Savage Song review
The book was interesting. It's quite violent, and there's no sex or romantic content. The review was misleading about that. There's no indication of romance that I noticed from either character's viewpoint. It would not be surprising if that happened in a sequel, but it didn't in this book. There is one scene where Kate comments on how August does not look at her the way someone would who was sexually interested. There are a few brief scenes where they stand close together, pretending to be a couple, to avoid being conspicuous in a crowd. There is no kissing, no remarks of finding each other attractive, and no narration that indicates they find each other attractive. They trust one another in a frightening and dangerous situation, but that is not in itself romance.
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Also, there was both drinking and smoking - Kate smokes often. It is always mentioned, every single time she smokes, that cigarettes will kill you. So some parents may find that a beneficial message. The drinking is barely mentioned and I don't recall any details about it; it may not even have definitely been alcohol. So lots of cigarettes with surgeon general warnings, and hardly any booze. The only specific drugs mentioned are over the counter painkillers and fantasy style consumption of souls, but August implies he's an addict and Kate assumes he meant to drugs.
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The violence is explicit about killing monsters, but not very explicit when humans are killed. Kate frequently has violent thoughts and acts on them. She threatens a fellow student with a knife. She carries a small concealed knife, and two sharp metal spikes. She kills several monsters. The humans who are killed by main human characters are nameless, and it is largely in self defense, though a point is made that they may have acted prematurely and possibly the threatening person would not have killed the character. Many unnamed characters are known to be murderers or have committed assault and other violent acts by the ability of certain characters to detect this by looking at their shadows. August kills such people a few times. He also kills a monster or two.