No spoilers in this rapid review of Our Dark Duet. I give it 3.75 stars. I’m a little shocked I’m rating a Victoria Schwab book below 4 stars. They’re usually in the 4.25-4.50 range for me. I LOVE her writing style, and that certainly hasn’t changed. But I just didn’t feel as invested as I have in her other series or as I did in book 1, This Savage Song, especially in any scene that didn’t include both August and Kate.
I have been disappointed in a string of sequels recently, in fact most sequels (with only a few exceptions) this spring and summer. I have listened to the audio form of each of these books, so perhaps that’s why I felt disconnected from the characters and the stories at times. That’s probably not the case, though, because audiobooks often add to my enjoyment rather than take away from it, especially if the narrator is a good one.
In Our Dark Duet, August and Kate are separated, each battling the monsters among them in their own way. August is working for the FTF, and Kate has teamed up with a rag tag group of monster hunters in Prosperity. They eventually team up to try to bring down Sloan and his troop of evil monsters. Everyone is hurting from wounds inflicted in book 1: Ilsa’s voice is gone, Henry is sick, August has (in part) lost his conscience, and Kate is reeling from her mother’s reappearance. Yet they still battle on.
This sounds like a great set up, right? So why my disappointment in Our Dark Duet? The book was slow for me, especially the first half. If my attention wandered for a moment while I was listening, I didn’t hit the back button and felt like I still basically knew what was going on. Also, like I mentioned above, I didn’t feel as invested in the characters this time around.
And the good parts of the book? The scenes containing both Kate and August were the highlights for me! So were the beautiful, sleek descriptions and metaphors which are present in each and every Schwab novel. My favorite came at the conclusion of the story, the reference she makes to a shattered drinking glass and what the big pieces and shards represent. It thought it was cool imagery!
Despite my disappointment, I recommend this book to everyone who read book 1. It’s a fitting end to the series. In fact, I recommend reading all Schwab novels. If you haven’t read one yet, I recommend starting with the two series I prefer first: Villains (book 2 comes out next year!) and Shades of Magic (a completed trilogy).
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