Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Goodreads Summary
TOR Books | Hardcover, 364 pages
Publication Date: September 24th, 2013
Adult Fiction
Rating 5 out of 5 Stars

This book begs the question, how are superheroes made? It will also tell you the the fine line between superheroes and villains can easily be blurred. In fact, the whole reading experience will have you second-guessing who’s the hero and who’s the anti-hero. Is it the man who thinks it’s his job to murder people because their power goes beyond what God created, and is therefore unnatural ? Is it the man who has revenge on the forefront of his hunt to stop the man who made himself God’s avenging angel?

What started out as a thesis study on Extra Ordinary powers quickly escalated into a reality based on Marvel and DC Comics. Imagine if every single one of us has the potential to have supernatural abilities? What if you can heal, regenerate and will most likely live forever? But it’s not a power that came from a radioactive spider or something other worldly? What if you can take away pain with a touch? Or inflict horrendous unimaginable torture with just a single thought? What if you can raise the dead? Or have the power of persuasion? Imagine the possibilities.

Eli Ever and Victor Vale were once the best of friends. Both brilliant men whose intelligence and perhaps, boredom would lead them to a discovery that humans, in fact, can gain extra ordinary abilities given the right circumstances. In this case, death. Fight or flight. Those who were brought back from the finality of the after life comes back with extraordinary abilities. The two experimented on themselves and with trial and errors, they were able to prove their theory. But as in the case of every humans-playing-gods stories, things quickly escalated from bad to worst. People got killed, friendships were ruined and ten years later, Victor would form himself a little alliance to kill Eli, who’d been on the warpath to dispose of every single humans with abilities.

It only looked like it took me a while to polish this off but the truth is, I intentionally read it slowly.  The plot line itself did not crawl. The author told the story in an even pace appropriate for the story line. If you’re expecting an adrenaline rush of a read, you’ll be disappointed. Your heart will not be pounding for the majority of the book. And I was okay with that. The brilliant ending though, will more than make up for it.

The narrative switches from a multi-person POV told in the third person. Though some would be irritated by the constant time switch, I feel that Ms. Schwab did her best to make it as seamless as possible.

As I’ve mentioned above, it’s hard to decipher who was the bad guy and the good guy here. Although, in my mind, Victor Vale is one of those characters who’s inherently bad but has buried, buried deep good intentions. Don’t get too comfortable though, he uses people to serve his purpose. He doesn’t think twice about killing someone or hurting anyone to achieve his goal. I also think that he’s the most powerful among the ‘super-heroes’ in this book. His power to inflict and take away pain is no match even to a siren who can tell you to jump off a bridge or aim the gun right at your own temple. I love the mishmash of powers in the small motley crew that he’s managed to assemble. He has a necromancer on his side and a transporter of some sort. And his ever loyal ‘normal’ human body guard who can hack into anything.

It’s hard to describe the brilliance of this book. From the well-developed characters to the twists and turns of the story, Victoria’s adult novel is simply put, the coolest fucking thing I’ve ever read in a long time. If there’s ever an Adult book the rest of us, YA readers should read, this one will be a great example of how to appeal to fans of both genres.

  • “The coolest fucking thing ever” sounds right up my alley. I've heard so much praise about this one and I have to say that you've definitely got me interested. I like how the book makes you question things. It's always a good sign when a book can make you think.
    I'm not the biggest fan of multiple POVs told in 3rd person, but I think I would be missing out if I didn't try this one someday.
    Fabulous review, Joy!

  • I can't even.. I don't know where to start this comment! Just thinking about this book and my reading experience gets me ridiculously excited and hyper xD How weird!! Victoria Schwab really outdid herself with this one, I loved EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK. I loved the blurry line between heroes and villains in this story, all the questions she asked, all the awesome characters and – most of all – the deliciously dark humor manifesting itself in the sparkly, sharp and hilarious dialogues. This book was pure awesome and I'm so happy I got to read it. I'm even more happy that you read it and loved it just as much as I did *high five*.

    Fabulous review, Joy! 🙂

  • Good post, the topic is very interesting!

  • This sounds amazing! I've been waiting to buy it, but I think I'll definitely have to purchase it sooner rather than later. Great review 🙂

  • I can't wait to read this, ever since I heard of the author's YA series! Even though I don't read a lot of adult fiction, I'm sure I will love this. So glad you clearly did, and I'm moving this up my TBR 🙂
    Great review!

  • Oh no, Joy! I knew I wanted to read this, but now I feel like I need to rush out my house at 10:30 pm to go find myself a copy! I love this treatment of superheroes, and I'm so glad you loved it. 🙂 Such a great review.

  • I hadn't ever heard of this book before, but now I will definitely be reading it. It sounds like something I would love!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  • Definitely want to try this one! Glad to see that you loved it so much 🙂
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  • oh the topic is interesting, I didn't know this one and it's surprising because I stalked the new TOR's books!

  • Fraaaaak. And now I see your 5 star rating, too. JOY, I DON'T HAVE TIME TO DEVIATE FROM THE PLAN.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  • Oh, all right then. I just moved this up on my tbr. And when I say 'up', I mean I'm reading it tonight. Since it had such a strong impact on you, I have no doubt I'll enjoy it thoroughly.
    WOnderful review, Joy!

  • Wow Joy this book sounds completely incredible, I love it when a book evokes such a reaction out of you and it looks like Schwab succeeded in doing just that. I also like how this book had you second guessing all the time, I definitely will have to keep an eye out for this book after your great review!

  • Love your review Joy!!!! That ending was just perfect!

  • This sounds very different, almost like a comic book. I do love superhero stories, but I mostly watch them in movies so I can ogle hot guys in spandex, lol! I'll have to check this out. Wonderful review, Joy! 🙂

  • You're the only reason I'm even somewhat familiar with this book. It didn't seem like something I'd read at first glance, but it sounds extremely interesting after reading your review.

  • I do love adult books, my favorites are paranormal romance and urban fantasy but I´ve this book on my TBR for a while. I need to buy it soon. Great review!

  • Ever since I heard about this book, I've wanted to read it. Your review just irons out how awesome it is! I'm also a huge nerd so this sounds up my alley. Great review Joy!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  • It didn't really sound like something I would enjoy. It just didn't appeal to me. But your rave review has me a bit curious now…

  • I'm not a huge fan of adult books (although I am one!) but I'd like to give this book a chance. Your review made me want to 🙂

  • The characters and twists make this sound great.

  • Ah, amazing review Joy. <3 I'm glad you loved it so much :D I haven't decided yet if I'm going to read it, since I don't read Adult books yet. But oh, I do adore Victoria, so I think I must check it soon :) Thank you for sharing your awesome review!

  • “Victoria's adult novel is simply put, the coolest fucking thing I've ever read in a long time.” <-- Yep, I'm sold! I wasn't initially too interested in this but I definitely need to check it out!