Author: V.E. Schwab
Pages: Hardcover; 368
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal Fiction
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Everyone. Seriously, everyone. Get out there and get a copy of this book.
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N / BookLikes
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.
Oh, good lord. I'm floored at how seamlessly Victoria Schwab's writing translated over into this, her first book written for adults. I've always known she was an amazing writer. She has the ability to entrap you with her words, entrance you with her perfectly built characters, and keep your eyes glued to the action on the page. Before you know it you'll be at the ending, equal parts in love and terribly angry that you'll have to wait for another book. I should know, that's exactly how I felt after turning the last page of Vicious.
What do I say first? The premise of this book is, if you'll allow me to say it, bloody brilliant. Victor and Eli exist in a world where people have the possibility of being ExtraOrdinary. Of having something special about them that translates into the word "superpower". Is it the future? For all we know, people like these could be wandering around in plain sight as we speak. All I know is that it was so very easy to fall into the lives of these two boys. To see how they became special themselves, and then how they were set on two very different paths. I adored the fact that Victoria Schwab doesn't cast a definitive line between good and evil here. Everything is relative, and it makes things that much more interesting.
That being said, the characters all play perfectly into this theme. There is no one character who is entirely pure in their intentions. Even the youngest character, who I refuse to spoil for you, has a bit of grittiness within her. Each one has their own demons to fight off. If I had to choose a favorite, it would have to be Victor. I'm sure once you read this book you'll see why. He's charming when the need calls for it, but can also be downright vicious. His ability to think on his feet, to plot and scheme, it all just called to me. Once I became immersed in Victor Vale, there was no going back.
I wish I could say more! I genuinely wish I could gush for hours. However to say too much is to possibly give something important away, and I'd much rather you experience this all for yourself. The point remains that Vicious is a beautifully written novel. It's intense, intelligent, and absolutely addictive. Whether you're a current fan of Victoria Schwab or not, I'm certain you will be after you read this book. Settle in, my friends, and prepare to read well into the night. Vicious is waiting for you.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.