Publishing Info: September 24, 2013 by Macmillan
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: February 22, 2014
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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.
I had heard so many good things about VICIOUS before I had finally gotten around to it for our group read with On the Same Page. I actually didn’t quite know what it was about due to my penchant for going into books blind, but I did know that it was something along the lines of science mixed with superheroes. I mean honestly, how can you say no to that? It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to go into a book that so many people LOVED, but clearly I had nothing to fear here!
VICIOUS was actually my first Schwab book and I somehow started with her adult book before I read her YAs — seems a bit out of order for me, but there you have it — so I actually wasn’t familiar with her writing at all beforehand. I felt like the book really flowed well, from character to character as well as from scene to scene. There are moments when the book jumps from present day, back to ten years ago, and even hopping around from time to time, but I really never felt lost or confused. I actually really enjoyed following this non-chronological way of story telling because I got exactly the story I needed at exactly the right times. If told chronologically, there wouldn’t have been nearly enough suspense or too many details all at once.
The story line of the EOs (Extraordinary [humans]) was fantastic. If you were a fan of the TV show Heroes, it had very much of the same vibe, except there are a few interesting twists to the “superhero” concept which also brought quite the darker tone to the novel. I won’t go divulging what those little twists really are (although the synopsis touches on it) because I like to let the reader experience that journey of discovery themselves, much like the characters did. I really loved the idea of how each EO obtained their powers and how their power directly related to their specific situation. It was incredibly fascinating and the way science, research, and Victor and Eli’s thesis papers all tied in was truly interesting and I was totally captivated the whole time.
I love the tale of revenge in this story. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Victor and Eli, formerly best friends, are now mortal enemies and Victor is hell bent on getting his revenge against Eli and ending their connection once and for all. I really, really loved seeing Victor as this antihero. I just love a good antihero. I was totally rooting for him, pretty much at all costs, and I really felt a lot of sympathy for him. I also loved that Victor, aside from his relationship with Eli, had his own unique and interesting relationships with each of the secondary characters in the book (specifically loved this post that Amy wrote for our On the Same Page feature of this book)! The relationships created in this book are just so interesting and each one is complicated and yet delicate.
VICIOUS was a tale of revenge, intrigue, adventure, and brought up several issues of morality and faith. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it and I’m so glad the hype I’d seen from my fellow reviewers hadn’t affected the outcome for me at all! The mash-up of supernatural and science was excellent and VICIOUS was definitely a fantastic read for me!
Victor // Character Obsessions: Revenge, taking care of Sydney, recruiting EOs.
Ooooh, I loved Victor. I always root for an antihero, I think. I loved his quest, his motivation, and everything he went through with Eli. It was really interesting to see his history as well as his present-day situation. I loved reading about his journey and it was really interesting to see how different he and Eli were and how their differences split them apart.
Eli // Character Obsessions: EOs, God, doing the “right” thing.
Eli was an interesting sort of human being. (More than a human being?) He ended up going through a MAJOR internal struggle until he found a path he felt was right for him — a path of justice. A path of righteousness. And yet, who’s to say what he feels is right really is the right thing? I found him incredibly interesting, although a bit annoying at times… But I understood his reasons for his actions, even if they were ridiculous reasons at that.
Kept Me Hooked On: Superheroes. The EOs in this book aren’t exactly like superheroes, but this book reminded me so much of the TV show Heroes and I just really, really loved it!
Left Me Wanting More: Adventure + science. This book really wasn’t short on adventure or action or science, but I just loved every bit of it! I just want so much more! (Greedy, I know.)
I loved this one. VICIOUS was such a “me” book and I loved all of the elements that V.E. Schwab put into this book!
(Click the cover to see my review!)