Saturday, January 23, 2016

Review: Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Title: Vicious
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genres: Fantasy, Sci - Fi/Paranormal
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Tor by Macmillan

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?

Rating: 5/5 glorious stars!

I'd heard so many wonderful things about this book--literally, I hadn't heard one bad thing said about it--and after reading V. E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic I already knew that her writing and storytelling skills were top-notch. So, needless to say, I wasted no time in ordering the book. And I am so glad I bought this one! It was absolutely phenomenal, particularly because of the eclectic cast of characters, including,

Victor Vale. Victor isn't your typical main character. He isn't the main character who selflessly saves people just because it's the right thing to do. Heck, he isn't even the type of main character to care about the 'right thing to do,' period. No, he's the kind of main character to bust out of prison for murder, taking his cellmate with him because a.) he's grown a bit fond of him and b.) because said cellmate is a handy guy to have around, and then pick up a stray girl because he can.

And I loved him.

(Did I mention he's also the type of main character to leave you questioning your sanity because you're actually rooting for this guy? Because he totally is.)

Mitch. Mitch and his chocolate milk! I loved Mitch, chocolate milk, curse, and all. He was absolutely a sweetheart, and his undying loyalty added the 'good' edge to the book. He's probably my favorite character! I feel like if Mitch hadn't been there for Victor, Victor would have lost his grip on his sanity and quite possible have leveled the town. So, hooray for Mitch!

I also quite liked Mitch's dynamic with the girl they picked up,

Sydney. Sydney is pretty much the definition of a mystery wrapped in a myth wrapped in an enigma. (Did I get that quote right?) Except, that enigma is wrapped in an innocent child with said enigma thrust upon her without consent.

Sydney also brought an edge of humanity to the book that I feel would not have been there otherwise. There was so much development and depth to her character, and I commend Schwab for this.

Eli Ever. I have to say, the whole plotline with Eli totally messes with your head. You know how the plot's going to end up (Victor vs. Eli... I mean that's the whole point of the novel!), but when you read the beginning, you like him. You even want to like him.

And then the whole despicable aspect kicks in.

I didn't think it was possible for me to hate a character as much as I hate Umbridge, but man, this guy just about did it. From his twisted logic, to how he believed he was doing "God's will," his whole demeanor made my insides cringe.

Writing: Schwab is definitely one of my all-time favorite authors. Her writing is so atmospheric and harsh, yet beautiful at the same time. Her world-building and pacing and ugh, just, EVERYTHING is flawless! Her ability to seamlessly weave that dark edge into her characters both chills and impresses me every time.

Plot: Okay, if you like anything superhero-related, PICK. THIS. UP. This books has a unique system involving people called EO's, or ExtraOrdinaries, and V. E. Schwab was an absolute wizard at making the entire plot build around this concept. It jumps around in different periods in Eli and Victor's lives to take lots of separate scenes and weave them into a flawless storyline that will leave you with your mouth open, eyes wide, and internal screaming.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who (like I said before) likes superheros, sci-fi, fantasy, or just a book with a darker edge. If you enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic, The Young Elites, or reading comic books then definitely pick this one up! (Or even if you didn't--this book is amazing!)

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