Friday, December 21, 2018

Review: Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab

Vicious by V.E. Schwab
(Villains #1)
by V.E. Schwab
September 24, 2013
368 pages

Goodreads     Indigo

Goodreads Summary:
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.


Until recently Vicious was probably one of the oldest unread book sitting on my shelf. I got the big push to read it when it was chosen as my local book club pick. The book did not disappoint!

The only reason I always hesitated to pick up Vicious was because of how much people loved it. They raved but I was really afraid it wouldn't live up to the hype for me so I put the book off. For the longest time. I should never have feared because it's a Victoria Schwab work. And she's my favourite author. Ever.

For a book that isn't told in a linear fashion I was surprised by how fast-paced it was. Vicious alternated between timelines. In order to understand the present goings-on we had to learn about pasts events. Normally I don't enjoy reading about the past but with Vicious I loved the way things were laid out. The beginning of each chapter kept us informed on when and where we are in the story. Some chapters were brief while others took a bit more pages to flesh out. Every moment was vital. By the time we get to the final few chapters we know and are well-prepared for an ultimate showdown.

Vicious makes us question the concept of good vs. evil. Victoria Schwab brings up so many valid points. Superpowered Victor and Eli were definitely no heroes but neither could be considered a total villain either. The exploration of right and wrong was creepy and fantastic. Eli, in a twisted sense, honestly believed he was doing a “good” thing- that his actions were justified by his religious beliefs. Victor had more of my sympathy (because I believe he deserved his revenge) but his manipulative ways didn’t exactly make him a "good" person. It was truly impossible to pick a side.

I am so lucky I don't have to do any actual waiting for the sequel~ With Vicious still fresh in my mind I'll be jumping into Vengeful very soon. I cannot wait to read more about these morally ambiguous characters with wicked powers!
4.5 Cats


  1. Not usually big on superpowers books but have heard the best things about this author! I need to figure out which of her books is the best fit for me!
    Jen Ryland Reviews

    1. She writes all sorts of stuff so I'm sure something will catch your eye ;) Her stories are generally darker though.

  2. I love this series so much. I really hope there’s a third book! Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. I haven't read Vengeful yet but I hope so too! I think she's said she will but not for another few years :S


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