A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world.
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.
I heard only good reviews on this book and there is a valid reason for it. THIS BOOK IS FANTASTIC! Seriously, it was fabolous. Original, with interesting plot and very unusual characters, it made me want to read more and more. And that’s why I don’t get it why it took me so long to finish it (maybe it’s because I listened to it as an audiobook and that sometimes can take a while). I picked it up for Little Book Club, and I regret nothing. It was actually the October book of the month for the Underhyped books theme, but I finished it only now. I know, I’m super late.
I really liked V. E. Schwab’s writing style. Switching between different time periods and points of view were done very well and the whole organization of the book was great. Characters were complex and their motives and actions were brought out on a great way. I have never read a book like this one and I don’t think I ever will again, because it’s so special and unusual. Just AMAZING. Definitely go pick it up if you haven’t already, I assure you that you won’t regret it.
SPOILER PART – if you haven’t read the book yet, I recommend not to read any further, go and read the book and then come back.
First, I’d like to talk about how original this book is. It started off with the very intriguing scene at the graveyard and I was immediately hooked. From the beginning I was dying to find out what happened before that graveyard scene and that was slowly unraveling. When we found out how did that happen, we already had some other scenes in the future that we wanted to know more about. That was probably my favourite aspect of this book. It constantly made me want to read more and more.
As I already said, characters were complex and pretty weird. Every single one of them had it’s own backstory and motives. I also couldn’t really decide whether I like them or not.
Vicor was pretty unusual protagonist and at the beginning I expected him to be some kind of a hero, but he definitely wasn’t a hero. Yeah, he was kind of good and I liked him most of the time, but he definitely had his own demons and a dark side. Also, his obsession with Eli was a bit sick at times. But all in all, I really liked Victor and in my opinion, he’s one of the most interesting protagonists I’ve read about until now.
Eli was weird. Very weird. And I didn’t like him. That was not because he was portraxed as a bad character, but because I just couldn’t connect with him and I couldn’t understand him completely, like Victor. Something was wrong in his head because not a single normal person would believe that killing EOs is a good thing. I would understand him if he was a scared human, but he was an EO as well, and I just couldn’t make myself to believe in his motives. I actually felt sorry for him sometimes, but most of the time I was just cheering for Victor to kill him.
Sydney was probably my favourite character. She was just a kid, but she was strong and brave. Sure, she was scared, especially at the beginning, but when he made up the courage and realized that she should help Victor, she completely changed and I really loved her from that moment. Sydney basicly grew up during those days with Victor and I really loved the scene when Selena told her to go somewhere safe and she ran to Victor. I think that was one of the best scenes in this book. I just couldn’t stop smiling.
Selena was a bitch and I hated her so much. I don’t really understand why she wanted to help Eli. I just don’t. He tried to kill her sister and she just stood there! How can anyone like that person? I think I hated Selena much more than I hated Eli. She was by far the worst character in the book.
I also really liked Mitch. I was very intrigued by his backstory because in the first half of the book he was just there, as a sidekick character and he was mostly unimportant, but then, toward the end of story, we found out more about him and I realized how much I actually like him. Also, I was so freaking out every time I thought he died, but he actually never did. That was just awesome!
Another thing I really liked about Vicious was the fact that there were no good and bad characters. Just characters that were more or less good and more or less bad. There were no classic villians and heroes, no good guys and bad guys, and that fact made me think about the ending a lot. I didn’t know what to expect because I felt I’d get surprised by the ending anyway. And I was, but not the way I thought I’d be. It was actually pretty expectable ending, but I didn’t expect it because the whole book was different and normal ending just wouldn’t fit so I didn’t even think about it. But the neding was very simple. I know all of this is a huge paradox, but it’s really good and a very unique way of telling the story. Also, the last sentence just blew me away. Since I listened to this book as an audiobook, I couldn’t tell when it exactly ends, but when I heard that last sentence, I hoped there is not even a word after that one because I considered it a perfect closing sentence. And thankfully, there was nothing more and I was just amazed. WOW. That’s all I’m going to say. Read this book, it’s fantastic and it will give you the feels, even if you don’t expect it.