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Book Review: The Savages by Matt Whyman

The Savages (The Savages, #1)Title: The Savages
Author: Matt Whyman
Series:  ~
Pages:  280
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of Publication: 6th June 2013
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: They'd love to have you for dinner . . .

Sasha Savage is in love with Jack - a handsome, charming ... vegetarian. Which wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that Sasha's family are very much 'carnivorous'. Behind the family facade all is not as it seems. Sasha's father rules his clan with an iron fist and her mother's culinary skills are getting more adventurous by the day. When a too-curious private detective starts to dig for truths, the tight-knit family starts to unravel - as does their sinister taste in human beings . . .

My Thoughts:
I was absolutely desperate to read The Savages. I don't know why, just something about it really appealed to me. I used to really love vampires stories (not gonna lie, still do, a little bit), and the way it says, "They'd love to have you for dinner" suggested that it would be a vampire story (or similar) and the cover's really cool so I thought it looked like a fun read. And it was. But it wasn't a vampire story.

The Savages are secret cannibals.

Or, they're not. They're, 'evolved eaters', but essentially that's the same thing. They feast on human flesh every so often, and have done for a couple of generations now, since The Siege in Russia (I think?). So when Sasha Savage comes home and tells her parents she has a new boyfriend, who's a vegetarian, it's a much bigger deal than it would be in a normal household, and this is where the story starts.

The novel itself is very readable and I liked Matt Whyman's simple but compelling narrative voice. If I hadn't been distracted by Christmas and family (which don't get me wrong I absolutely love), I'm sure I could have got through it all in just one sitting. There are a couple of story lines throughout the book - the aforementioned Sasha and her problematic vegetarian boyfriend, and then also Vernon English's storyline. He's a private investigator and he knows something is up with the Savage household, and the head of the family, Titus Savage, but he's not sure what.

I liked reading about Sasha and Jack. I liked how simple their relationship was - it's too often that relationships are too complicated in fiction and it was nice to be able to read something that was easy to follow. It quickly becomes clear that Jack is NOT a nice person and I enjoyed following Sasha in her journey to realising this, and realising that she needed to decide what was right for her, and no one else.  She was strong and independent but without any of the cockiness that often comes with that. Jack on the other hand, was all big-headedness and douchery.  Let's just say that I wasn't disappointed with the ending (am I allowed to say that? ;) )

I also enjoyed Vernon's story line. I liked his musings in trying to discover what happened to Lulabelle Hart (a name I still can't get over :P) and he's actually kind of funny in his stupidity and ineptitude. Despite him trying to catch the Savages out and lock them up, he was actually really fun to read about and all in all I liked him. I'm glad for his ending.

So, on the whole, I liked the book, there was just one thing that I couldn't quite bring myself to really like, and that was the cannibalism, the main focus of the story. It just is weird. It's WEIRD! And I know it's a story and I know it's fiction but reading about all the different ways of cooking up human flesh with all the spices and seasoning, and onions and gravy just is a little disturbing. If you just go with it though, it definitely makes for an interesting and original story, and if you can stomach it I'm sure you'll thoroughly enjoy The Savages.


  1. This sounds brilliant - like you the cannibalism side would probably turn my stomach a little but it sounds like a fun read! Great review!

  2. Ah, THE SAVAGES! I loved this so much when I read it last year. I totally understand what you mean, though, by the weirdness of the cannibalism. It made me a little uncomfortable at first- you don't normally get themes *that* dark in ya! xD I guess, I loved it though because I'm grim and creepy and secretly very twisted (Don't worry, I don't eat people, haha :P) Glad you liked it- great review! :)


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