Author: V.E. Schwab (@veschwab)
Published: September 2013
Genre: Adult Fantasy
POV: 3rd person, multiple
Source: Borrowed from local library
Rating: The Royal Library, Top Shelf
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.'
It's been a long time since I've read a novel that compelled me to keep turning the pages. You know - the type of book that makes you stay up late reading, wake up early to read some more, and sneak in a few pages when you should be doing anything else but reading. Even when you aren't reading, it's that story that lingers in the back of your mind when you should be thinking about something else. But, Vicious is simply one of those novels that demands your attention, and you'll be glad to give it.
Highlights: Schwab writes the multiple points-of-view (and time jumps) expertly, and handles the complex issue of morality with ease. The lines between good and evil are muddy and blurry, which makes our "heroes" and "villains" all the more fascinating. Each 3rd person point-of-view is distinct, and every character is intriguing and unique in their own way. Plus, superpowers. That is always a highlight.
Lowlights: I NEED A SEQUEL. Like, right now.
Rating: The Royal Library, Top Shelf: Favorite, 5 out of 5. I was in the middle of a reading slump when I started this novel, and Vicious managed to snap me out of it. Schwab pulled me into this complex story of friendship, family, and good vs. evil. It was exciting, surprising, and completely captivating. I'd highly recommend Vicious.