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?
Description taken from Goodreads.
When I decided that I would read ANYTHING Victoria Schwab writes, I knew I had to read VICIOUS. And it wasn’t a matter of not liking the sound of VICIOUS. I was really excited to read it, but I had never heard anything about it before.
Which is how I ended up walking into VICIOUS without hearing any of the hype, any of the sheer awesomeness that it is.
I do have to admit that VICIOUS has a dryyyyyy beginning. Like middle-of-the-desert dry. What kept me going was the beautiful prose and the great plot. I was sucked into the premise of it all from the very beginning, and when everything got going, well…
The writing is amazing, but when you get to know the characters and the world they live in and understand their motivations, it’s like they’re real people and you’re there getting to know them. There’s nothing easy about the situation between Eli and Victor, and I loved their dynamic both in the present and in the past. Schwab asks a lot of great questions about makes a hero, and it’s not always clear whether to root for Victor or for Eli.
I didn’t always enjoy the flashbacks, but I did enjoy seeing exactly what happened between Eli and Victor, and all in all, I felt like they were necessary in order to make the book what it was. There are a lot of plot twists in this book and things I wasn’t expecting, but for the most part it has a fairly straightforward plot. Even though I had mixed feelings about the ending, it was perfect. The execution of it was brilliant, and I’m pretty sure I’m still living in the world of VICIOUS.
If you’re a superhero/supervillain fan, a fantasy/magic lover or really just really into beautiful prose, deep ideas and fantastic characters, then I would definitely recommend VICIOUS for you. Another great read from Victoria Schwab. 4.5 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 364