Published: June 13th, 2017
Synopsis: 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.
Diversity: Soro has is agender. Emily is described with ‘dark skin’.
Warnings: gore, violence, character death.
This review contains some spoilers for Our Dark Duet, although the biggest is something that you find out in the first few pages of the book. It does also contain spoilers for the first book in the series, This Savage Song, which I highly recommend reading before approaching this review!
Our Dark Duet is the sequel to This Savage Song and last book in the Monsters of Verity duology. It ups the stakes of the first book and concludes the battle of human and the monsters their actions have caused in the only way a story like this could possibly end.
I adored This Savage Song. It was the first Victoria Schwab book that I read and it’s what made me understand why people love her writing style so much. Plus it was a unique idea – monsters created from violence was something that intrigued me a lot. This Savage Song started a conversation on what makes you human and what makes you monster, and Our Dark Duet continues that story by literally putting the monster into Kate’s head.
Following Kate and August six months on after the end of the first book, they both are affected by what they’ve experienced. Kate, still trying not to get attached to anybody, remembers August and his humanity and the connection she had made with him and finds it hard to keep that distance as she wishes too. August thinks he can hear Leo, his twisted older brother in his head, telling him to let go and sometimes, living in a war zone, emotions make things so much more complicated. Their lives collide again and in each other, they find what made themselves good.
Character wise, Schwab always does fantastically. The journey of Kate and August is brilliant and looking back on the first book makes parts of their story gutwrenching. I loved Ilsa and the newest Sunai, Soro, who sees the world in saints and sinners and cannot see beyond his understanding of a purpose. I enjoyed the antagonists – Sloan, not as dead as you would think, and Alice, the Malachi that rose from Kate’s act of violence. They’re bitter and twisted and really engaging to read about.
I enjoyed the humanity in the book. The opposing ideas and people struggling to survive. Those from the North that sought refugee in the South and those who were stubborn enough to hold out until there was no choice. Even with a common enemy, these people were finding it really hard to find unity so the tensions that rise there are interesting background noise the rest of the book’s events.
In a book like this, action scenes are important and Schwab writes them really well. To the point or drawn out when they have to be, she keeps the tension up and never allows the fighting to overstay its welcome.
Schwab has a great sense of setting. Whilst the world outside Verity seems quite plotted like points of a map, the chaos and confusion of The North and South sides of Verity are easy to picture. You can image the Seam, this makeshift wall between two warring fractions, and the South compound, constantly prepared for war even when the North was functioning without the control of monsters.
Our Dark Duet is a brilliant conclusion. It’s a fantastically quick and easy read that keeps you entertained and desperate to reach the end and find out what is going to happen to these characters you’ve grown attached to. It’s Schwab being as great as Schwab usually is, and you will not regret picking up this duology at all.