Author: V. E. Schwab
Series: Villians #1
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 45
(see below for breakdown)
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.
I always enjoy Schwab’s work but when I first attempted to read this book a few years ago I found it rather hard to get into. I think it was the time hopping but this time round I adored the sharp chopping and changing from perspectives and time. It really did feel like a graphic novel. There was a little bit of a slow start but the plot really ramped up and near the end I just couldn’t put the book down. Towards the end I got swept up in it all and didn’t see the plan playing out, the jumping between perspectives really kept me on my toes!
I really liked the character dynamics, I love the fact that both Victor and Eli are completely unlikeable. The way they played off each other was great. I do feel Victor was the more developed of the two. I think it was really interesting that all characters were morally grey with very few of them having redeeming features. We seemed to get a lot more of his back story and I think it made me lean more to Victor’s side in it all. Also Victor’s companions Sydney and Mitch we my favourites overall.
I do wish we got more about the creation of EOs and more of Eli’s past and why he was so focused on EOs. We only seemed to get what Victor knew about him, which is again why I think I was more drawn towards Victor’s cause over Eli. Overall I really really enjoyed this book and I am so glad I have the sequel sitting on my shelves!
ENDING – 8
STYLE AND PACE OF WRITING – 8
CHARACTERS – 7
ATMOSPHERE AND WORLDBUILDING – 7
PLOT – 7
ENJOYMENT – 8