Published By: Titan Books
Publication Date: January 10, 2014
Date Read: May 22, 2016
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.
"The moments that define lives aren't always obvious. They don't always scream LEDGE, and nine times out of ten there's no rope to duck under, no line to cross, no blood pack, no official letter on fancy paper. There aren't always protected, heavy with meaning."
Vicious was a book that I'd heard a little bit about but had never picked it up as it's not the kind of book I would usually read. I love superhero stuff but it just didn't really appeal to me. Skip forward a couple of years and after finding out that VE Schwab will be at YALC 2016 in London I decided to try reading her stuff and the first one that I got was Vicious. I'll be honest and say I have completely forgotten about this book. I didn't even twig that it was the book that I'd looked into before it released and decided to miss it. Holy Cow... this is one of the most addictive books I have ever read. I couldn't put it down and I'm kicking myself for making that majorly bad decision of missing out on it when it first released. I loved every second of it.
VE Schwab has one of the most addictive writing styles that I've ever come across. Right from the very first page, before I'd even discovered whether I liked the story or not, I was just so enamoured with this writing style that I just had to keep reading. And the more I read the more I couldn't put this book down. It was incredible. Compeltely addictive. This was my first book by VE Schwab and it certainly will not be my last. I have already bought every single thing she has wrote with a plan to devour them. She is such an amazing author.
The storyline and the characters are so unique. I've seriously never read a book quite like this one before. I loved and hated the 2 main characters all at the same time. After reading the blurb of this book I was convinced this was going to be a super awesome superhero book. Now after reading it I am convinced that it's a super villain book.
Right from the start I was convinced that we were reading from the villain's point of view but I wasn't 100% sure. Victor, our main narrator, seemed a bit like a villain to me. And for the first half of the book I was sure he was the Villain and Eli was the hero. This book really breaks the barriers of what is classed as a villain and a hero. Whether it all depends on whose point of view we see if from. If Harry Potter was told from Voldemort's point of view would we hate Harry? If The Hunger Games were told from President Snow's point of view would Katniss still be the hero... or the villain? And this is how I felt about Victor. I loved Victor and he certainly perceives Eli as the villain but a part of me also though Victor was definitely the villain... and then we hit the midway point of hte book and what Eli does is even worse. I certainly don't think this is a hero vs villain book anymore... it's more a villain vs super villain... and I loved every single second of it.
The amount I loved this book could never be put into words. It was so much more than I expected from this story and it really does get into the debate of what makes a hero... and what makes a villian? It's such an incredible story that really makes you think about what is good and what is evil. I truly don't think either of our main characters are good and I don't think that they are truly bad either. There is good and bad in all of us. Everyone has the ability to be evil in certain situations and this is evident throughout the entire book.
I loved Vicious so much. I cannot say one bad word about it. It was moving, thoughtful and phenomenal. I can't wait to see what is going to happen in the sequel. The ending has left me dying for more and I am firmly on the side of Victor. He is awesome and I think he is the best of the two... but maybe that's just because he is the one we see the perspective of the most throughout the book.
If you have decided not to read this book because it's not 'your thing' I strongly urge you to pick this up and give it a try. I didn't think it was my thing either but it blew me away. It is packed full of magic and intrigue and left me unable to turn the pages fast enough to see what was going to happen. I loved every moment of it and I would recommend it to everyone. A must read!
"Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone else could be labelled a villain for trying to stop them."