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Vicious (Villains #1)

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  26,041 Ratings  ·  5,471 Reviews
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 abilit ...more
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Tor
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Tamara Stovall I think YA fans would enjoy the story but there is adult content that would result in an R rating if this were a movie. Cursing (including the F-word)…moreI think YA fans would enjoy the story but there is adult content that would result in an R rating if this were a movie. Cursing (including the F-word) and extreme violence (including violence with firearms and torture).(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Emily May
Jul 09, 2013 Emily May rated it it was amazing
"Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human."

I actually received an 100-page preview of Vicious a few months prior to reading the full version and picked it up with absolutely zero expectations. Then, suddenly, I was catapulted into a world that did more than keep the promises of the blurb - A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world - but also introduced me to a memorable cast of characters,
Jan 01, 2017 Katerina rated it really liked it
Recommended to Katerina by: John Papadopoulos
Shelves: paranormal
Vicious (adj.):
1) Having the nature or quality of vice or immorality.
2) Dangerously aggressive, marked by violence or ferocity.
3) Victor Vale.
“Victor was out. Victor was free.
And Victor was coming for Eli - just as he'd promised he would.”

Eli and Victor used to be best friends. Smarter than the rest of the students of Lockland University, they tried to play God. Fascinated by the rumors about EOs, ExtraOrdinary people with supernatural abilities, they studied them at first, but later, they
Hailey (HaileyInBookland)
Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
Nov 08, 2014 Catriona (LittleBookOwl) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, owned
I absolutely loved Vicious, it kept me hooked right from the get go and as things got more and more intense, I could not put it down!
I plan on filming a full review soon alongside the #LittleBookClub liveshow, so I will be back with more detailed thoughts!
Verdict: READ IT YO :)
Aug 23, 2013 Regan rated it it was amazing

Sep 27, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it
A Tale of Two Sociopaths.
One is just ever so slightly more lovable than the other...


This was right up my alley with all the Create-A-Superhero stuff!
The reality, of course, is that neither of these guys are heroes.
Victor and Eli were college roommates who experimented with a theory that Eli had about how Extra Ordinary people were created. Turns out he was right.


Due to some unfortunate factors, Victor's transformation doesn't go quite as smoothly as Eli's. And because of that little sn
Apr 16, 2015 Kai rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, 2015, 2016
“There are no good men in this game.”

I'm in a Victoria Schwab fever. Can't really blame her though, her novels are amazing!

The most interesting thing about Vicious were its characters with their extraordinary abilities and the fact that there is no "good" main character. Both, protagonist and antagonist do ruthless things and leave a trail of violence and death, one more than the other. But I ended up rooting for some of the side characters and - of course - the dog.
Eli however really disguste
Apr 04, 2017 ☽Luna☾ rated it really liked it

“But these words people threw around - humans, monsters, heroes, villains - to Victor it was all just a matter of semantics. 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.”

Okay so I have always wanted to read vicious, I swear I've had it on my tbr since I was born. Why? Well because that blurb sounded oh so
Jessica (priceiswong)
Full Video Book Discussion

This book was incredible! One of my new favorites of the year!
I was interested from the beginning and I was pleased that Victoria Schwab's writing style was just as good as I remembered! I loved the way this was written with all of the flashbacks and I think that really added a lot to the story. So good. Highly recommend!
Cait • A Page with a View
Dec 25, 2016 Cait • A Page with a View rated it really liked it
These little sociopathic superheroes were so delightfully messed up.

I really don't know what to say about this that wouldn't spoil something because just the way everything unfolds makes it almost a mystery. The story jumps back and forth between the past and present (and various characters) and totally felt like a puzzle. Like you get little pieces here and there... and when you finally start to see the bigger picture or guess what it is, it's like WHAAAAT

Plus, the pacing was so well done -- i
Bentley ★
A week or so ago I asked my feed for reading suggestions featuring strong villainous characters, and this book received nearly unanimous acclaim from the majority of my friends who saw the post and responded. Now, normally I kind of hesitate going into anything with high expectations, but I immediately ran out and bought it and now I just have to take a moment to tip my hat to to all my friends who suggested that I read it.

This book was EVERYTHING!

I was so engaged by the story I was dreaded th
Nov 29, 2015 Angela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-favorites
“Be lost. Give up. Give In. in the end It would be better to surrender before you begin. be lost. Be lost And then you will not care if you are ever found.”

I've  heard all over Goodreads about how amazing VE Schwab is. How everything she writes is amazing. With the hype came me putting off reading this book. So, when Sandra picked this book out for us to buddy read I was happy that I would finally get around to it.

Vicious follows Victor and Eli who were best friends and college roommates. Whe
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Eli and Victor are college roommates. I can't say that they are friends, because both of them are arseholes. We'll pretend they are friends.
Eli starts a thesis about EO's or Extra-ordinaries. Those are those people with extra super gifts after they "came back" from the dead.

So what do these two do? They decide to try it themselves.
It frigging works.

Ten years later Victor gets out of prison. (I give nothing away!! You have to read it) and comes after Eli.
Eli meanwhile decides that he is the
Khanh (the meanie)
Actual rating: 3.5

This is a book about superheroes---or rather, antiheroes, that started off wonderfully, but gradually wandered into genericville territory. It was still very good, but I'm still left with a sense of disappointment. The characters in this book didn't live up to my expectations, or to their own potential. It was the equivalent of a movie-based comic book adaptation, and granted, there have been pretty amazing ones...but still, this is a book. A book has so much more potential for
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Mar 29, 2013 Jesse (JesseTheReader) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The easiest 5 stars I've ever given. Full review to come! I just need to gather my thoughts.
Bookables Heather
Wow this book! It really made me think with the whole good vs. evil thing! Loved this book!
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

Actual rating : 3.5 stars

If Vicious was disturbing and fascinating, I can't shake the feeling that something was missing for me to really love , especially when it comes to Eli's character arc. Now, trust me, I'm the first surprised to have felt so utterly captivated by Elie and Victor's researches. I mean, Eos? Please. I couldn't care less and every book involving them bored me to tears (here you go, Steelheart). That's why I feel the need to stress how compelling this story is Or, Serena made
Oct 26, 2016 Fabian rated it liked it
I can see how anyone (esp. a younger-type millennial anyone) who hasn't seen the early 90s Roberts-Sutherland-Baldwin thriller "Flatliners" COULD be moved by this (you know, young 'uns playing with Death & stuff), a work of serious unoriginality. Another "X-Men"? No-oh thanks. (Unless, of course, you are under 30 & haven't yet gotten your fill of "ExtraOrdinary" people [hint: as much as you want to deny this, every person on earth is an EveryPerson... No one's born "special" y'all!!!! (T ...more
Emi Miranda
Review first written: 6.19.16
Review last edited: 9.13.16
First read 7.27.15-8.04.15
Second read: via audiobook in 9.25.16-10.16.16
Third read: 2.17.17

infinity/5 stars

“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. The difference between Victor and Eli, he suspected, wasn’t their opinion on EOs. It was their reactio
Full review to come.

(Sydney) "I'm cold."
"I'm Victor."

Aww Victor is such a sweetheart for taking in Sydney! I hate Eli so much i want to grab Victor's shovel and shove it in Eli's face!

“There are no good men in this game.”

Last time I started reading Vicious, i got distracted by an early copy of The Raven King. It's time to resume this baby! Here i come, Victor! Is just me or he is like a perfect combination of Ronan Lynch and Sebastian Morgenstern? :D
Nov 11, 2016 Petrik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: superhero and anti-hero fans
Shelves: owned-physical
Before I get to my spoiler-free review, it needed to be said that this is my first V.E Schwab book and I have absolutely little expectation from this book. Why? It's because this is one of the book that I purchased when I was drunk and thought "ooh, that book cover looked kinda cool" and I bought it without knowing anything about it. I mean, just look at the cover, it's like a bloody twisted version of Sam & Dean from Supernatural TV series. Luckily, the book turns out to be really good, it ...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
March 2015 buddy read with Robin, Asya, Angela, Nick, Evgeny, Shelby, Sarah, Retta & the BBB gang.

Actual rating: 1.5

DNF at 59%

Yes. The serial DNFer has stricken again. I'm on a roll.

So this is the part where I say: everyone loves this book blah blah blah I'm a freak because I couldn't finish it blah blah blah my edition must be different from everybody else's (that's Vicky's theory) blah blah blah why do I keep doing this to myself blah blah blah I'd rather be reading Outlander blah blah b
мαүғℓσωεя ϟ
Dec 15, 2016 мαүғℓσωεя ϟ rated it really liked it

bc Sharky forced me to ♡♡

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what did I just read?!!?!


Vicious is a story of anti-heroes. It’s twisted and warped and slightly freaky but puts such an interesting twist on the common, over-used hero that we are constantly fed.

Note: if you have a moral compass, this book will make it loose and unhinged.

“There are no good men in this game.”

Vicious is the story of Victor and Eli, brilliant college students who are roommates and best friends. In their senior year, they are
Raeleen Lemay
Nov 30, 2013 Raeleen Lemay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, own, to-re-read
THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. The writing was beautiful, the characters were complex and the plot kept me on my toes! Such a roller coaster of emotions near the end there, and I NEED THIS TO BE A MOVIE.
Cait (Paper Fury)
I THINK THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN SPECIFICALLY FOR ME. I love villains. I adore anti-heroes. I love a character with a complex backstory, a little bit of warped thinking, and a weakness for chocolate milk. THIS BOOK HAD IT ALL. I'm a billion percent pleased.

My main worry, before starting, is that I'm a 98% YA reader and this is an adult book. But seriously? I didn't need to be worried. The writing is GOLDEN. It has less language/sex than a lot of YA books I read (!) and it's, in my opinion, just a
Jun 05, 2013 Giselle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, own, signed
With such an addicting writing style I can see why this author has made a ton of fans from her previous books, Vicious was my first by Victoria but it definitely will not be my last. In fact, I already have The Archived on its way to me!

First to note should be that this book is not YA, it's Victoria's first adult book. Characters are in their 30s and you can tell by the maturity of the storytelling (which is ruthless and violent). Personally, I was pleasantly surprised as I was well overdue for
Elise (The Bookish Actress)
5 stars. Oh man, that was a fun, twisted ride.

Vicious is the story of a villain and a hero. Or, that's what it disguises itself as. It's really the story of five different morally grey characters, all out for themselves, battling it out.

This book explores the hero / villain dichotomy and promptly shatters it to pieces.
Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone could be labeled a villain for trying to stop that person. Plenty of humans were monstrous, a
Mar 02, 2015 Evgeny rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Let us talk about superheroes with superpowers. I do not mean this kind of superheroes:

Imagine this guy with superpowers:
Joffrey Baratheon
Now this is the kind of "superheroes" I am talking about. Two roommates who also happened to be jerks and thus misfits have some strange friendship/competition going on between them. This competition makes one of them to take up seemingly impossible science project: superpowers - whether they exist and if so where they come from. To their complete surprise they came up with so
Jun 02, 2015 Hannah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, owned
You know that feeling of nostalgia you get when you're reading one of your favorite books?

That's how I felt the whole time I was reading this.

It was like I already knew this world and these characters. And that's not to say that they were bland or stereotypical (because they were extremely complex and compelling), but it was as if they were already somehow part of my life.

I don't even have the words to describe how much I loved this. It was perfect, absolutely perfect.
Jan 20, 2014 Hershey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone better read it or ELSE...
Recommended to Hershey by: Myself because I'm awesome
Not everyone with a super power becomes a superhero. Some powers just make you Vicious.

This book is just amazeballs! I thank all the forces in the universe that pulled me towards this book like gravity.

Vicious is all about superheroes and supervillains. And of course, who doesn't love a superhero? Who doesn't hate a villain? Me! I absolutely love villains! I always feel that an excellent story should have an excellent villain because it somehow makes the story complete. Fortunately, this book
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Also publishes under Goodreads Author, Victoria Schwab

Victoria has stated that books published under V.E. Schwab are adult releases and those under Victoria Schwab are YA.
More about V.E. Schwab...

Other Books in the Series

Villains (2 books)
  • Vengeful (Villains, #2)

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“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.” 924 likes
“When no one understands, that's usually a good sign that you're wrong.” 391 likes
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