I enjoyed this one less than I’ve enjoyed Schwab’s other books, but even Schwab’s weaker book manages to be better than most others.
Weeks after the events of This Savage Song, Kate is no longer on the run, but instead rooted in Prosperity, finding purpose in fighting its monsters. August remains in Verity, fighting the monsters Kate left behind.
At its core, this series is the kind that should be taught in school. The metaphor within everything…about fighting monsters, about how monsters create more monsters…is the thread tying every bit of the story together. Who wouldn’t want to explore that in a high school English class? (I would.)
Beyond the metaphor, and the adept writing skill that crafted it, Our Dark Duet makes its mark by being surprising. I read This Savage Song late in 2017, so my memory of it is rusty, but I remembered enough that the start of the story was surprising. Sure, Sloan was alive at the end, but I didn’t expect him to be a POV in this book. Or much of a major player. He was such a last minute villain in the previous book that I didn’t expect his role as the Big Bad. And I guess in retrospect where Kate and August start off in the book makes sense due to the time gap, but it’s always tough to predict when a time gap will bridge sequels, and how it will shake up the status quo.
Then again, the surprising status quo becomes more surprising when it doesn’t remain the norm. Kate’s new life in Prosperity isn’t of much importance when she leaves. In fact, by the end, it’s non-existent. Perhaps, if anything, that is my complaint about this story. It starts off with the status quo shaken, but within the first quarter of the book, reverts to what we knew to be true in the first book.
Even so, what follows is interesting, focused on the metaphorical, and if nothing else, thought-provoking. If only more books like this existed.