In in October (I know A WHILE AGO) I buddy read Our dark duet with Ilsa @ Whisper of Ink, and we’ve just gotten to posting out review! I absolutely loved this book, as did Ilsa and you can go check out her review here.
Ilsa is a lovely human-icecream hybrid and IF YOU’RE NOT FOLLOWING HER THEN WUT. ARE. YOU. DOING. I’ll forgive you* this once but skhgbrghrghrb WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING?? UNDER A ROCK??
*I may not. . . this is TOO MUCH of an offence. . .
whoops. . . this may contain spoilers for book one. . . we went rather c r a z y while writing this. . .
THIS BOOK IS A PIECE OF AUGUST FLYNN’S MUSIC AND IT STOLE MY SOUL.
Ilsa: Um…WOW. V.E SCHWAB DID NOT JUST DO THAT TO ME. She did NOT JUST DO THAT TO ME. I absolutely fell in love with This Savage Song and I think Our Dark Duet was one of the best sequels I have ever read. Apart from the cover being blue, this one did NOT suffer from second book blues at all! What did you think Lu?
Lu: Literally, this book blew me away. I loved the first book SO much and this book was just sheer perfection. I think that everything about this book was SOOOOOO brilliant I jsrgbrkjgbkrdgrdg just can’t even think about it without wanting to combust. SO MUCH HEARTBREAK. I JSBGR can’t even cope.
Ilsa: *combusts with you* But can we just talk about the characters for a minute? THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT WAS SO FREAKING GOOD?! I am impressed. KATE DEVELOPS SO MUCH AGAHAHA. I mean, in the first book she’s trying to be all tough for her Dad (aka her ‘father’s daughter’) but now she’s her own person and I was ROOTING FOR HER SO MUCH. She was a lot more likeable in this one?
Lu: Can we just get over how much the characters made us feel already. NO WAIT THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE. LET ME JUST CRY 4EVER. OHHH ummmm her SO friends in Prosperity were amazing?? They really helped kate develop and they cared for her SO much (and it pains me so much that they’ll never hear from her again and I cannot take itttttt) and like. . . RILEY was brilliant. He was so sweet to Kate and he and his boyfriend are people that I legit want to meet. And when Kate kept thinking “I should be running because it’s the only I know how to do properly” I was just thinking AWWWW KATEEEEEEEE BLESS U. I just died with all the feels.
Ilsa: YEP! I love that she had “friends” now. It made her SO much more realistic? I loved that they were in the book, obviously, but not enough for me. THEY KINDA DISAPPEARED AFTER A WHILE WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM?
Lu: YES!!! LIKE… WHERE DID THEY GO?? Surely they would have found a way to communicate with her?? And, maybe they would have idk, found her?? Or she would have got in contact with them? I WANTED THEM TO BE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
Ilsa: OKAY ENOUGH OF KATE I AM TEARING UP SO BAD. Let’s talk August WHO I WILL ALWAYS LOVE. HE’S SO BROKEN but ‘he’s being who he has to be’ and I think he deserves the award for most development. And he also wins the smollest character of the year, Of COURSE, I missed the old August sooo bad but this new side to him? It just showed how much the events in TSS changed him. And it WAS SO HORRIBLE TO WATCH HIM GO THROUGH EVERYTHING.
Lu: OMG YES I missed him so much and I just wanted to HUG him the ENTIRE time like WHYYY did he?? BUT I UNDERSTAND, DON’T WORRY MY CHILD. I just.. . . IT PAINED ME so much to see how much everything in TSS pained him and affected him. He felt like he was broken and WRONG and he isn’t!!! AHHH “I’m being who I need to be” JUST TORE ME APART. AUGUST WAS LIKE “imsobadfordoingthis” and was SO human and didn’t want people to see the “weaker” side to him but HE CAN’T HELP IT HE’S JUST SMOL.
So, what did you think of the plot and pacing?
Ilsa: I feel like some of the bits were slightly ‘calm’ and didn’t get me excited as much as I wanted them too? I think it was paced really well, and in such a way that it developed a lot BUT DID NOT PREPARE FOR US FOR THE HEARTBREAK AHAHAHA. And It was super hooking. At some points, the buddy read was hard because I JUST WANTED TO DEVOUR THE WHOLE BOOK.
Lu: I think that it was actually a bit slow in the beginning??? I think that after literally 30 pages BAM something new was introduced and THEN I COULD NOT CONTAIN MYSELF AND I JUST KEPT READINGANDREADING. But yes, I totally agree that while it was really fast, NO DEVELOPMENT WAS LOST. It was both super gripping, yet still INCREDIBLY DETAILED.
LOL, I DID DEVOUR THIS WUT U SAYIN’ ILSA. . .
Ilsa: Definitely couldn’t put it down! I think I WOULD have liked to know more about the world? But I think Schwab gives you little snippets about a few things to keep you hanging on. And since it’s only a duology you can’t expect much. Also because it’s quite a light kind of story? As in it isn’t a heavy fantasy. SO THANKS SCHWAB FOR GOING EASY ON US MULBERRIES.
Lu: I agree, BUT I think that a lot of the development was done in TSS so we already know the world and don’t need MASSES of world building that we already know as it could’ve slowed the pace down A LOT and kept us from feeling the “ajajajajjaalka this book I need to eat it all right now” feelings. I agree that it’s not super HEAVY and I LIKE that because the emotional trauma makes up for it.
Ilsa: BUT LET US SCREAM ABOUT THE MONSTERS BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT WE ARE ALL REALLY HERE FOR. First off, SLOAN CAN GO DIE. DIIIIIEEEE I TELL YOU. He’s so freaking evil and HE HURTS MY PRECIOUS BABIES SO MUCH. And why does Alice even exist??? YOU DON’T NEED TO EXIST OKAY.
Lu: UDBKDJ YES. HES SUCH A MONSTER. . . literally. LIKE WHY IS HE EVEN HERE. WHY DOES HE DO THIS TO MY BABY AUGUST? MY SMOL AUGUST DOES NOT DESERVE THIS. ALICE, svjsjgbr honestly. She just. GOT IN THE WAY. I HATE HER. How dare she do that to MY KATE.
Ilsa: AGHH YES I HATE THE MONSTERS but I actually LOVED the darkness in this story!? As in I LOVED the dark themes. Like at one point August is reaping sinner’s souls and it’s like “BUT DID THAT MAN actually do wrong by killing? Can we justify it?”. AND YES FOR THESE THOUGHTS. It made it so real and raw.
Lu: omg me too. DARKNESS IN BOOKS = HAPPY LU. The book was SO sinister. Like. . i get it, wwhoooooooooo darkandmystirouuuuuus but like. WHOA this is on a new level kind of sinister. It made the book really real and I just want to go around patting the heads of all the good people in comfort saying “you’re doing a good job, just carry on” BECAUSE RIGHT NOW THEY ALL NEED THAT AND SO DO I OK?
Ilsa: DARKNESS IN BOOKS IS WHAT MAKES ME GET UP IN THE MORNING OKAY. And I know this is a spoiler free review BUT the ships sailed!!!
Lu: Snap. Actually. It doesn’t because I just stay in bed reading all day. SHIPS SHIPS SHIPSSSSSSS SHIPS SHIPSSSSSSS this made me so happy. IT DIDN’T TAKE ANYTHING AWAY OR SHIFT THE FOCUS AND THAT MADE ME SO HAPPY.
Ilsa: The romance was so subtle and kind of just came creeping up on you and it is built up so well and it literally made my heart fill with glee. I mean there was no romance in the first book and even though there WAS A LITTLE in this book, the plot still shone ❤
Lu: Yes. I love how everything suddenly didn’t become about the romance and there were more things about THE AMAZING PARENTS AND SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS than the romantic ones. . . BUT HENRY MY LOVE.
Ilsa: Omg. Emily and Henry. SORRY, we HARDLY get parents let alone FAMILY in books but Henry and Emily are the perfect human parents and I adore THEM so much for what they do!
Lu: WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN. I think that the whole parents thing JUST TOPPED OFF ALL THE EMOTIONAL TRAUMA AND MADE EVERYTHING SO MUCH WORSE. AND I JUST FELT. SO. MUCH. Like soz, but I can’t deal with all this I’ll come back in a few years. Meanwhile, I’ll just shut down all my emotions. . .
Ilsa: YES LET’S TALK HEARTBREAK. I mean I CANNOT SAY TOO MUCH obviously but I can say, V.E Schwab was born to be evil. I tell you this and IT IS NOT A LIE OKAY.
Lu: I thoroughly dislike her now #TOOMUCHPAIN My heart is still SMUSHED and it’s been like JUST UNDER A MONTH I mean. . . ILYSM VE SCHWAB.. . but why you treating us this way??? So much emotion. . . I couldn’t stop going on about this book!
Ilsa: OH AND MORE HEARTBREAK WITH Ilsa ❤ ILSAAAA. I will always remember her strawberry coloured hair. And you think Ilsa made you feel things in book one? HAHA GET READY FOR ODD.
Lu: It pains me so much that she couldn’t speak but like… the way that August still understood her was so adorable and they hugged so much and JUST SHOWS HOW MUCH HE UNDERSTAND HER AND OTHER PEOPLE AND HOW HE’S SO HUMAN. WHY DO WE ALWAYS COME BACK TO TALKING ABOUT AUGUST. ..
. . . bc we lurveeee himmm.
Ilsa: BUT we cannot forget Allergo OBVIOUSLY. Allergo is my fave. Period. OKAY?! He’s so so so so so perfect.
Lu: AWWWWW MY SWEET LITTLE ALLEGRO. I want another cat now. HE’S AHFKJAFKJS ADORABLE W/ HIS LITTLE GREEN EYES. WAAA CUTEEEEE.
Ilsa: So overall I LOVED THIS BOOK. After This Savage Song, I was literally begging for the sequel so when I FINALLY got my hands on this, I was so pleased. The writing was STILL as beautiful as ever. I still managed to fly through the book and it was so easy to read! I love Allergo, there was too much heartbreak and I will never be okay again.
Lu: SAME!!! I had This Savage Song for 6 months before I read it so I was so glad to get to this one so quick. All the words were beautiful and ate my heart for breakfast and I semi want to form a VE SCHWAB RELIGION where we just praise her writing. The book was so beautiful, and I feel like I’ve been torn into 857328941536 pieces. BUT NO REGRETS.
Of course, 5 STARS TO THIS BEAUT.
Anything less. . . I would smite anyone how rated it less than that.**
** JK. . . I respect other’s opinions. . . kinda. . .
Have you read this? have you read her other books? what did you think of those? have you read This Savage Song? Let me know in the comments!!