Tuesday, July 22, 2014


By: V.E. Schwab

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?

This book is everything. This book is a hardcore experience and I came away from it thinking about the world differently. It's been five days since I read this book and I still think about it all the time, just reveling in utter amazingness.
These characters are brilliant and freaking screwed up and SO WELL WRITTEN. Victor and Eli scared the crap out of me, but in the very best way. These characters were so vivid and interesting. Everything they did had purpose and added intrigue to the story. Their motives were always perfectly executed, so that you could feel what they were doing and what it would mean for everyone involved in the story to your core. That kept the reader invested in the story and constantly on the edge of their seat.
I cannot describe how brilliant the characterization of these characters are, just absolutely brilliant. It really delves into the mindset of villains and villainous behavior. There are so many different motives flying past each other in multiple timelines and through multiple events. And it was handled astoundingly well.  Yet another time that Victoria Schwab has wholly impressed me with her beyond spectacular execution of a complicated and intense story idea.

Which brings me straight to the plot, which was FREAKING AMAZING. I can't even believe how stunning and imaginative this plot is. This is truly brilliant storytelling, how the multiple timelines and storylines were balanced and how they were woven together so seamlessly. If I can learn to craft a story like Victoria Schwab, I could die happy.

This story is dark and twisting, morphing into something so much more mental and psychological than anything I've read before. As fascinating as I find superheroes, supervillains are just as fascinating and just as compelling. I loved the themes this book highlighted, ones that are not common in books. So much in this story is ambiguous. As the epigraph says, this book is dark against darker, pitching the evil against the diabolical and observing the outcomes.

There was no point in this book where I was not completely engrossed in what was going on, which is beyond difficult to manage with as much backstory this book had to deliver before the climax. The magic was in that every scene, whether it happened "Ten Years Ago" or "Last Night" felt equal in intensity and in mystery. There was so much build-up, but it felt like suspense is supposed to feel, which gave this book the epic feeling it needed.

I absolutely adored this book and I can now officially count Victoria Schwab as one of my favorite authors and one of the best voices currently in YA.


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

“The moments that define lives aren't always obvious. They don't scream LEDGE, and nine times out of ten there's no rope to duck under, no line to cross, no blood pact, no official letter on fancy paper. They aren't always protracted, heavy with meaning."

“The absence of pain led to an absence of fear, and the absence of fear led to a disregard for consequence. You make them, in their own eyes, immortal. Which of course they're not, but what's the saying? We are all immortal until proven otherwise?”

“There were some people you had to stay away from, people who poisoned everything in reach. Then there were people you wanted to stick with, the ones with silver tongues and golden touched. And then, there were people you stood beside, because it meant you weren't in their way. And whoever Victor Vale was, whatever he was, and whatever he was up to, the only thing Mitch knew was that he did not want to be in his way.”  


1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, reading your enthusiasm for Vicious makes me want to go back and re-read it all over again. I couldn't agree more with all your praise: this was an epically crafted story, with a complex and engaging plotline,nefarious characters and addictive world-building. It never ever felt muddled up or confused, it flowed perfectly whether it was set in the present day or the past, regardless of if we were learning about Victor or Eli! I just loved it all and I'm glad you did too! Fabulous review ^^