Book Review: Vicious by V.E Schwab

by V.E Schwab
E-book edition, 368 pages
Published September 24th, 2013 by Tor Books

A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

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?

After putting this book on my tbr for months, I finally read it this month guys! If you haven’t read this one yet, trust me, READ IT NOW.

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

I love the topic about good and evil presented in this book. It’s just a matter of perspective. Like someone on the internet say, “Villains are the heroes of their own story” (except of course, the villain is the Joker who create chaos just for fun).  The characters are really complex and interesting and definitely make me wondering about the topic of good and evil. There is no heroes, nor villain in this book. All the characters are morally grey, trying to get what they want. It’s really refreshing seeing this kind of characters.
I love especially, how V.E Schwab written Eli and Victor. Even at the beginning, you could sense that there’s something really wrong about them, that gives me chill. They’re both ambitious, extremely smart, and they posed to be friends but tbh I’m sure they actually hate each other. You can see how unhealthy their friendship is, full of jealousy and dark thoughts. Their descend into darkness was written beautifuly and tragicly. People that believed they’re messenger of the God honestly creep me out the most, but add genious-ness, patience and darkness that’s always been there, then the character actually managed to scare me. The whole thing makes the atmosphere of the story really dark and gritty, with all the dark thoughts about revenge, death and blood. But the characters also somehow have morbid sense of humour, which I really like. 
I really like the relationship between the gang, a.k.a Victor, Mitch, Sydney, Dol, and Dominic. Victor could kill someone without remorse, but he has soft spot for picking up strays and actually care about them as friend. He actually considers Mitch as his friend (he panicked when he thought Eli shot Mitch!) and also let Sydney keep Dol. I love how protective everyone is with Sydney (even Dominic) and Dominic, as the newest member, decided to stick with them after those things happened. 
My only complain is that I’m an impatient person, so I have pacing issue around the end, I literally scream “JUST DO IT!!” at my phone. But honestly, it’s really tense and keep me at the end of my seat, so I guess I’ll let it go. Also the ending. I literally cheered. MY BABIES YAY. It perfectly wrapped the story, albeit a bit loose. 
Overall, I’m really surprised with how much I liked this one. I mean sure, I’ve heard so many people raving about Vicious, but I don’t really know if I’d like it, especially with the adult tag (which I think not so adult? It’s like between YA and adult). It doesn’t exactly blow me away, but it made me think. Highly recommended.

29 Replies to “Book Review: Vicious by V.E Schwab”

  1. OOH YESS I CAN'T WAIT. I also think Vicious worked really well as a stand alone, but I think Vengeful would be Eli side of story?? Because y'know, he would be Vengeful after the events in Vicious, I bet he's out for blood. And seeing story from his side and more of the dynamic between the characters… I also won't complain haha!


  2. I love this review, Tasya! I enjoyed Vicious so much. I LOVE the dynamic between Eli and Victor, but I also love all the side characters too (especially Mitch and Sydney)! Are you excited for Vengeful? I'm itching to know what will happen because Vicious worked as a standalone for me, but more Victor Vale = CW won't complain!


  3. YES! I absolutely loved this one too Tasya, so it makes me so happy to see you enjoyed it as much as I did. 🙂 I completely agree with everything you've said – it was such a fascinating character study and I love how it blurred the lines between good and evil. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤


  4. Grey characters are definitely fascinating, because we never know what he's going to do next 😀 The side characters are also fleshed out really well, and I still want to know more about them 😀


  5. I just find out there would be a sequel (from goodreads) but it still doesn't have publication date yet! I think you should just read it, because the ending kind of wrapped it up perfectly already.


  6. I have not read this one yet. I really REALLY like Schwab's ADSOM and AGOS, and This Savage Song, but Vicious has not happened yet! I'm kind of waiting to see if there will be a sequel to Vicious, and if so, when it will be published. Then I shall binge-read the series. ;D

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this book so much, Tasya! Wonderful review. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


  7. I've only read one book by Victoria Schwab, but I absolutely whole-heartedly loved it, so I want to pick this one up for sure. I'm interested in this particularly because it's about villains. And the friendship sounds toxic, but very fitting to the story.
    I'm happy this was a hit for you, Tasya!
    Lovely review!


  8. I read her A Darker Shade of Magic books, and I've been debating which books of hers to read next, either This Savage Song or this book. Looks like I've gotten my answer!
    Great review! 🙂


  9. I'm so glad you liked this one, Tasya!

    I really, really liked the way this one made me think, as well. When books bring up things like morality, and good and bad, and black and white, I always have a really big soft spot for them because I find the “grey” area so fascinating.

    Victor Vale was definitely my favourite character, but I love how much we got to know everybody else, as well. I really need to re-read this one, just because I think it would give something new with every read.

    Wonderful review!


  10. I keep meaning to read at least one of Victoria Schwab's books and maybe this is a good one to start with if it's stand-alone. I love what you said about all the characters being morally grey because those are the types I love the most. They make more a more interesting character I think.

    Liselle @ Lunch-Time Librarian


  11. I absolutely adored this book so I am glad to hear you enjoyed it so much as well <3 It's one of the books that cemented Victoria Schwab as one of my favourites. I really enjoyed that Victor was truly on the amoral side as well.

    Aentee at Read at Midnight


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