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Vicious by V. E. Schwab
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Vicious (edition 2014)

by V. E. Schwab (Author)

Series: Vicious (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,309819,292 (4.12)26
"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)
Member:xxassin
Title:Vicious
Authors:V. E. Schwab (Author)
Info:Titan Books (2014), 366 pages
Collections:Your library, Fantasy
Rating:*1/2
Tags:Fantasy, 2019, Kindle

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Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
"This is great!" I effused over breakfast.
"What's it about?" Mr Dee asked.
"Two psychopaths pulling each other's hair."

This book played straight into my kneejerk love of brilliant people being ruthless - with themselves, with each other, pushing ever further. Not to mention having a cast of glittering, dangerous, real and delightful characters. Because of that, I'm willing to overlook some flaws (though I ponder whether the over-occurrence of coincidence is a flaw, or a conscious comment on the smallness of comic-book worlds). I snubbed a colleague in the lift because I wanted to keep reading. I gasped out loud on the train. I was thoroughly entertained. ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
College, extraordinary powers, and a slew of murders, oh my! Vicious by V.E. Schwab tracks former roommates Victor Vale and Eliott “Eli” Cardale over a period of ten years. When Eli chooses to write his final college thesis on EOs, people with ExtraOrdinary powers, an intrigued Victor finds a way to involve himself in the project too. What happens next changes their lives forever.

The chapters jump back and forth between time periods, so be prepared to dive into the main conflict within the first few pages. Since Schwab leaves out various elements of the plot only to surprise the reader with them later, you will find yourself constantly mulling over who is actually the hero and who the villain. Various chapters are also told from different perspectives, so the reader gets an inside look into the minds of all of the main characters.

While the plot mostly revolves around Victor and Eli, the two pick up a variety of extreme personalities along the way. Sydney and Serena, sisters with a dismal past, end up entwined in their shenanigans, along with Mitchell, an ex-con hacker genius with a strong sense of loyalty. Victor and Eli each possess distinctive personalities that contrast each other well. Where Victor is a conflicted and introspective outcast, Eli is outgoing, religious, and adored by all.

The most captivating aspect of the novel is the theme of real vs. perceived heroism. Who decides what makes a hero? Likewise, when does someone become a supervillain? What makes you one or the other? Is there a clear line between the two or is it more complicated than that? And the underlying theme of power adds even more complications to those questions. It’s an endless psychological feedback loop that may or may not drive you insane, but in a good way, I promise.

The one major issue I have with the plot, which somewhat spoiled it for me, is Eli’s development. From the beginning of the novel, his persona is far less nuanced in comparison to Victor’s. Everything seems very black and white to him, and that never really changes. His obsession with God and doing “God’s work” also annoyed me slightly, as he becomes very one-track minded in that regard. Whether or not this was an active choice on behalf of the author, I will not deny it made for a rather stale character by the end of the novel.

Regardless of that one caveat, V.E. Schwab’s Vicious is a fascinating look into a world with an underground superhero network. The novel is incredibly engaging and action-packed from the get-go. If you pick it up, make sure to clear your schedule, as it’s a page-turner you won’t be able to put down lightly. ( )
  Codonnelly | Jun 24, 2019 |
A very fast-paced read, with intriguing plot and very grey characters. I honestly don't know how I feel about any of them; I know they're doing bad things, yet I want them to succeed. It's everything a "morally grey" book should be. The plot is interesting, and the idea of ExtraOrdinaries is definitely something I would love to further explore. It's not as groundbreaking or amazing as I thought it would be, but it was fun and enjoyable which is sometimes all you want out of a book. ( )
  ainjel | Jun 20, 2019 |
I have loved this book and its double take on a villain's descent into villainy. It was pretty well done and filled with suspense. It took my breath away and had my heart thumping several times. And what can I say about the emotions? It is a book riddled with them. There are so many deep emotional moments that definitely make it one of my favorite books that I have read this year. All the angst, the vengeance, the follies, the boldness of it. Wow!

There is only a little complaint on my part: the pace was getting slow here and there a bit after the middle. It seemed like not much was happening... it was dragging, in my opinion.

As for character development, I would say it ''bravo!''. The writing is musical. Miss [a:V. E. Schwab|16862744|V. E. Schwab|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] describes events and emotions in a melodic yet raw manner that makes you feel them (or, like me, wish you wrote like her).

At first, I disliked Victor a lot. But then I noticed I had grown very fond of him towards the end. What a reversal! Also, Miss [a:V. E. Schwab|16862744|V. E. Schwab|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png], the idea of adding a little (clever and brave) girl to the mix really caught my interest. Go, Sydney!

P.S.: Their powers are original, too. I've always loved villains, so seeing a story focused mainly on two people becoming ones simply made my heart flutter with happiness. This is a really good idea and the execution is quite interesting. ( )
  Catherine_GV | Jun 20, 2019 |
A book with not one, but two morally grey main characters? Sign me up!

This was such a good read, i love stories where the main character aren't your typical flawless hero and this book gave me plenty of that.
This was such a unique and interesting concept, the characters were really well fleshed out and i loved that we got to experience multiple perspectives.
This book is a hard one to describe, as it transcends genres and can't really be put in a box.

You really want to go into Vicious knowing as little as possible, but its definitely worth the read!
( )
  SaraChook | Jun 19, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
V. E. Schwabprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ngai, VictoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Life — the way it really is — is a battle not between Bad and Good, but between Bad and Worse.

—Joseph Brodsky
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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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Wikipedia in English (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?" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

Book description
Haiku summary
A superpower
novel turned on its moral
head: no heroes here.
(passion4reading)

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