Sara's Reviews > Vicious

Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Rate this book
Clear rating

Actual Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Well. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a book with such deeply flawed protagonists so much. Then again, we're talking about V.E. Schwab here, and her books buck convention like a BOSS. :)

VICIOUS was V.E. Schwab's first foray into adult speculative fiction back in 2013, a year before she ushered her (now hugely popular) Shades of Magic series into the world. It's the story of two former college roommates, Victor and Eli, who developed a shared research interest in how near-death experiences could, under the right conditions, give survivors extraordinary abilities. But their obsession turns deadly when both men decide to prove their ideas through experiments - sending Victor to jail, and Eli on a mission to destroy all superpowered people like themselves.

So what happens when Victor escapes from prison 10 years later? VENGEANCE. *evil laughter*

Yep. VICIOUS is an inventive revenge tale that twists superhero and supervillian tropes in entertaining ways. Neither Victor nor Eli are the most admirable of men, but as Schwab tells their interwoven tale, we learn how their friendship broke beyond forgiveness and how sympathetic they each are despite how far they've gone down their distinct dark paths. We also get glimpses from other perspectives: Mitch, a fellow inmate of Victor's whom trouble seems to follow at every turn; Serena, a college student whose demands no one can resist; and Sydney, a 13-year-old girl betrayed by her sister over her ability to raise the dead.

I can't think of anything critical to say about VICIOUS. Though it didn't blow me away as much as other books have this year (hence the 4.5 out of 5 rating), I loved how there was never a dull moment, even in the moments of conversation between characters. The dialogue was often witty and biting, the out-of-sequence structure deftly handled, and the "superpower system" (as opposed to magic system) logical to a morbid degree. Everything and everyone in the story felt believable and so real that they could have punched their way off the page.

If you like V.E. Schwab's other novels, read VICIOUS. If you're looking for a daring spin on superhero stories, read VICIOUS. If you find unlikable characters irresistible or have a taste for the macabre, read VICIOUS.

And if all of the above apply for you? Well, then you're in for a treat. ;)
6 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Vicious.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

December 12, 2015 – Shelved
December 12, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
December 23, 2017 – Started Reading
December 24, 2017 –
page 26
December 26, 2017 –
page 89
December 27, 2017 –
page 146
39.67% "I love reading V.E. Schwab's books. One moment, I'm swooning over her sentences. The next moment, her witty dialogue makes me laugh out loud."
December 28, 2017 –
page 202
54.89% "Oh yes. You definitely have a problem on your hands, Eli. A BIG problem. :)"
December 29, 2017 –
page 264
71.74% "So I've started thinking about how this book might end... and I thought, "How can Victor possibly kill Eli if Eli's EO ability is healing?" Which means it can only end badly for Victor...

And then I remembered Sydney.

Of course, then I thought, "So... this pursuit of revenge could just keep going on, and on, and on... and on?! Talk about a vicious circle!"

See what I did there? XD"
December 30, 2017 –
page 322
87.5% "This book is NUTS. In a really good way, of course."
December 31, 2017 – Finished Reading
January 1, 2018 – Shelved as: 2017-favorites
January 1, 2018 – Shelved as: adult-books-that-appeal-to-teens
January 1, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
January 1, 2018 – Shelved as: male-protagonists
January 1, 2018 – Shelved as: multiple-povs
January 1, 2018 – Shelved as: superheroes

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Faith Rivens Next year, Sara! I read Vicious in February and I've been dying for the sequel ever since! SOOOON!!

Sara Faith wrote: "Next year, Sara! I read Vicious in February and I've been dying for the sequel ever since! SOOOON!!"

YAY. :D I think I can be patient until then. That TBR pile is never-ending, you know. *lol*

back to top