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Vicious by V. E. Schwab


by V. E. Schwab

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Vicious (1)

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9256013,566 (4.1)12



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Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)

This book was so freaking amazing? I spent so long wanting to read it and despite the insanely high expectations I had for it I was so happy with it?


The initial premise of this book is that these guys Eli and Victor are college roommates and try to gain EO (extraordinaries) powers, because you know, what else are academics to do with their time? The other part of the book is when Victor breaks out of prison ten years after all this trying to exact revenge on Eli because ~somehow~ they became enemies. The chapters switch between these two moments in time. Just the way this was set up was amazing. Not only did it give insight into the motivations of both of the characters, but the time in between each scene got smaller and smaller, and Eli and Victor got geographically closer and closer together, until the climax where essentially all hell breaks loose.

It was such an interesting experience? For the first 300 pages I didn't feel like I read anything but not in a bad way. It wasn't that nothing happened plot-wise but it also wasn't that I was super engaged in the characters... It just all felt so real and I've never really had this experience in a book with unlikeable characters. I felt like I was literally sitting on the couch with Victor as he stared off into the distance and I honestly could've read hundreds of pages of just that because he was so fascinating.

The climax of the story is so intense and it honestly left me shook the whole entire time. I was frantically flipping the pages and only after the last word do you get to breathe a sigh of relief as you're left literally sitting like :O


Both Eli and Victor were written so freaking well oh my god.

Personally, I loved Victor right from the very start. I actually found him to be a lot less villainous and maybe more rogue than Eli, but that's not to say that he's a good person I mean he did kill people. But a lot of the "immoral" things he did I don't think were inherently horrible but just not necessarily heroic - they very much fell in line with what his priorities were which I honestly loved even more because you could really understand the place from where his revenge was coming from.
The moment that I'm talking about here is that some people were disappointed in that Victor didn't go out of his way to save the EOs when he found out that Eli was killing them, and had to remind themselves that he's a villain. But I think that's sort of a misjudgement of character? Not going out of your way to do that is just not "heroic" in my opinion, but not something that is expected of every regular person? He just stuck to what his goals were, which in this case was getting revenge against Eli, and didn't pay attention to other things in his path. But this isn't me claiming saying that what he did was right I just felt the need to mention that

I thought his need for revenge made so much sense, and it was so intricate and reminded me a lot of the Count of Monte Cristo (I think I just really love revenge plots).

On the other hand there's Eli and he was just... honestly wow. I hated him so much. He terrified me so much with his belief in his god-given right to do certain things that I won't mention here. Props to Victoria Schwab for writing such a character, she even focused on the details of how after he kills someone it's described as a peace washing over him and how everything feels right. And oh lord. It's so insane.

The dynamic between Victor and the other characters was amazing too. His crew is essentially this big beefy guy who's a smart hacker, a 12 year old girl who can raise the dead, and her hairy black dog. And Victor, okay dark brooding Victor, writes black out poetry and takes on a father figure to Sydney, and they are this strange family that all in a way need each other. And this book didn't do the typical thing of bringing emotion into this, forcing you to feel for this family. Victor isn't very emotional and this group was described in an emotional way, but there are little bits that characters say that makes you realize it and it makes you feel subtly without forcing it. And the side characters were so much more important and stronger than I could've expected.


literally everything man I'm not even kidding, I didn't even realize how much I loved it till the end I'm still shook


And I gotta list some problems with this but honestly there were next to none? The characters aside from Eli and Victor I personally couldn't relate to very well but that wasn't necessary in such a narrative.

My only thing is that I expected both Eli and Victor to be very morally ambiguous and I actually found them to be on very different levels of that scale which resulted in less of that good vs. evil that I was expecting.

OVERALL: Man the writing was honestly just so so god. And there was a surprising amount of funny one-liners for such a serious book? I love Victor with all my heart and I love his story and I think that Victoria Schwab did such an amazing job really getting to the core of everything. Thank god for this book honestly. ( )
  caffeinatedreads | Jun 18, 2018 |
This was pretty awesome. Mitch kept giving me little panic attacks near the end though! ( )
  frailrouge | Mar 28, 2018 |
  mmalyn | Feb 24, 2018 |
V E Schwab can do no wrong with me! I am in love with everything she writes ever since my first reading of her work! It magical, mystical and devious. Just when you think you have a character pegged, her writing twists them into something you never saw coming; hover, still within the realm of her created worlds. I LOVE this book - but why it gotta be $30 bucks for a hard cover - OUCH ( )
  MrNattania | Jan 26, 2018 |
wow this was a great book! very very very well written with great character development and a really interesting concept. V.E. Schwab is amazing. I loved how the past and present were interwoven throughout the novel and the different perspectives we got. there's something I can't quite put my finger on that is stopping me from giving it a higher rating but I really enjoyed it and overall 3/5 stars ( )
  jdifelice | Jan 21, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
V. E. Schwabprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ngai, VictoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Life — the way it really is — is a battle not between Bad and Good, but between Bad and Worse.

—Joseph Brodsky
To Miriam and Holly, for proving time and again that they are ExtraOrdinary.
First words
Victor readjusted the shovels on his shoulder and stepped gingerly over an old, half-sunken grave.
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. (p. 271)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A superpower
novel turned on its moral
head: no heroes here.

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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?" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

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