Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Title: Vicious
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: September 24th 2013
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 340 pages

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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.

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“I want to believe that there’s more. That we could be more. Hell, we could be heroes.”

Time really passes by quickly. I remember myself that day lying on my bed while cuddling with my pillow and eagerly holding my phone. Reading a book from an author unknown to me with no expectations at all. Without realizing that it’d be one of my favorite reads of all time. That it wouldn’t be my last read from her. Now, it’s been months since the last time I read something form her that only I realized after reading this, how much I missed Victoria Schwab’s writing. Her irresistible and addictive writing.

I really don’t how to make this review proper but let’s start things off by saying, Vicious suprised me. And I really had a hard time putting this book down that I had to stay up till 4 in the morning just to finish it. Every pages read leaving you craving for more.

Even the story takes us into different set of times. Last night. 10 years ago. A week ago. Two days ago. Last year. This morning. It might be a confusing way of telling a story but Schwab handled it very well. Because the excitement never breaks and it made the story unique and beautiful. And it amazes me how she managed to do it because it’s not every day you come across with that kind of writing style and it’s a tricky way to handle with. Because some books failed to do that.

Every one of the characters even the secondary ones is used well in the story. I mean, they’re not there just to become someone’s life background. Everyone has something to do with the development of the plot and it’s easy to make a connection with them.

I particularly liked the partnership of the three: Victor, Mitch, and Sydney. Despite their differences the group still fits perfectly together. And I liked it how they trust each other even if it means death.

Victor. I liked how he handles himself as the group’s leader that he really knows what he’s doing. And how he plans things out, is incredibly cool. Especially how he ends the story which have left me in awe. Because I didn’t really see it coming. And probably that’s one of the best conclusion I’ve ever seen. Mitch, despite his hulking appearance with tattoos all over his body. A good heart rests in him and Sydney is just adorable. She turns out to be this strong character with a great determination but the innocence is still visible.

Well I had zero sympathy with Eli. He reminds of Teren from The Young Elites and of Light from Death Note. He’s given his own pov so we get to see what’s going on in his mind. Eli thinks EOs are unnatural and affront to nature, and to god. And what ever reasons that crawl in his mind, I just don’t buy them. And calling himself as ‘god’s servant’ by eradicating all EOs. What? Don’t. You’re messed up, dude.

I thoroughly enjoyed it considering this is Schwab’s first adult book. And it’s interesting to associate NDE with creating EOs and the explanation is pretty simple not the brain-cell-burning way. Highly recommended!

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