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Do You Hear The Souls Sing?

Victoria Schwab’s Monsters of Verity duology wraps up in Our Dark Duet.

Do You Hear The Souls Sing?

BOOK REPORT for Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab

Cover Story: House Goals
BFF Charm: Maybe x 2
Swoonworthy Scale: 5
Talky Talk: Multiple POVs
Bonus Factors: Resolution, Siblings, Gender Neutral Character
Relationship Status: Good Friends

Danger, Will Robinson! Our Dark Duet is the second book in the Monsters of Verity duology. If you have not read the first book—This Savage Song—turn away now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. If you have read the first book, however, feel free to continue below. I will refrain from major spoilers in my review, but there might be hints at plot points and details about the story.

Cover Story: House Goals

My feelings on this cover are pretty unrelated to the actual story, but the windows peeking out from the shape of the violin made me think about my longtime love of apartments in converted factory buildings, with their amazing old windows. (Like this one.)

On a more related note, I appreciate how well this cover matches the cover to This Savage Song.

The Deal:

Kate Harker’s been living in Prosperity since leaving Verity, chasing down the monsters that the people of the city don’t really believe exist.

August Flynn’s taken on a larger role with the FTF, reaping the souls of sinners and keeping the monsters out of South City.

Sloan’s picked up where Callum Harker left off, only instead of saving people from the monsters, he’s serving them up as playthings and meals.

A streak of murder-suicides in Prosperity leads Kate to discover a new type of monster, one who feeds off of human violence. The monster soon decides to visit Verity, and its travel plans bring Kate home—and back to both August and Sloan.

BFF Charm: Maybe x 2

Both Kate and August underwent a lot of changes in This Savage Song, and even more in the months between where it ended and Our Dark Duet picked up. Kate’s still impulsive and rash, and her interpersonal skills still leave a lot to be desired, but her fire has tempered a bit. August, on the other hand, has become someone quite different than the sweet, emotional Sunai he was; he’s become steely and cold, and hides the fact that he so badly wanted to be human. They’re both still really struggling with who they are, and I sympathize. But I’m still not so sure that we’d make good friends.

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

I appreciate that Victoria Schwab examined the unresolved tension between Kate and August, and how she moved on pretty quickly to focus on other things. This duology isn’t really about what’s between the two of them, it’s about them finding out who they are, and where they fit in the world. (Also, there are … issues. But I won’t get into that here.)

Talky Talk: Multiple POVs

Our Dark Duet is split into multiple POVs. Where This Savage Song was only told from the perspectives of Kate and August, in Our Dark Duet we also hear from Sloan and the mysterious monster. All four perspectives round the story out nicely, and Schwab is excellent at creating characters who are complex and fascinating. And I love how the novel is about fighting monsters—both literally and figuratively.

My only complaint is the same one that I had with This Savage Song: the lack of backstory. I want to know more about why monsters exist and how the U.S. is set up, and although it didn’t really take away from my enjoyment of the book’s plot, I still found myself wondering about the whys and ways of the world.

Bonus Factor: Resolution

The ending of Our Dark Duet is likely one that will be very divisive with fans of the first book. No spoilers, but I think it was pretty dang perfect. (I’m happy to clarify why in the comments.)

Bonus Factor: Siblings

Although August and Ilsa aren’t related by blood (if Sunai have blood?), their sibling love is strong. They have an unspoken bond that shines through even the most minor of their interactions.

Bonus Factor: Gender Neutral Character

A new Sunai is introduced in Our Dark Duet, and they happen to be gender neutral. A few of the characters mull over "what" they are, but ultimately decide that the character is whatever they decide they are. I think it's vital to include non-binary characters in YA books, and Schwab handled it quite well, in my opinion (which is, admittedly, that of a cis woman).

Casting Call:

I cast Kate and August in my review of the first book in the series, and to them I’ll add:

Lily Cole as Ilsa

Relationship Status: Good Friends

I still feel like you were holding out on me a little, Book, by not telling me all that I wanted to know about your history and past. I know I’m nosy, and that people value their privacy, but we might have connected better had you been a bit more open. That said, I still enjoyed our time together, and will remember our dates fondly.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Greenwillow Books but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Our Dark Duet is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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