Friday, July 28, 2017

#Review - Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Monsters of Verity # 2
Format: Hardcover, 510 pages
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Dark Fantasy


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.



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?

Our Dark Duet, by author Victoria Schwab, is the sequel and final installment in the Monsters of Verity duology. The story picks up six months after the end of This Savage Song. The story once again alternatives between Kate Harker and August Flynn. While Kate left Verity behind for Prosperity, August has stepped into his brothers shoes as the leader of the Flynn Task Force. While Kate deals with her own inner monster, and wonders if she can ever be a normal again, August has accepted that it is okay to let the monster out if it means saving people.

“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.”

For the most part Prosperity is free from the monsters that roam free in Verity. But, there is underlying tension that is ready to break out. Kate has been here six months. Six months of hunting monsters, but nothing will ever make up for the one moment when her soul was tainted forever. No matter how many monsters Kate kills, she can't forget what happened at the place she once called home and the boy that she left behind. What's even more curious, Kate has allowed a very small group of kids (Bea, Liam, Teo, and Riley who has given her a place to stay) to get close to her. 

Kate plays a curious game where she imagines there are other Kate's in alt-world where she still has a family, and that monsters don't exist. But, after an encounter with a monster she's never met before, and nearly loses her soul in the process, Kate finds that her time in Prosperity is over. The only option for her now is to hunt the monster back to where it all went sideways. But, Verity has been cut off from the rest of the world, and the Verity that she left 6 months before, isn't the Verity that she returns to. Verity is now under siege by a very alive Sloan who has stepped into her father's shoes.  

“I don’t know who I am, and who I’m not, I don’t know who I’m supposed to be, and I miss who I was; I miss it every day, Kate, but there’s no place for that August anymore. No place for the version of me who wanted to go to school, and have a life, and feel human, because this world doesn’t need that August. It needs someone else.”

As Kate arrives in Verity, she attempts to find August and warn him of the monster that has found a new home in Verity. But, Kate never imagined the changes she would find. August has accepted the darkness of his being. He pretty much needs to in order to save his people from Sloan and even more so from Alice, the monster created in Kate's image. The Verity side of the story is a twisted one. August and his human soldiers face a daily onslaught while trying to hold on to the Southern side of Verity. August, along with another Sunai named Soro, try to keep Verity from falling to Sloan. But, with Kate's arrival and warning, things really tick up in a frantic manner.

While Kate and August are the main characters of this series, don't over look the fact that Schwab gives Sloan a bigger piece of the puzzle this time out. Sloan wants all of Verity. He controls all of the Northern side of Verity but they have bigger plans. He and Alice, who was created in Kate's image, have unleashed monsters on the streets. They've taken humans as food, and stored them in buildings where they can easily have access to them. Sloan very much wants to take down August. If he can break August, he can find a way to break through to the Compound where he will control everything.  

I have all sorts of feels after finishing this book. Sadness. Anger. Disappointment. Depression. I know it is the author's prerogative to choose how he or she treats their characters, but holy shite. Why? This is one of the reasons that I lowered my rating from 4 stars to 3 1/2. Perhaps it was a message that the author needed to send. Or, maybe she knew that her characters were lucky enough to make it this far considering all they've done and been through. Or, maybe she's sitting back laughing at the horror that she left in her wake. Either way, I am not a fan of how this story ends. 

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