Author: V. E. Schwab
Pages: 364 (paperback)
Synopsis: "A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.
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." -Goodreads
Firstly, I want to say that I originally had picked this book up in April after first meeting Victoria Schwab for a buddy read with Sierra, that we were both really too busy to deal with at that point in the year. I want to say that I do believe that reading this book at that point in the year was a bad decision for me and that I'm glad I put this down.
The reason I was hesitant to pick this book back up was because I actually thought this book was the reason I wasn't excited to dive back in, but really I was just reminded of that time so I was not excited.
When I first started this book, I really enjoyed the characters, the plot, and the development of the story. I felt content with the first 100ish pages, and was excited to continue until my life was filled with stress and I didn't want to look at a book. So I put this down until I finally read The Archived.
When I picked this book back up, I fell in love with all the characters all over again and found myself actually obsessed with the story. I found myself fangirling over the smallest thing that Victor Vale would do and falling in love every time I imagined this snarky smile on his face. I obviously was routing for him throughout the entire story, but it didn't change that I also adored Eli and his God complex.
I find myself still coming back to these characters and thinking about what it would be like to have the two ego's in one room together.
The characters in this story feel raw and add this element of realness to the story. Victoria and Eli are both selfish and neither of them are heroes in any regard. These two men are truly a representation of our worst characteristics as a human: revenge, greed, selfishness, power.
Not only did these characters anchor me into this story, but the plot really drove me forward. This antihero story really caused me to keep turning the pages even when I was ready to just go to bed. It made me fight my heavy eyes, so that I could figure out how the story would end. The story that was crafted in a way that made me stop and actually reconsider becoming an author. This is the type of literature that makes me believe in great storytelling.
Lastly, I would like to touch on the writing. Stepping back and looking big picture, I find myself being amazed at how well the flashback scenes were able to build this world and the background of this story without being overbearing or boring. It helped give the reader the information they needed to understand the story, but also enough to allow them to become invested and grow as they read about the journey these characters were on. I've found very few books that are able to use flashback scenes to build a story in the way this one did, and that is one of the most impressive things about it.
I really found this story to be flawless, and I couldn't think of anything that I would change. If you are interested in an adult book with no romance and you enjoy antihero stories, then you need to read this one.
Have you read Vicious?