Review: Vicious

Books, Novel, Young Adult


:: author: V.E. Schwab :: published: 2013 :: my rating: 5/5 :: genre: novel :: fantasy :: young adult :: goodreads

Hello my lovely friends! Today, I want to share with you a book that I couldn’t put down. This novel was part of my June TBR list, and I cannot wait to add more books by V.E Schwab. Vicious demonstrates the fragility of friendship, destructive  nature of power, and the influential detriments of knowledge.

Synopsis from goodreads:

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?

My Review (No spoilers, I promise..):

From the beginning to finish, I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!

Filled with extraordinary humans, superheroes and suspense, this is not your typical young adult novel. The plot developed beautifully, and the ending was amazing. (Now I normally hate the endings of books because something is always missing.. But Schwab tied up loose ends, and did it with flair!) This book touches on friendship, betrayal, ambition and jealousy in such a realistic manner. Although the individuals in this book are far from normal, their down to earth personality and emotion makes this book more relateable.

Victor, the main character in this book, is seeking revenge towards a friend he feel has betrayed him. Initially, Victor’s motive for revenge seems amiss, and it is not hard to believe that this guy has some problems in the social realm. Luckily for him, during his university years, Victor is able to meet a young man, Eli. Eli is different from those around him, and soon a friendship ensues. This relationship is obviously very fragile as it is built on a sense of admiration and bitter jealousy. It is particularly interesting to see how Victor is drawn to the potential of evil Eli holds. When Eli discovers the mechanism to turn humans into EO’s (extra-ordinary). This opportunity for power eventually tears the relationship apart as each try to understand their newfound powers.

Schwab does a wonderful job in painting a fine line between good guys and bad guys. My personal favorite aspect of this book, was the portrayal of how ambition to be a hero, can ultimately make you a villain. It helped me to realize that often the worst of humans believe they are working towards the benefit of society, when in reality, they may be doing the opposite. The contrast Schwab creates by traveling back and forth in the lifetimes of each character, gifts the reader assist with the character development, and allows a greater understanding between each character and reader.

The characters are well developed, and each has a dark side that is hidden beneath their calm facades. Each had a vulnerable side as well that made their faults more forgivable. Definitely a twist on the normal hero-villain story, this book is a must read for anyone in need of a good book.

Favorite quotes:

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

One of the main ideas in this book is the creation of monsters.Once humans are able to function outside of the “normal” realm and are handed immense power, they can easily become monsters. The idea that as humans, we are able to become monstrous, and how easy it is to create a facade for ourselves is not only true in this book, but in real life.

“You’re the hero…,” she said, finding his eyes,”…of your own story anyway.”

Eli works so hard to achieve what he believes is necessary in preserving the human race. He understands the destructive power of the abilities they have created, and wants to shield the world from the danger. The saying that “two wrongs don’t make a right” is proven by Eli’s actions. Ultimately, everyone is the hero in their own stories.

PLEASE PLEEAASEEE READ! You will not regret picking up this novel!



12 thoughts on “Review: Vicious

    1. It was really great! I wasn’t willing to put the book down, so I finished it in one go. I feel the need to read again just to make sure I didn’t miss any of the details.


  1. Great review! I LOVED this book and would agree with so many things that you mentioned. I also couldn’t put it down the moment I started it and just finished it in one go.

    I think this one was actually not marketed as YA, though, so it’s very much just a general sci-fi book. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only read two books by V.E. Schwab (this and A Darker Shade of Magic), but Vicious is my favorite! I love how complex each character is, especially Victor. I couldn’t help but want to root for him even though he was a sort of antihero. Great review! 🙂


    1. Right? Victor was definitely a lovable anit-hero, and although all his actions were guided by an ulterior motive, he was so amazing! My favorite character had to be Mitchell though. What an unlucky, but sweet guy. He also reminds us that looks and stereotypes can be detrimental.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, this is a fantastic review. I love that you’ve highlighted the themes of the book, which was one of my favourite parts of Vicious! I especially love the point you made about characters who think they’re doing things for the benefit of society, even if they aren’t. It’s so fascinating to me!

    Did you know that there’s going to be a sequel?? I don’t know where the plot will go but I am excited nonetheless!!


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