Author: V.E. Schwab
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Find it Here: Amazon, Goodreads
A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world.
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?
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.
Here’s a basic run down of the story. Eli and Victor are college roommates and best friends. Both are fairly smart and have bright futures ahead of them. Eli discovers that one can attain “extra ordinary powers” or become an EO through a near death experience. So Eli and Victor force themselves into near death experiences to become EOs. Without giving away any spoilers, 10 pass and the two are mortal enemies and Victor has made it his mission to take Eli out!
Almost every single character in this book is a terrible person. They almost have no redeeming qualities. Eli is out trying to fulfill what he believes to be his “God-given mission” and is just doing absolutely horrible things. Victor wants to do horrible things to Eli in the name of vengeance. Never a good reason. I think my favorite character is Sydney because she really struggles with right and wrong throughout the book. She has this innocence about her that, even though it doesn’t make Victor change his mind about anything, it really makes him take a good hard look at what he’s doing. And with everyone doing absolutely terrible things the whole time, it was refreshing to read from her perspective at times.
No spoilers, but the ending is definitely what made Vicious so good for me. It was very satisfying! If you’re a fan of Schwab’s other book I would definitely recommend reading Vicious!