are reunited, but I won’t say how or why! August is… well, he has lost the thread of himself that was so human in This Savage Song. I loved how Kate pushed him. The fear and grief that these two experience solidifies their connection, they play off each other SO WELL, it’s like only they can truly understand and motivate each other. Schwab wrote them beautifully, they flourish together. ❤
Okay now… that… ENDING. Broke my heart. But… it was just… so good?! I think, if I wasn’t working full time and could devour this book in a sitting, I would have loved it more. Because I had time to process it, I am sad to say, I predicted the ending. I predicted the end of This Savage Song, too. Why am I like this.
But in no way did that deplete my love for the characters. I adored them the whole way; Kate is so vehemently badass and August is just a tender baby that’s literally a monster with a heart of gold. And um, let’s not talk about how horrific Alice is, she’s like a spoiled conniving child that can easily kill things. Eep. And… I want to talk about the new monster that is revealed in this book but I don’t want to go into details and ruin you for it. It’s worth the unfolding. So mysterious and creepy! So… *zips mouth*
Please just go read this book. Like, go now. Add it to your cart, go to your bookstore, whatever you’ve gotta do. Monsters, mayhem, violence, gritty decisions and character morals and FIGHTING. GAAAH, honestly I loved it can you tell!!! It’s such a fast-paced, interesting and compelling book! Schwab doesn’t disappoint.
4.5 / 5 stars
Thank you so much to New South Books for sending this to me for review!! Ahhh!