Release Date: September 24, 2013
Published by: Tor
Source: Hardcover provided by publisher
Author Links: victoriaschwab.com | Twitter
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.
My first thought when finishing this story was, "When is the movie coming out?". Reading Vicious was like a cinematic experience and I could easily visualize each person, feel the suspense and intensity in each scene, and know, without a doubt, that I would watch this on the big screen and love it.
It was a fantastic novel with amazing character development and well-executed shifts in the timeline that enhanced the story instead of causing confusion. Also, the alternating points of view made it that much more captivating and had me hanging on to every word. You get to know the bad guy, the not-quite-as-bad guy (no heroes here), and the characters who are caught in the middle of their decade-long feud.
I began the story thinking that I was reading from the villain's point of view, but along the way discovered that none of the characters in Vicious are in black or white. They all fall into a gray category mostly because the EOs (ExtraOrdinarys) seem to have something vital missing. They're not entirely the people they were before. It was a concept that was just as intriguing as the EO's method of creation.
Schwab did a wonderful job weaving this story together and I would love to read more novels set in this world. If you're a fan of fantasy and mystery who enjoys complex stories with complicated characters, then Vicious is a must-read.
Check out this awesome trailer for Vicious!