Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Published by Tor Books on September 24, 2013
Genres: Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction, Superheroes
Pages: 364 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased
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?
Victoria Schwab has been a revelation this year and Vicious continues to showcase her talent as both writer and storyteller. Fascinated by the superhero phenomena, I picked this one up at her signing in January and I’m so glad I was finally able to dive into it. Victor and Eli’s transition from friends to nemeses fuels a tale of experimentation, abilities, and the moral gray area.
Schwab does characters so freaking well! Victor Vale is an anti-hero of epic proportions and his motivation is singular in nature while Eli’s god complex is vast, his misguided mission all that he has. Sisters Sydney and Serena are also on opposing sides but their dynamic is more tempered than the men. And Mitch, I loved Mitch by the way, is just along for the ride.
The past is what truly fuels this narrative and flashing between it and the present does an excellent job of revealing info at the right time and building suspense along the way. I was so intrigued by how the scientific method was used and how they dug deeper into the factors behind becoming an EO. Plus there was just so much commentary on good, evil, and the in between which I’m always here for.
I will say that I’m partial to her fantasy titles and I struggled with this one a bit. Nothing was wrong with Vicious but it took me a while to read it. I blame starting this before vacation, not reading it for a week, and then coming back in pain and not wanting to do much of anything including reading. Actually that’s really all my fault. Maybe my rating should be higher.
Overall I really enjoyed Vicious by Victoria Schwab even though it took me a long time to finish it. The characters really are the foundation of this story and every twist and turn reflected it. Plus the exploration of superheroes and science was well done. I’m sure no one will be surprised that I recommend this as well as every other Schwab book out there. She’s a writing genius!
So have you read Vicious? Did you like the exploration of science and the extraordinary? Were you rooting for Victor or Eli? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!