Author: V.E. Schwab
Rating: 5 Stars
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.
Chances are most readers have heard of or read anything by VE Schwab. I regret to inform you, reader friends, that this is MY FIRST VE SCHWAB BOOK! Yes, despite having known who she is for years, and knowing I would love her books, this is the first book of hers that I have actually read. And - I loved every single violent, twisted second of it.
Let's just get right into it, shall we?
It took me a minute to get used to the dual storylines, but the author did a great job of jumping back and forth from their college days to the present. That style works very well for this book. I think the author did a great job of telling Victor and Eli's stories, and working their past into who they are in the present.
I loved and hated all the characters in this book. I loved that they were so well developed, and so distinct and unique. They had well developed personalities that stood out from the characters around them and made them each their own wonderful, twisted, evil persons. I really shouldn't say I hated all the characters in the book - I actually liked Sydney, and I truly did love the way each characters personality grew throughout the story. But man did I detest Victor and Eli. The way they used people, the way they justified what they did to meet their own needs and their own end was just so messed up. It all worked in the context of this story and where the author took it, but what they did to each other, to other people, it was so fucked up.
Vicious started with an experiment that developed into something that was so well written and so well developed that I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. This book was truly well plotted, well developed, and well worth the read. I felt like everything worked in this book, no matter how dark and twisted it was. The events of the novel flowed well together to move towards the end. It was interesting to see everything come together as it did - like Eli meeting Stell, and the manipulation from Serena that ensued (because, hi Eli hasn't aged AT ALL!)
I loved the exploration of the idea about their being ExtraOrdinaries with these abilities, and I think the look at Eli, and why he hated other EO's was so important to this book. I like that the author explored that and showed that these EO abilities aren't always what they've cracked up to be, and that they can impact each character differently.
I loved watching the relationship between Victor, Sydney, and Mitch develop as well. They had this great friendship, odd yet great, and watching them work and grow together was great. Although I didn't really love Eli and Serena, I liked watching what happened in their relationship also, mostly because I was fascinated by Serena's power.
Overall, this is a book everyone should read (adult Fantasy, though!) If you've already read it, let me know what you though in the comments.