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(Villains #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  131,741 ratings  ·  20,381 reviews
A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

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
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Tor
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Victoria This may be a late answer, but (hopefully) it may help someone:
I, a 15-year-old, thoroughly enjoyed this book. I suppose there are some adult themes, …more
This may be a late answer, but (hopefully) it may help someone:
I, a 15-year-old, thoroughly enjoyed this book. I suppose there are some adult themes, but it's nothing that would throw up an extreme red flag. However, some may find certain elements more offensive than other people (infrequent cursing, mild torture--definitely nothing Stephen King level--, and exploration of the dichotomy of good and evil).(less)

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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  131,741 ratings  ·  20,381 reviews

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Emily May
Jul 09, 2013 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,
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, favorites
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.
chai ♡
I know you’re never supposed to humanize characters that evidently are not human in every non-physical way, but I would die for my asexual fashionista morally fraudulent father, Victor Vale.
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
The easiest 5 stars I've ever given. Full review to come! I just need to gather my thoughts. ...more
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone else could be labelled a villain for trying to stop them. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

(Just in case you actually want to read my full review. *lol* You can read it here!)

This is easily one of the best books I’ve read in 2019 and that’s quite something, because I already read so many other awesome books this year. To give “Vicious” 5 stars was a no-brain
Caz (littlebookowl)
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, owned
I re-read Vicious for another book club 4 years on and I still really enjoyed it! This time it was closer to a 4 star read - I wanted a little more development with some of the charcters.

First-read rating: 5
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 :)
5/5 ⭐
Buckle up, there's a rant ahead.

You know a book is going to obsess the hell out of me when I fall in love with the main character from the first chapters and the main character happens to be a villain.
It’s true.

I was barely three chapters in, the time was 1 in the morning and I already decided that I am definitely going to love this. And big surprise, I did.

You know why? Lemme tell you.
Because there is something completely mesmerising about the way V.E. Schwab writes. If you a
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
When I finished the very last page of Vicious, I felt a breathless exhilaration course through my body in a stream of anxious energy. I had an urge to get up and pace with impatience. I started this book in the morning and finished it that same evening when I finally looked up from my book, shocked by the dark sky. It was like exiting a movie theater after watching a film. Those hours you spent in the blackness of the theater are not actually part of time. They feel like a slice of an alternate ...more
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Katerina by: JohnnyBoy
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 late
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
on the scale of black to white, this book falls right down the middle. i have never read something so morally grey, so ethically ambiguous, so downright dark and absolutely pleasant at the same time. goodness me, this book was a trip in the best way possible.

i absolutely love the idea of anti-heroes. i love taking characters that we are meant to despise, but end up empathising and somewhat admiring them instead. maybe that makes me personally questionable, but wow. i loved how messed up and arr
Elle (ellexamines)
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 is a book that 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, and plenty of monsters knew how to pl
Bentley ★
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Two friends in college find a way to develop super powers.

Instead of becoming super heroes, they become super villains.

Interesting concept and well executed!
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely one of the best books I have ever read, it was so good!! -I’m happy that I finally decided to read this book. Now I understand what the hype was all about... Anyway, I highly recommend this book to everyone.
amy ☂︎
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favs, buddy-read, 2018
victoria schwab stop emotionally draining me challenge
Nilufer Ozmekik
BAMMM!!! BAMMM!!BAMMM!! Nope this sound is not coming from my husband who repeatedly hits the axe to the kitchen door to save from cooking another disastrous, poisonous dish!

BAAAMMM!!! And again this sound doesn’t belong to my crazy neighbor who sings all day and parties at night, finally younger version of Robert Downey Jr. runs into his house with his car but sorry this is not also the voice of a car’s crushing into wall.

BAMM!! Yes, you got it right! I’m hitting my thick head against the wall
C.G. Drews
Reread #2, Sept 2018

Apparently three years is enough to make me forget this book so entirely that it was practically like reading a new book. Which is a smidge disconcerting but OH WELL. Needless to say! The reread was amazing. And it was such moment of good memory feels because this was the first Schwab book I ever tried aww. I think A Darker Shade of Magic is perhaps my favourite of them all though. I actually was surprised how slow this one read. I don't remember it being slow?? But anyhow.

Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

Friends, this is my fifth book by VE Schwab, and I’ve three starred every single one of them. At this point, it is glaringly obvious that you should take my review(s) of her work with a grain of salt, because it is obviously a “me” thing. I will say that I adore the author, and I want so desperately to fall in love with a book of hers. And even though I thought Vicious would be the one, it sadly
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
“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
Ashley Nuckles
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was supposed to be reading Six of Crows but left it at work and started this in the meantime and FINISHED IT BECAUSE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THIS WAS GREAT. I legitimately could not put it down. VE Schwab struck again! The complexity of the characters and the bouncing back and forth on the timeline and oh my goodness, if you're okay with reading about some college kids intentionally trying to kill themselves to get superpowers and maybe becoming accidental villains in the process PLEASE READ THIS ( ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Victoria Schwab
Shelves: audiobooks
"If no one else agrees with you, chances are you're wrong."

If it's wrong to be in love with Victor Vale then I don't want to be right.

Seriously guys, how did you all read this years ago and wait patiently for Vengeful to be published? In all honesty, I never put this one off because of the delayed sequel; in fact, I put it off for so long because hyped books + me typically don't end well. This is one of the VERY few cases where the hype actually is understated. It is precisely the type of book
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
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

Reading about messed up lunatics had never felt better, full satisfaction guaranteed.

A twisted tale of friendships, bitter jealousy, betrayal, loss and ultimately of revenge, Vicious is about Victor and Eli, former friends turned foes who also happen to be deviously cunning in (almost) equal measures.

Neither one can be categorised as simply good or evil and unlike many stories of similar kinds, this is in no way a tale of good vs. evil as there are no good guys in this scenario.
They’re both bo
Helena Paris

“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 labelled a villain for trying to stop them. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

I thought this would be a lot more X-Men-ish with tonnes of fight scenes and action sequences, but this was more of a psychological
*.·:·.☽✧ 5 stars ✧☾.·:·.*

For a full, detailed review, check out my blog Mashlovesbooks!

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

Victor and Eli had been close friends back in college, both finding appreciating things in the other. When they reached senior year, it was time to choose a thesis. A shared interest in adrenaline and near death experiences resulted in a dangerous finding, they had discovered that if someone recovered from a life thre
Nov 29, 2015 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. 
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay. I really don’t know what to say about this book.

My base opinion is that I loved it. I really, really loved it. The premise drew me in, the setting was gritty and harsh, the atmosphere was intriguing, and the characters lived up to the promise of a “morally-grey psychological thriller.” Bonus points for lack of romance, which is extremely rare in books.

This book calls into question the differences between heroes and villains. It questions morality and the things that we think are right. The
“…safe had become Victor.”

Prayers were answered and we got ourselves a sequel to this book.
Jumping right in, of course.
But first, this story was as fulfilling to read as the first time I read it.
There’s this feeling in your gut, that takes over you heart where you feel settled and calm and satisfied because a story just sits with you that well.

This story is more than your average good vs evil. Hero vs villain. It’s a character study of morally grey characters and I can’t begin to explain
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V.E. Schwab is the name Victoria Schwab publishes her adult books under.

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

Other books in the series

Villains (3 books)
  • Vengeful (Villains, #2)
  • Victorious (Villains, #3)

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