Saturday, September 29, 2018

[Book Review] Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Book Review of Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Vicious by V.E. Schwab is a fast-paced tale about two men who met in college and became quick friends. Though during their senior year they turned enemies when they discovered a very powerful thing while working on their theses; how people with ExtraOrdinary abilities are created.

I have been meaning to reread this one ever since I had first read it. When Vengeful, the follow up book, arrived on my doorstep in the Vicious and Vengeful edition OwlCrate box, I finally picked this one up again.

On the second read through, this one was just as amazing as the first read.

Let's dive in!

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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?
View on Goodreads.

My thoughts:
I loved the storyline and the organization of the timeline. The author did a wonderful job organizing each chapter; each flashback to the past slowly paved the way to help the readers fully understand what went wrong, and how we ended up where the two main characters were in the present. I really enjoyed that halfway through the book, we caught up to where the story had originally begun; with Victor and Sydney in the cemetery. However, after that, there are still various flashbacks that give us more information.

The writing style is so lovely. It's very easy to read, and it will just draw you right in! The pacing is quick, so you really won't want to put this one down; you'll just want to keep reading to see what happens next!

The idea behind the creation of the EO and how their power is a result of their wants, wills, and last thoughts is so interesting to me! I loved learning about each of the character's backstories and what occurred in order to grant them their specific power.

Speaking of the characters, they were all incredible!
  • Eli was frustratingly stubborn with his very strong belief about EO's. Reading some of the sections where the author gives us a glimpse into Eli's mind are a bit difficult to read just because of how convinced he is that he's right.
  • Victor was a bit obsessive and occasionally a loose-cannon, but he was also very smart and brave. I loved how he seemed to have a sixth sense when it came to people; he just knew who was good and who wasn't. I found him so interesting and couldn't wait to see what he would do next. And I just loved how he created a little family with Mitch and Sydney.  
  • Mitch was one of my favorites! He was your typical gentle giant. I loved how interesting his backstory was. And of course, his obsession with chocolate milk was a fun addition.
  • Sydney was so brave. Watching her become more aware of the nastiness of the world was tough, but she handled it wonderfully. 
  • Dol (the dog) was so loyal! I loved how sweet he was with Sydney from the start.
  • Serena was a wonderfully spooky character. Her power is just terrifying to think about. 

My favorite passages: 
All Eli had to do was smile. All Victor had to do was lie. Both proved frighteningly effective.

It was like watching two people, one hiding in the other’s skin. And their skin was always too dry, on the verge of cracking and showing the color of the thing beneath.

Eli had as many different smiles as ice cream shops had flavors, and this one said he had a secret.

"I think we want to prove things, in life, more than we want to disprove them. We want to believe.”

“You asked me if I ever wanted to believe in something. I do. I want to believe in this. I want to believe that there’s more.” Victor sloshed a touch of whiskey over the edge of his glass. “That we could be more. He’ll, we could be heroes.”
“We could be dead,” said Eli.
“That’s a risk everyone takes by living.”

The moments that define lives aren’t always obvious.

Eli rubbed his thumb over the fresh skin of his palm, but Victor was he first to speak, and when he did, it was with an eloquence and composure perfectly befitting the situation.
“Holy shit.”

I want to believe that there’s more. That we could be more. He’ll, we could be heroes.

Eli hesitated. “I can still see the line from your hospital bracelet,” he said at last. “At least wait till you’re feeling better.”
“Actually, I’m feeling fine. Better than. I feel wonderful. I feel like roses and sunshine and glitter.”
Victor Vale did not feel like glitter. His muscles aches, his veins still felt strangely starved of air, and he couldn’t shake the headache that had trailed him since he’d opened his eyes beneath the fluorescent white of the hospital lights.

“Mitchell,” said Victor. “Tell Sydney what you were in prison for.”
“Hacking,” he said cheerfully.
Sydney laughed. “Seriously? I had you pegged as more of a beat-someone-to-death-with-their-own-arm type.”

Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone else could be labeled a villain for trying to stop them. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.

"And those who ally themselves with monsters are little better than monsters themselves."

The building itself towered, unfinished, a steel and concrete skeleton draped in layers of plastic sheeting like gauze.

The moments that define lives aren’t always obvious. Quote from Vicious by V.E. Schwab

My final thoughts:
If you haven't picked this one up yet, I highly recommend doing so! I thought that this books was SO good! I loved the storyline, the organization of the timeline, the writing, and the quick flow. The characters were all incredible! I absolutely loved learning about the characters backstories and their powers.

I'm so excited that I was able to reread this one before diving in to Vengeful! Stay tuned for that review!

Thanks for reading!
What is your favorite book from this author?

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  1. If everything works out, I might go to a VE Schwab event tomorrow. I’m excited! Also, I should probably reread Vicious. I haven’t reread it in years. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. OH!! I hope you make it to the event! That would be so fun!!

  2. I still haven’t read this one. In fact, I haven’t read anything by Schwab yet. *hangs head* I really mean to. I’ll get there one day.

    1. I've been slacking on reading the rest of her work, lol! I've read this and This Savage Song. Both were incredible! I hope you love her work as much as I do when you get to read them :)

  3. Wow this sounds pretty great! And funny, I just joined the Bookish Games event that is using Vicious as its template, so I better read this and get up to speed!

  4. I really need to read a Schwab book, haha. I keep meaning to! This one sounds so so so good and well done. Excellent review :)

    1. It's definitely one of my all time favorites by any author!! Her book This Savage Song is really good as well, but I haven't read the follow up to that one yet.

  5. I haven't read anything by the author but I was curious about the Shades of Magic books. I'm not sure it would be to my taste so I don't know if I'll ever get to it!

    1. I haven't read those yet either. I hope to soon! :)

  6. Yay! I'm glad to hear you loved it! Schwab has quickly become one of my favorites. :)

    1. Same here! I cannot wait to check out more of her work! I still need to get to Our Dark Duet!!

  7. I'm slowly making my way through her books, but I'm loving them, and I JUST finished Vicious last weekend. I have Vengeful already though and hope to read it soon. I'm so jealous you got one of those boxes! They all sold out so quick!


    1. Yay!! I can't wait to see what you think about Vengeful!! And of my gosh, yeah! I've never seen a subscription box go that quickly!

  8. I have mixed feelings about the books by Schwav I've read so far, but I'm still curious about this one! I want to know what went horribly wrong, haha.

  9. I'm glad to hear this was just as good the second time around. I can't wait to read Vengeful. Just picked up my copy! :)

  10. Oh man, I need to read this one and this series! It sounds brilliant in all of the ways from the writing, to the plot, to the characters. If it's worthy of a reread you know it's going to be good ^.^

    1. Definitely!! I LOVE this book! I can definitely see myself rereading it time and time again!!