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?
Rating: 4.5 Stars | Vicious #1 | Science Fiction, Paranormal
This is one of those rare books I want to see translated into film. It makes me think of David Fincher or Darren Aronofsky, they are such distinctive cinematographers and I think they could bring this story to the big screen in such a rightful way.
It should be noted that Schwab did an amazing job. For example, I didn’t think the way the EOs were created was very original or new for that matter, or the rivalry between friends now enemies. This isn’t automatically negative. Working with already existing elements is something I found totally valid if it’s applied in a new systematic way. I believe it takes a certain amount of capacity to be able to construct a novel the way Schwab did.
The ending didn’t surprised me that much, it wasn’t necessarily predictable, but it was a tad convenient. The world of Superheroes is already a vast one, and this novel excelled at delivering a new obscure vibe.
“You asked me if I ever wanted to believe in something. I do. I want to believe in this. I want to believe that there’s more.” Victor sloshed a touch of whiskey over the edge of his glass. “That we could be more. Hell we could be heroes.”
“We could be dead,” said Eli.
“That’s a risk everyone takes by living.”
I loved how she managed the urban setting, which wasn’t very illustrative of detailed, although I don’t think it really needed it, with these characters and these type of situations the novel already had a self-explanatory eerie sensation.
Each and every character was so well defined, some lovable and others not so much. I completely loved Victor and Sidney’s relationship dynamic. The synopsis pretty much explains Victor and Eli’s relationship, but I was expecting them to be more alike. I just wished I was more divided between them, I wanted this I-don’t-know-who-root-for feeling, it was very clear for me from the beginning that Victor was my absolute favorite. He’s now one of my favorite characters Ever. Get it?
“Enough,” said Victor. Behind his eyes, the dial turned up. Eli screamed. “You aren’t some avenging angel, Eli,” he said. “You’re not blessed, or divine, or burdened. You’re a science experiment.”
Victor pulled the knife out. Eli went down on one knee.
“You don’t understand.“ gasped Eli. “No one understands.”
“When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.”
I adore Victoria’s writing, she has this consistent sophisticated style I first noticed in A Darker Shade of Magic which I read earlier this year.
There was something essential to the novel in its very first paragraph where Victor was humming as he made his way through the cemetery, in the middle of the night, with the shovels on his shoulder, accompanied by an unknown girl. It was odd, mysterious, absorbing and amusing at the same time; I’m glad to say that those adjectives describe the rest of the novel as well, I honestly couldn’t have asked for more.
About The Author
I am the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, I have been known to say “tom-ah-toes”, “like”, and “y’all”. I also suffer from a wicked case of wanderlust, made worse by the fact that wandering is a good way to stir up stories. When I’m not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, I’m usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.
Other Books by V. E. Schwab
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