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.
Vicious is a trip down a road paved with the madness of two men and the vengeance of one. If ever you wanted to get inside the mind of a sociopath this would be a good book to start with. It’s dark and twisted without being sick. The two main characters Victor and Eli are disturbed but they are written in such a way that you don’t want to hate them. Okay, so maybe I hated Eli, *smirk* but he totally deserves every ounce of bad juju coming his way. They are the best of friends and the worst of enemies. But isn’t that always the way?
When Victor and Eli decide to test their theory on how ExtraOrdinatry people can come to exist, they succeed and that inner darkness both of them have been hiding for so long comes out in full force.
This has to be one of the best supporting case of characters I’ve read. Sydney is a young teenager that has idolized her older sister Serena her whole life. Serena is a nutball piece of work, and her element of the story was the one I had the hardest time with but it was ultimately fitting and well done. When something terrible happens between them, Victor finds Sydney on the side of the road and takes her in. His treatment of her let me see a side of him that I didn’t even thought existed. Her backstory is as well built as Victor’s, even if it was only a supporting story.
There is also Mitch, while his story didn’t get as much spotlight it was still given ample attention to make him a character that I became very attached to. The way the story progresses was something I couldn’t have anticipated.
If you are looking for something to give you all the nice warm and fuzzy feelings this is not that book. Here you will find sadness and pain, torment and death – there is a stark reality built into these fictional characters that will resonate with readers and carry you along page after page. Even with how dark it was – it wasn’t too dark. I can’t adequately explain how it managed to not be a downer – but I think that might have a lot to do with Sydney and Mitch. I can only hope that we haven’t seen the last of all of them.