Vicious by V.E. Schwab – Review

October 16, 2013 Review 1 ★★★★★

inanutshell2Vicious was a book I couldn’t put down. It was well worth the 8 hour round trip drive my mom and I took to not only buy the book, but to see Victoria Schwab to have her sign the book and hear her do a reading. Trust me on this – you’ll want to read it. Particularly if you have a twisted sense of humor like I do (and apparently like she does).

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – ReviewRelease Date: September 24, 2013
Title: Vicious
Author: V.E. Schwab, Victoria Schwab
Pages: 368
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Owned
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: 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.
5 Stars

V.E. Schwab (otherwise known as Victoria Schwab) is an evil genius.

When I saw the cover of Vicious, I knew I had to read it. I didn’t even know what it was about yet. The beautiful colors and comic-esque style of the rendered art combined with the one word title just called to me.

When I found out it was about villains – I was completely sold.

Then I went to see her do a reading of the book and discovered that I was grossly oversimplifying the subject matter. It’s not just about villains. It’s about ethics and morality and the choices that we make. It gets deep y’all.

Eli calls himself a hero, therefore Victor must necessarily be the anti-hero (i.e. the villain) because his purpose is to stop Eli.

See how that works? It’s fascinating. What do words mean when you take their meaning away? At the reading, Victoria said this was an idea she wanted to explore while she was writing the book but I didn’t fully understand it until I read the book.

She writes sociopaths frighteningly well.

And in the end, I think she accomplished exactly what she set out to do. She wrote a book about people with super powers, rather than superheroes. She created a completely new universe out there with rules that defy physics (as most super powers do) and made me believe that it was all entirely possible.

If you’re a fan of Marvel, of DC, of Dark Horse, or any of the comic book universes out there then this is absolutely a book you should read. If comics aren’t your thing, but you’re interested in reading a story about best friends who become mortal enemies then this one will fit the bill. Because the point of this story isn’t the super powers – no, the point of this story is what Eli and Victor do with their powers. It’s how they live and the choices that they make.

And it’s vicious.

What Others Are Saying:

  • The Housework Can WaitVicious is an intricately woven tale of intrigue and deception, betrayal and revenge.
  • Book, Bones, & BuffyVicious is so good, that I wish I could read it again for the first time. I envy all you readers out there who have yet to crack open the cover and experience Schwab’s unique brand of magic.

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