Tag Archives: Vicious

Vicious (Vicious #1) – V.E. Schwab

Vicious (Vicious #1) – V.E. SchwabTitle: Vicious (Vicious #1) by V.E. Schwab, Victoria Schwab
Publishing Info: September 24, 2013 by Macmillan
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 22, 2014
Related Posts: , A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1), A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2), A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3), , This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1), Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2)

    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.

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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!

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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.

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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.)

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

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!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE VICIOUS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        How to Lead a Life of Crime        Pivot Point

Novella Mini-Reviews: The Little Android, Bridge of Snow, Warm Up

I’ve been reading some AWESOME books lately that also has some great novella/companion stories. I don’t really write full reviews for novellas, so here’s a quick round up of what I thought and if they’re worth your time!

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Title: The Little Android (The Lunar Chronicles #2.5)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Completed: January 27, 2014
Source: I read it for free on Wattpad and you can too! [The Little Android]
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Related Posts: Cinder (#1) || Scarlet (#2) || Glitches & The Queen’s Army: Novella Reviews ||  My Latest Bookish Addiction: The Lunar Chronicles || Quiz: Which Lunar Chronicles Character Are You? || Cress (#3)

The Little Android is an adaptation of The Little Mermaid and can be read out of sequence/in any order/independently of the rest of the books in The Lunar Chronicles series.

WHAT I LIKED

  • The Little Mermaid parallels. Definitely interesting and fun to spot!
  • The characters. They definitely caught my attention and kept me on my toes!
  • The ending. I really appreciated what Marissa Meyer did with the end of this short story. I think not a lot of people were expecting that! (Or were they? I wasn’t.)

WHAT I WAS MISSING

As most short stories for me go, it was a just a little short. Whereas with the other Meyer shorts, I was dazzled and impressed, this one didn’t QUITE grip me as much… Maybe because I was coming down off of CRESS which is quite a tough act to follow! Anyway… Loved the adaptation of The Little Mermaid and just the ticket to hold you over until you can get your hands on WINTER!

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Title: Bridge of Snow (The Winner’s Curse #0.5)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Completed: February 20th, 2014
Source: I read it for free on Tor.com and you can too! [Bridge of Snow]
Genre: Fantasy

Bridge of Snow is a short prequel/tie-in to THE WINNER’S CURSE. It can be read before or after the full-length novel. The story covers Arin (one of the main characters in THE WINNER’S CURSE) as a child, being told a bedtime story of the legends and mythology of their culture.

WHAT I LIKED

  • I love stories that come up with their own mythology/gods/creation history. I think it’s incredibly fascinating and just adds a real layer of depth for the entire world-building aspect.
  • Seeing Arin’s history. You don’t have to read this book before THE WINNER’S CURSE but I like to read the novellas after the main story. Why? I just like getting to know the characters in the full-length novel first and then seeing more about their past and history in the novellas. I feel like reading the novella first and getting that kind of history is easily lost on me because I don’t get to know the character well enough in such a short period of time. Just a personal preference!
  • It’s not afraid to be dark. Yes, this is a bedtime story to a child, but it does have a certain darkness to it. The story itself felt very reminiscent of The Tale of the Three Brothers in Harry Potter!

WHAT I WAS MISSING

Really not a lot. I thought this was beautifully done and so impressive! I loved almost everything about it and I highly encourage readers of THE WINNER’S CURSE to read it!

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Warm UpTitle: Warm Up (Vicious #0.5)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Completed: February 22, 2014
Source: I read it for free on Tor.com and you can too! [Warm Up]
Genre: Sci-Fi, Paranormal (Adult)
Related Posts: On the Same Page features Vicious

Warm Up is a short story connected to VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab. It can be read independently or in any sequence but personally, I think it makes much more sense if you read VICIOUS first! It follows the story of David, a man with an unexpected new power that he obtained after a life-threatening accident.

WHAT I LIKED

  • The ability. One of my favorite things about VICIOUS was getting to know all of the different abilities! I find it incredibly interesting as well as how that ability ties into the life-threatening event.
  • David. I really felt for him! I liked his character a lot and felt really bad for him and his situation.
  • Cameos from VICIOUS main characters. I don’t really want to say too much about it but it DOES tie into the main story!

WHAT I WAS MISSING

I loved it! Wasn’t missing much. It was short, dark, and held my interest. If you’re unsure about reading VICIOUS, this short story lets you test out the waters because the feeling was exactly the same.

Have you read any of these novellas? Did you think they were worth your while?

On the Same Page: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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ON THE SAME PAGE: VICIOUS and ANTIHEROES

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Upon finishing VICIOUS, I came to the somehow surprising realization that I really, really enjoy antiheroes. Really, I don’t know why this was a surprising revelation for me since I’ve grown attached to quite a few antiheroes featured in literature, TV, and film, but for some reason main character Victor Vale really opened my eyes to this.

Why do I love the antihero so much? I think it’s in part because I love seeing justice being served in a way that doesn’t compromise the protagonist’s virtue in a traditional sense. A lot of antiheroes have already been hardened. They’re not you’re typical hero so they tend to have dark pasts with dark motives and may or may not have already committed a few unspeakable crimes before we even meet them. When it comes down to that final moment for the antihero to eliminate the villain, and let’s face it, usually with murder on the mind, it doesn’t feel like an innocence is being lost if they succeed. We all knew that it had to come down to Harry Potter killing Voldemort, for example, but he was just a kid! He didn’t want to kill anyone. He did have a dark past but he was truly a good person and no one wanted to see him have to kill someone, no matter how evil. When a true hero is put in the position to kill someone, it’s heart-breaking and bittersweet. When an antihero is put in a position to off the villain, I find myself rooting for them.

The antihero is also very appealing to me, I think, because the villain that they come up against has committed WAY more heinous crimes. If I find myself rooting for someone who’s not a traditional hero, chances are the person they’re battling has done something extremely terrible! There always has to be a guy who’s worse, right? Often times the villain has done things that are just TOO appalling that it takes a special kind of someone to take him down where others have failed — maybe the traditional hero’s conventional methods just aren’t enough. Enter: antihero.

I also enjoy being able dabble in the dark side while still rooting for the side of “good”. Sometimes the dark side is the more interesting side. It’s like passing a car crash that you just can’t help but stare at — it’s horrifying but incredibly interesting. The antihero sometimes has a much more interesting past, or a much more complicated present and often times their morals function with more of a gray area. The antihero allows us to look the other way on certain crimes in order to right the wrongs and establish justice once more.

Enter the soft side: One of my favorite things about antiheroes is seeing them soften towards other characters. Be it a child, a dog, a romance… It’s so much more touching to see the softer side of them because it’s not something you often see. Antiheroes are more likely to keep to themselves, keep their emotions under wraps (whether by choice or by initial nature), and so when they show a compassionate side, it just makes my insides melt! I think that really establishes an emotional connection with the antihero and it makes me want to root for them even more. There’s a bit of a good guy deep down there somewhere and when the audience sees that side, it just makes them feel so much more wronged and betrayed if something bad happens to those characters!

Victor Vale is a complicated character. He’s never quite been the traditional good guy and he makes a fantastic antihero in VICIOUS. I loved seeing his motives, his thought processes, and the way he formed relationships. If I didn’t know if before, I surely know it now: I really do enjoy a good antihero to save the day.

vicious         dexter  

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Don’t forget to check out Alyssa’s and Amy’s posts for Vicious today too!

Alyssa — Books Take You Places ||  Amy — Tripping Over Books