Sunday, March 9, 2014

Book Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Tor
Source: Library


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.

(Courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review

I don't even know where to begin with Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Words cannot describe the many great things I feel toward this book. I don't think I've ever read anything like it before. Everything, from the plot to the characters to they storytelling, was mind-blowing fantastic. I was hooked from page one and couldn't put it down. I finished it in under 24 hours and when I finished all I wanted to do was pick it up and start reading it all over again. I'm sure it is one of those books where you get so much more out of it the second time around. Vicious is a book that I will be rereading again and again.

Personally, one of my favorite aspects of the story was the blurred line between good and evil and how the book deals with morality. Because of the nature of the main character, Victor, who is an anti-hero, you keep questioning who really is the villain in the story and if you can even point to one character. It addresses the morality of actions and subsequently, the people performing them, but how the two can never truly be separated from each other. It's the characters thoughts, actions, and questions that drive this story forward and cause the reader to really think about each of their actions instead of just taking them at face value.

Another fantastic element to the book was the non-linear storytelling. For a story where the main action and bulk only takes place over the course of a day, it can be difficult including all the backstory necessary to understand why we, the reader, have landed in this place and time of the characters' lives. Schwab does this beautifully, weaving in all of the characters' pasts and showing how they all intertwine.

Overall, I could not give enough praise to V.E. Schwab's Vicious. I was blown away by how amazing it was and the only thing I regret is how long it took me to pick up this book from the time I first heard about it to now. If you haven't already read it, please go pick it up as soon as you can!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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