Title: Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Published by: Titan Books
Publication date: 29th May 2018
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in one another. 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. They become EOs, ExtraOrdinaries, leaving a body in their wake and turning on each other.
Ten years later Victor has escaped from prison and is determined to get his revenge on the man who put him there, aided by a young girl with the ability to raise the dead. Eli has spent the years hunting down and killing every EO he can find, convinced that they are a crime against God, all except his sidekick, a woman whose power is persuasion and whom he cannot defy. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the arch-nemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
I adored this book from the very first page! Schwab has written such a compelling story with fantastic characters. It had everything I wanted and there was not one thing that disappointed me. I loved how character driven it was and how much it focuses on the bond between Victor and Eli. I love how we get to see the bond that was formed between them during university and witness how it completely shattered as everything spiralled out of control.
The story is told in a usual way and during the first few chapters I thought I’d struggle to understand what was going on but it was actually surprisingly easy to follow! It flips back and forth between the past and the present day but it’s random because it’s like “ten years ago”, “two days ago”, “yesterday” etc and some of the chapters are really short. I actually enjoyed being fed random pieces of the story this way because you constantly had a changing perspective of the characters and nothing stuck. You’d feel like you were stood on solid ground and then Schwab would pull the rug out from under you. I loved all the twists this story had – I was left constantly feeling shocked by the characters actions!
My favourite thing about Vicious was definitely the characters. Right from the start the characters just felt so fleshed out and real – like they could step straight out of the page. It was amazing. I’ve read a lot of books that have made me care deeply for the characters but this is on a whole other level! I fell so hard and fast for these characters and felt such a rollercoaster of emotions all throughout.
I loved Victor so much and I think he definitely still has a lot of depth and potential! I feel like there’s still lots to learn about Victor and I look forward to reading more about him in Vengeful! I love how he pushes people away but then at the same time he also seems to take Sydney under his wing. I’m interested to see what kind of bond they have in the second book! I definitely want to see more of Sydney as she is actually quite a bold character even though she’s much more innocent compared to Victor.
Eli was an interesting character as well but I think Victor stole my heart – sorry Eli! I think what’s most interesting about Eli is how twisted he has become. He genuinely believes that what he is doing is right and doesn’t see anything wrong with killing innocent people for being an EO.
That’s my favourite theme in this story – Victor and Eli start out with the intention of doing good but they both become so drunk on power that it twists who they are and takes them so far from what they wanted to be. I think Victor recognises that he’s not good though whereas Eli is convinced he is doing God’s bidding. It’s interesting to see the mindset of the two characters as the story progresses and Victor comes closer to finding Eli.
That brings me onto the plot! Even though I found this book mostly character driven, the plot was great and it moved along quite fast! There was a lot of intense scenes and it’s like you can feel all the characters emotions pouring out of the pages. I loved all the plotting that was going on and then the flashbacks which gave us some more insight into Victor’s character. The ending was great – I really loved it! It was incredibly sneaky and I’m annoyed at myself for not guessing that would happen – it was so freaking obvious and I actually laughed afterwards! Another brilliant book from Schwab and my new favourite!