Book Title: Vicious
Author: Victoria Schwab
Book Page Count: 368
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 arch nemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question. (from Goodreads)
Do I recommend?
I was recommended this book by another fantastic reviewer (thanks Teri) and this book captivated me from the moment I picked it up. If anyone is at all interested in being a good writer and how to setup scenes and keep a good pacing from page 1 this book is a good study. As you can tell I love this book so if I haven’t convinced you to go buy a copy right now then keep reading.
As I mentioned the pacing in this book is excellent, the author does not waste time on unimportant scenes or unnecessary description. It grabbed me hook line and sinker and I found myself staying up late at night reading through several chapters (a case of just 1 more chapter… 10 chapters later… huh I should get some sleep and then 10 more chapters fly by). The author carries the story through different flashbacks, jumping through different pieces in the characters history weaving a tight narrative that never once felt confusing to me.
The characters all felt unique and different, each with different motivations that felt believable. My only complaint character wise is Eli’s backstory wasn’t quite as complete. Nothing about anyone’s background is laid out in full but rather the author ingeniously leaves different puzzle pieces for each character and their history and as the book progresses it fills in a little more at a time. (I love this, Victoria well done!) Eli’s was the only one where I felt I needed just a smidge more to get a better picture of who he was before the story started. The dialogue is well done and felt appropriate to their characters. There is at times some strong language but it felt natural and not overbearing.
I believe the principle theme of this book is about people and what makes people human. Sometimes as people we might not have the capacity to feel what the right or moral thing to do is but we usually know what the right thing to do is and it is our choice to make it. It also explores what it means to be a hero and to be a villain or if those are just merely labels and what we really are is just people who label things. It was truly interesting and I wish the author would have explored this just a little more.
This book is well worth every penny I spent. The writing is tight and amazing, thank you Victoria for taking the time to develop your talent, keep up the hard work. This book felt a lot like the TV show Heroes but with better characters, better writing and way more fun. If you like a book with a little metahuman action but grounded in a bit more reality then you can’t go wrong with this ExtraOrdinary book (see what I did there? No? Read the book and you’ll understand).
- Victoria Schwab – Vicious (bookistry.wordpress.com)