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Book Review: Vicious, by V.E. Schwab

ViciousVicious by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Vicious, by V.E. Schwab
★ ★ ★

Synopsis: (from the book flap) 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 hidden possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could actually gain extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis inevitably moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor is breaking 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. Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person he can find—aside from his own sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, spurred onward by the memory of betrayal and desperate longings, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
V.E. Schwab’s Vicious is a riveting investigation on the nature of loyalty, the possibility of redemption, and an exploration of our darkest, most thrilling selves.
In A Sentence: A respectable, dark novel, but not 5-star material

My Thoughts: If you’re an empathic reader, this is not the book for you. What made it so difficult for me to get into was the fact that I didn’t like any of the characters. Both the protagonist and antagonist are sociopaths; there are no good guys here, just some people hell bent on killing each other. You can’t help but root for Victor, however, kind of like when you root for Walter White in Breaking Bad.
The plot was pretty well done, I thought. The book jumps back and forth in time quite a bit, which is a little jarring at first, but after a while you get used to it, and you begin to appreciate how it weaves the story together. The story is also pretty predictable, but it was still a good plot, filled with little twists and turns, ending with a decent climax and a reasonable conclusion.
Overall, this was an okay read, but I personally don’t feel like it’s 5-star material. It’s decent, but not remarkable. If you like dark novels, then you’ll probably enjoy this one.


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