Vicious by V. E. SCHWABVicious by V. E. SCHWAB



Hardcover | May 29, 2018

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Villains 1 series

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A trade paperback repackage of New York Times bestseller V.E. Schwab's Vicious, a masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, and superpowers which will include:

*A new cover by Wil Staehle, cover artist of the iconic Shades of Magic trilogy covers
*Schwab's short story set within the Vicious universe, "Warm Up"
*A teaser for the upcoming sequel, Vengeful

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?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn't automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

"A dynamic and original twist on what it means to be a hero and a villain. A killer from page one.highly recommended!" -Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Marvel Universe vs The Avengers and Patient Zero

VICTORIA "V.E." SCHWAB is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including the acclaimed Shades of Magic series, This Savage Song, Our Dark Duet and Vicious. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured in the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post and more, translated into more tha...
Title:ViciousFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:400 pages, 8.55 × 5.7 × 1.34 inShipping dimensions:8.55 × 5.7 × 1.34 inPublished:May 29, 2018Publisher:Tom Doherty AssociatesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:125016026X

ISBN - 13:9781250160263


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark, Twisty Madness I am OBSESSED with dark and twisty characters that make you question your own morality/ principles and V. E. Schwab has written an ENTIRE BOOK filled with them. Vicious was a villain origin story that transitioned into a villain-against-villain story that was just pure, twisted madness. It was a rollercoaster of a book where I was frantically turning pages to find out what had happened between Eli and Victor ten years ago and what would happen between Eli and Victor in just a few hours. THINGS I LOVED: 1) THE STRUCTURE AND PLOTTING: One of the BIG reasons I enjoyed Vicious was the way it was plotted. It flipped from past to present and from Eli to Victor to Serena to Mitch to Sydney, each filling in the blanks of what happened ten years ago and then flashing forward to today. It was the kind of book that kept you on your toes and I REALLY enjoyed it. 2) I LOVE THE CONCEPT OF BLACK-OUT POETRY, and I love how Victor used it. It was stripping superfluous, long books down to their bare minimum and I loved the truth and pain those words held. 3) I definitely preferred Victor over Eli, but I wonder if I would think the same was if Vicious introduced me to Eli first. Reading about Eli through Victor’s eyes was probably the most biased opinion I could find but it was still interesting to read through Eli’s eyes later in the book. 4) I LOVED the Victor-Sydney bond. It oscillated between EO meets EO and a father-daughter/ brother-sister relationship and I WAS LIVING FOR IT. 5) If there was one think I would have liked, it’s MORE time before the villainy things began. I feel like I didn’t get to know Eli and Victor nearly enough as friends/ rivals/ pre-med students before I was thrown into a villain beat villain rivalry. Also, for all Angie was described as being brilliant, she had no real contribution to the story and I wish she had. Would I recommend this book? YES! It’s my favourite Schwab book so far and I can’t WAIT to dive into Vengeful.
Date published: 2019-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ambitious and Spectacular There are literally not enough stars for me to rate this book. I've been a fan of V. E. Schwab's work for a couple years now, and I honestly continue to be amazed. VICIOUS is one of the best books I've ever read. It's not as action-packed as the A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC series, but it's equally as inventive and thrilling. It's a tense, character-building drama where there are no heroes. I can't even say I "liked" the main characters of Eli and Victor––they're both sociopaths––but they were just so fascinating. You can't help but be drawn into their Magneto/Professor X dynamic. I could read about these two all day long and never be bored. The side characters, were all very interesting. I have huge soft spots for Sydney and Mitch––and I found Serena to be quite complex. You could never really predict her or her motives. The story and the world-building/how characters got their powers, was really creative and definitely added to the story when things began spiralling out of control. As always, Schwab's writing is absolutely beautiful. I honestly can't stop gushing about this book, which is perfect in an age where superheroes get all the spotlight. VICIOUS allows the villains to shine, and they have a light that will burn down the world.
Date published: 2018-10-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Fast Paced Book If you're looking for an easy ready that's fast paced, this one's for you. It was pretty interesting and did a good job of keeping your attention. I'd recommend this one for anyone looking for a light action novel.
Date published: 2018-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome I wasn't sure if I'd like this book but it was the complete opposite. Loved it! Cant wait for the second book
Date published: 2018-09-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from undecided This book was weird. I found it to have a really strong start and to be quite intriguing. Felt very Gothic, 1800s London-esque. I liked the set up between Victor and Eli, with their thesis and test of 'EOs', or 'extra-ordinaries' (people who gain specific, unique powers after near-death experiences), that turns bad and ultimately makes them *spoiler alert* EOs themselves. And never quite the same again. Anyway after the initial beginning and learning about these characters and their goals, it started to feel a little cliched.... pitting the two against each other after a predictable incident, with a somewhat predictable plotline. Some additional characters felt arbitrary as Victor (the anti-hero) works his way back to finding Eli (the actual villain, if we are to decide) and even the language the author uses seemed cliched at times. I felt like I'd read this before; it reminded me of harlequin paperbacks that are essentially all the same novel and dialogue, but with a different setting and character names. I can't quite put my finger on it. Nearing the end it also felt like it went around and around, talking the reader through the plot, telling you what was happening even though it was obvious, and saturated with inner dialogue. I skipped through probably the last 30 pages, skimming as I went, and didn't feel I missed anything or surprised in the least by what occurred. I suppose I was entertained enough to see it through; Victor and Eli are well-written and the first half of the book was fairly decent. I would not pick up the sequel, and I wouldn't read others by the author, either. They had the air of being a tad juvenile.
Date published: 2018-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Superheroes But really, are they heroes? The ones in this book are crazy and lack morals to get what they want, can't wait to read the next one
Date published: 2018-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding book This book was truly a wonderful read! Superhero in a real light. It felt like I was watching a movie play out in my head! Is there truly pure evil or pure good characters?? All I can say is this is PURE GOODNESS in a book! Looking forward to the sequel! V.E Schwab does an outstanding job writing the story
Date published: 2018-07-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Most realistic superhero tale out there! This book emulates many superhero themes minus the actual heros. No one in this book is good; every character is flawed by their beliefs. Because of this, the characters are so relatable and written with such a natural drive. I read this book in less than three days and loved the backstories of each individual. I also loved the scientific backing to the supernatural powers (although I'm sure the science isn't real)! The only disappointment was the underwhelming ending - it was predictable and didn't tie any of the loose threads together.
Date published: 2018-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS! The way it was written, the characters, the struggle for morality, the fight for good vs bad or just bad vs worse. Brilliant! "It's all a matter of perspective". Fine and dangerously addictive can't go wrong with this book!
Date published: 2018-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love! Loved reading this book. It brings into perspective how (really) there are shades of grey when it comes to what it means to be a hero and a villain. Love this spin and will continue with the series!
Date published: 2018-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 100% Everything about this book is phenomenal: the plot, the characters, the non-linear narration. There's no sappy romance or clichés. It's a story about revenge, and it drives that point home. I would definitely re-read this.
Date published: 2018-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! V.E. Schwab is one of my favourite authors. She is an amazing writer. This book is a fabulous example. Throughout the story, the setting switches between the present, two nights ago, ten years ago, and other time periods in between. In many stories, this is confusing, but it made sense in this book. In each chapter, the main character was introduced quickly, so I knew exactly where we were in the storyline. The information in the story is unraveled slowly, but it made it so addicting to read. I had lots of questions right from the beginning, and the answers were slowly given. It was enough to keep me intrigued but I also didn’t have any idea where the story was going. I loved the way that the disinction between good and evil are blurred in this story. It isn’t clear who is a villain or a hero, or even if there isn’t a hero or villain. Victor and Eli both have reasons for hunting out people, and they both think they’re right, but who are they to decide who lives or dies? I loved this philosophical layer to the story. I’m glad I read this story now, because the long awaited sequel is coming out later this year. I loved this book!
Date published: 2018-04-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique A new spin on super heroes! It's a dark, twisted and interesting story!
Date published: 2018-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The book that started it all The first book I read from this author and her style of writing just keeps getting better. A great story plot and an enjoyable read.
Date published: 2018-04-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great This was really good. I love the story line it's so much fun to read.
Date published: 2018-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from favourite schwab book read this after schwab's london series and savage song and it is definitely my favourite of everything she's written. i liked everything of hers i've read, but the characters and their relationships and dynamics in this stuck out for me. seems a little cliched in the beginning (influenced by lev grossman's the magicians and tartt's the secret history perhaps in the jaded college magician sorta angle?), but i adored all the characters later on and am very excited for the upcoming books!
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Suspenseful This book followed a really interesting plot, and the narrative style made it even more brilliant. Definitely an all-time favorite of mine.
Date published: 2018-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Can't wait for the Sequel! interesting story about power
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a Book! yo, this was the bomb. It has now become my all time favourite book. The characters are not meant to be liked, but you love them anyways, and it makes you feel all types of feelings. Let me tell you, this was a ride. I would recommend. If you just want to have a good time, with some great people. read this novel. Yo. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this story This book was a bit creepy to me, but I still love it! It was a cool story, and I love V.E. Schwab's writing.
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from 'Vicious', Indeed Schwab's writing is hit-or-miss with me. Either I love it, or I drag myself through the book for the sake of finishing it. This was definitely the case with 'Vicious' - of which the only thing remotely vicious was its incredibly ability to waste my time, infuriate me, and disgust me, simultaneously. After sitting through nearly four-hundred pages of this story I'm still not entirely sure what the point was; there seemed to be no moral or point the author was trying to make. It read like a nightmare put into words. Hated every minute of it, and sad to say, but I daresay Schwab will be going on my "No Thanks" list of authors.
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect I love the concept and the execution of this book. The characters are complex, the idea is unique, and the writing is spectacular as always.
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Did not finish Interesting concept but couldn't get into it
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Did not enjoy this I read this book after reading the "Darker Shade of Magic" series and loving it. Although the plot in this novel is highly creative, I just found that it was SO melodramatic that I was rolling my eyes more than buying into the story. The main character Victor also came off really creepy and entitled in his attitude towards Angie which made me dislike him from the beginning. I get that he's an "anti-hero" character, but he seemed just a little too flawed for me to root for him.
Date published: 2017-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fantastic This book was so good, and the ending was so perfect, I can't wait to read the next book. Over the last couple of months I've read 6 of Victoria Schwab's novels and they're all so incredible, definitely one of my favourite authors out there. The characters in this book were wonderful and they complemented each other so well. The powers were unique and so different from the ones you see in marvel novels, it was refreshing. I really liked the flashbacks and different points of view. This was an amazing book, definitely recommend reading it.
Date published: 2017-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I can't THERE IS GONNA BE ANOTHER BOOK AND I CANT WAIT. This story is dark and overall indescribable just read it please.
Date published: 2017-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A More Than Enjoyable Ride Into Villainy and Madness ** SPOILERS** I have loved this book and its double take on a villain's descent into villainy. It was pretty well done and filled with suspense. It took my breath away and had my heart thumping several times. And what can I say about the emotions? It is a book riddled with them. There are so many deep emotional moments that definitely make it one of my favorite books that I have read this year. All the angst, the vengeance, the follies, the boldness of it. Wow! There is only a little complaint on my part: the pace was getting slow here and there a bit after the middle. It seemed like not much was happening... it was dragging, in my opinion. As for character development, I would say ''bravo!''. The writing is musical. Miss V. E. Schwab describes events and emotions in a melodic yet raw manner that makes you feel them (or, like me, wish you wrote like her). At first, I disliked Victor a lot. But then I noticed I had grown very fond of him towards the end. What a reversal! Also, Miss V. E. Schwab, the idea of adding a little (clever and brave) girl to the mix really caught my interest. Go, Sydney! P.S.: Their powers are original, too. I've always loved villains, so seeing a story focused mainly on two people becoming ones simply made my heart flutter with happiness. This is a really good idea and the execution is quite interesting.
Date published: 2017-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow I expected to like this book due to its premise, but I did not expect to love it even half as much as I did. Vicious was almost impossible to put down whilst I was reading it, as I had grown much too attached to its unlikeable characters and its dark story. I rarely ever re-read books, but this is one novel that I know I'll be picking up again in the future. Just... Wow.
Date published: 2017-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favorite book EVER!!! cant tell you how much I loved this book! Schwab has an amazing talent for setting up characters and making you love them. I liked how the main characters weren't your typical "good guy" and "bad guy".
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Different While I really enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic, I couldn't quite get into this one as much. I agree with many other reviewers in that I enjoyed the fact that the main character was highly flawed and an antihero rather than your standard goody-goody and there was definitely a very dark tone to this novel. That said, there was still something lacking for me. I can't quite put my finger on it but while I wanted to know what happened, it still felt kinda meh overall. I would still recommend it for those readers who are looking for something a little different from your typical hero vs villain story.
Date published: 2017-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Haunting Wow! A page turner from beginning to end! I'm so glad I gave this author a try after reading all the positive reviews. Just couldn't put this one down and quite a unique storyline. I've recently purchased the darker shade of magic series and can't wait to start reading them.
Date published: 2017-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gorgeous I loved loved loved Schwab's A Darker Shade of magic, and this was also superb in about a thousand gazillion ways. Fantastic.
Date published: 2017-05-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great!! Nothing is ever as simple as black and white and Victor and Eli are definitely not simple. They start off as two boys who are more rivals than friends and as their experiments get wilder and out of hand, so do their...human tendencies. It's sort of x-men-esque in the idea of humans being more than humans and I love it.
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Through the Eyes of A Villain V. E. Schwab has carved and fleshed out a comic-book like metropolis story written from the perspective of a villain seeking revenge through pain-inflicting powers. Absolutely gripping.
Date published: 2017-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from New favourite! V.E Schwab has done it again, I'v fallen in love with everything shes written.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Love Revenge There is nothing I love more than a revenge plot and an antihero. It was like this book was tailored to exactly what I like.
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not just another story about superpowers.... When I first read the description of this book, I'm going to be honest, I totally thought, oh not another book about gaining superpowers (not that there is anything wrong with those books, however they had just been popping up everywhere at the time it seemed). This completely blew away my expectations. The characters were dark, twisted and brilliant and the storyline was mesmerizing. Could barely put it down. Might come off as a bit of a slower start however it is so very worth it.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you love a play on Superheros and Villians, this is for you! Honestly, the concept was so good and it was captivating because it plays with you're perspective on who really is a villain and who is the hero. It's at the top of my favs book list.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well-developed characters and fast-paced plot. I think Victoria Schwab is easily becoming a favourite author of mine. I haven't read her YA novels but her adult novels are fantastic. I enjoyed her other novel A Darker Shade of Magic which I read first and was quite intrigued by her ideas. They're really quite something. For this book though, it wasn't exactly fantasy but it had "super heroes" or ExtraOrdinaries (EOs). Where you basically obtain some kind of super power after a Near Death Experience. I was obviously rooting for Victor to take down Eli but it was pretty cool to see the chapters alternate between past and present from multiple POVs of all the main characters in the book. Victor and Eli used to be former best friends from back in college but after a tragic incident, they became enemies. Victor escapes prison and he seeks his revenge on Eli while gaining some allies. I liked how the characters weren't a 100% good or a 100% evil. There was no good or evil but everything in between. But I think I just have a thing for dark characters and anti-heroes hahah.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the best! OH. MY. GOD. I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. I loved the story, the characters, the way it was told, the atmosphere, everything!!! So many feels! I LOVE VICTOR!
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Favourite Whoa man. I loved this. The best part about this book were the characters and their extraordinary abilities. It was so compelling to see how Victor and Eli started out as normal university roommates and turned into mortal enemies trying to kill each other. This is not a story about good vs. bad characters. It's about bad vs. worse. Every character is morally grey and basically sociopathic and that's what makes this book so interesting! I'm a big fan of Victoria Schwab as an author. She is a fantastic writer - creating unique stories, original characters, and great atmosphere. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Fantastic writing, beautiful characters, and a story so wonderful you can't put it down.
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I read this book in 2016, and it was by far my favorite book of the year. Everyone should read it, it's that great!!
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Favourite! I loved this book so much it was so well thought out. If you like super natural powers, complex characters, or no clear good and evil then you should definitely check this book out! The story also jumps between different times, which i thought would be confusing, but it definitely wasn't! I love this book!
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Instant Favourite! This book was amazing! I was hooked right from the start and it quickly turned into one of my favourite books. It is completely unique take on a story about people with super powers. I absolutely love Victor and while he is nothing like a typical a hero, I was rooting for him right away. The story is fast paced and extremely interesting and the writing is fantastic. I cannot wait for the sequel to come out
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic Book! I'm very glad I bought this book. Very interesting and entertaining.
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from THIS WAS A FANTASTIC BOOK. A unique and most compelling story. Perfect writing style. Perfect plot twists. Perfect dialogue. And perfect timing for everything. This whole book is a masterpiece that was wonderfully and so perfectly executed. I love it and I love Victor Vale.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic A great read from start to finish, a breath of fresh air in the superhero genre.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This was such a compelling read. I loved how the characters were so morally grey- I don't even really feel like I can label the main characters as protagonists or antagonists! It has quite an addicting writing style.
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AAAMAZING I can not recommend this enough! The characters and plot were fantastic, along with the writing. Do yourself a favour and pick this one up.
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Modern Superheros! I read this book quite recently and it was so much fun! It added a new twist to superheros and I got so attached to some of the characters. All in all it was a lot of fun. I'd read anything by V.E. Schwab :)
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great story! I loved this twist on the good vs bad superhero story. Schwab makes you realizes sometimes there is no true good guy and life is never as clear cut as we want it to be. Would definitely recommend it to others!
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! Great book, a fun take on the superpowered superhero genre. And, rumour has it, she is writing a sequel...?!
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A real twist on the superhero story With such wonderfully developed developed characters in such a rich setting, one is really left wondering what qualifies as 'good' and 'bad'
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good! V.E. Schwab is an incredible writer! I was completely engaged in the story from the beginning. This book examines the fine-line between good and evil which was a really neat concept. I highly recommend it to anyone!
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from antihero I heard many good things about this book so I decided to pick it up and I was not disappointed. It takes on a different light of how people use their superpowers, and there's a grey area between what is right and wrong. I really enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book! I'm not usually into fantasy novels, but I quite enjoyed this book! It's set in the real world, and you get to see how they developed their powers over time. Would definitely recommend!
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from my all time favourite book This is literally my all time favourite book, I've read it so many times now, and I would honestly recommend it to anyone!
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from my favorite book of all time best book i have ever read to date. This book tells a unique story that surprisingly does not include any romance whatsoever, which was my favourite part.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A book about good vs. evil I really enjoyed this book and it's topic. It addresses the subject of being a hero versus a villain in a clever way. The line between being a good or a bad person can be very thin, depends mostly on perception and the whole story moves around it a lot. Many weeks after having finished this book, it's still often on my mind. Great read!
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Grey characters done well If you want to read about superhumans who use their powers to hurt each other, then this is the book for you. Some interesting powers and great depth of character. It's not a perfect book--the action scenes are strangely a bit clunky or don't feel as urgent as they could--but it's definitely worthwhile if you're into the genre. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! Only a few chapters in, I already knew this book would become one of my all-time favourites. These characters toe the line between likeable and unlikeable, interesting and horrifying, so wonderfully. Superheroes are everywhere in pop culture these days, but this plot somehow feels so fresh. Can't recommend it enough. I need a sequel ASAP!!!
Date published: 2016-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect Book! Okay so I am on a book buying ban until 2017. Everyone knows this. But I made a slight variation from this plan because I was meeting Victoria Schwab! I knew I would be buying this one anyway since I loved her writing in A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC. Since I obviously have nothing else to read (/sarcasm), I immediately dove in so that I could have completed it before I met her. And boy, am I glad I did so. I thought all the characters were really well rounded. One of the things Schwab does best is to make her characters feel like they are sitting next to you telling you their story. You get so engrossed in what is happening that you forget they are characters and not real people. I had to remind myself time and time again that this wasn't happening in real time. This is supremely written, much like ADSOM. Eli and Victor were both masterfully crafted by Schwab. Eli is the kind of character that you can understand his motives and sympathize with him but still be scared shitless of. He has such a black and white way of seeing things -- except when it is in relation to himself, which makes it 100 times scarier. And yet you still feel for him because you too see that ~something is missing from both him and Victor, so you understand where he is coming from. I just couldn't get behind what he does to ... rectify it. And I mean, if I did, we should probably get me some help. At the same time, Victor was just as relateable and messed up as Eli for a completely different reason. His reasons for wanting to become an EO were so disconnected from reality and yet it seemed like he became almost more of himself after he turned. I loved seeing how his plan was laid out, but still trying to figure out certain pieces as the story progressed, and the genius he was to keep ahead of Eli while also ensuring the safety of those he cared about. It was a nice change of pace that both Eli and Victor were the hero and the villain because, as it is mentioned in the book, sometimes we are the hero of our story but the villain in someone else's. I loved the mixing of the theoretical with the practical. I didn't specialize in Theory for nothing here folks, so I loved seeing how Victor and Eli took what should have remained in the theoretical and brought it over to the practical. Because they were geniuses and while they both didn't think that they were initially setting out to harm people, I would argue that they knew all along that they were going to do some damage by trying to make this a reality. I liked seeing the past and the present collide as I thought that added depth to the story that we wouldn't otherwise have gotten. It was a good choice to have the past relevant to the present be told at that time. It added to the suspense and intrigue that I had when learning about EOs and how Victor and Eli came into their powers. Because of the time switches, VICIOUS had a good pace that kept you moving forward while what you learned about the story even while it was in the past. I think something would have been taken away from the story had Schwab written this in chronological order. I feel as though I wouldn't have sympathized with either Eli and Victor as much as I had if I had learned their past before seeing their present. Which is what makes this one so interesting!!! The world-building was immaculate as I could see this explanation as being a plausible way of gaining EO abilities (BUT PLEASE DO NOT TRY IT AT HOME). I was a little put off that Eli and Victor chose suicide for their near death experience, but I think it added to their characters: they were willing to do whatever it took to be something they were not meant to. However, if that triggers you please move forward with caution. If you haven't read a book by Schwab yet, you are really missing out. Her books will be forever favourites and I will continue recommending them to people until the cows come home. These are some of the best written books out there. Honestly, throw away your TBR pile and just starting reading this book right now. You will not regret it.
Date published: 2016-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A New Original Classic Vicious by V.E. Schwab is a fresh take on the superhero subgenre. I loved trying to figure who was the villain and who was the hero. Victor Vale and Eli Cardale meet at university and it’s when Eli’s theoretical research into ExtraOrdinary (EO’s) people catches Victor’s interest that things go wrong. This is a case of an unreliable narrator because villains don’t believe they’re villains. Vicious is a new original classic that carries suspense to the very last page. Time is an interesting concept here. Every other chapter would take place in the past, namely 10 years before the novel begins, but near the end, the ‘past’ could also be 10 hours before the present timeline. This present then past then present format helped carry the suspense of what exactly went down between Victor and Eli. The reader knows something really bad happened between the two, but Schwab leaves that valuable information right out of our reach. It’s up to us to follow the breadcrumbs. Schwab’s take on the superhero genre is well done because I went into the novel trying to figure out who’s the bad guy, who’s the good guy and there’s really no ‘good guy’. In the beginning, I was confident that Victor himself was the villain. He somewhat admits this and the way his mind works just screams ‘super villain’, but then Schwab switches up the POV and BAM! self doubt settles in. The author is also good at creating these grey characters and you end up rooting for this villain to win, or that villain to lose. Her characters are cunning and manipulative, and the reader is not immune to that power. You learn to love it haha ;) Vicious is made up of morally complex characters, but it’s up to the reader to decide which ones are ‘good’. A very hard task to do! This is a story of one great super villain versus another great super villain, but both wouldn’t be anywhere without their allies. I loved reading about Mitch, Sydney and Serena, and how they became involved with EO’s. Mitch is the only non-EO, but he’s very good with hacking computer systems, a talent that stood out to Victor. Science plays a large and important role in Vicious. Schwab has a story to tell because two very intelligent students use science to achieve superhuman powers. This made the storyline all the more realistic to me. I enjoy superhero-type novels, but I love them even more when science plays a significant part in the plot. When you take the time to show how a person’s power exists, it helps the reader envision it in the real world. Schwab invents the term ‘ExtraOrdinary’ and I’d say in the world of Vicious, it’s a noun that carries the same meaning as superhero. Having the science there gives it added weight. I wouldn’t mind being an EO myself – hopefully I’d have some cool powers! The writing is phenomenal! I was never bored with the dialogue or the plot. I somewhat expected the ending because of a certain character’s power, but it was still a page stopper. Vicious is a very entertaining read and I loved being in the heads of Schwab’s fantastically, dark characters. This is one super villain story you don’t want to miss out on!
Date published: 2015-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Morality questions galore! And Sharpies. And a dog named Dol. And a blue lighter. V.E. Schwab has a way of crafting characters who are so utterly likable even when they are doing things that aren't so likable, and she really blurs the line between villain and hero in Vicious. The book ultimately reinforces the idea that every villain is the hero of their own story. So who is the hero and who is the villain in this story of former college roommates gifted with EO powers after experimenting with life and death? That's up to the reader to decide. Every single character in Vicious is amazing and adds to the story. Victor and Eli are the main characters who oppose each other, but neither of them could have had their final confrontation without the help of other characters with EO powers. For a book where everyone talked up the male characters so much, I was surprised (but glad) to find Sydney and Serena were incredible people on their own. The sisters are on opposing sides, but they never stop caring for each other. And gosh, who couldn't love Mitch, the hacker with a weakness for chocolate milk? The story jumps in time a lot, but it is never confusing. It adds to the suspense - starting from "Last Night" and slowly working its way to the present. Cannot wait for the next book!
Date published: 2015-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sharpies, a blue lighter, a dog named Dol, morality questions up the wazoo - great read! V.E. Schwab has a way of crafting characters who are so utterly likable even when they are doing things that aren't so likable, and she really blurs the line between villain and hero in Vicious. The book ultimately reinforces the idea that every villain is the hero of their own story. So who is the hero and who is the villain in this story of former college roommates gifted with EO powers after experimenting with life and death? That's up to the reader to decide. Every single character in Vicious is amazing and adds to the story. Victor and Eli are the main characters who oppose each other, but neither of them could have had their final confrontation without the help of other characters with EO powers. For a book where everyone talked up the male characters so much, I was surprised (but glad) to find Sydney and Serena were incredible people on their own. The sisters are on opposing sides, but they never stop caring for each other. And gosh, who couldn't love Mitch, the hacker with a weakness for chocolate milk? The story jumps in time a lot, but it is never confusing. It adds to the suspense - starting from "Last Night" and slowly working its way to the present. Cannot wait for the next book!
Date published: 2015-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark, clever and unique. A simply fantastic read. Victor is a very interesting, lesser-evil type of protagonist. The book is well paced flashing between the present, where Victor is going through the process of executing his revenge scheme on Eli, and the past, where the book delves into the friendship between Victor and Eli, the birth of superpowers and Victor's time spent in prison. The characters are likeable and interesting, and the plot is well done. I whole-heartedly recommend this to anyone who is interested in superheroes and-or morally (dark) grey protagonists.
Date published: 2015-10-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read, would recommend Very cool backstories, detailed characters make for a really good plot.
Date published: 2015-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from READ THIS BOOK. Oh my GOD I hate V. E. Schwab in the best damn way possible. My pulse is racing. Seriously. I finished this book about 5 minutes ago and it's still pounding in my ears. My hands are shaking as I type these words and I've never felt such a combination of satisfaction and vindictiveness and it's just... FANTASTIC. Almost makes me feel feel drunk on power I never had and never will have. This book was so suspenseful I was covering the next page with my hand as I read it because I didn't trust myself not to peek. And a couple of times I cheated but THERE IS NO WAY YOU COULD MAKE IT THROUGH THAT BOOK WITHOUT CHEATING. Period end of story. I don't even know what else to say - I don't want to give anything away because I feel you should go into the experience of reading this book with the same knowledge I had (basically none). If this is on your to-read list and you've been wondering about what book to read next, this should go to the top of your list. You need this book. You need it. Reading this was exhausting and emotionally draining and wonderfully, horribly, perfect. 5+ stars. This is going on my to-buy list without further delay. And if you know anything about me and my caution with spending my money, you should know that that's the highest freaking compliment any book I've read can get. **This review was originally written on Goodreads under Emily Jones :) **
Date published: 2015-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal read! I loved this book, it had everything action adventure and not one but two sociopathic villains although one of them does start to exhibit slight heroic sensibilities near the end.
Date published: 2014-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark, clever and unique. A phenomenally excellent read. A rather unique twist on the superhero-villain origin story, I look forward to reading more in this rather sharp and vicious world.
Date published: 2014-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow This is an amazing book!
Date published: 2014-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mind blowing! Vicious is one absolutely phenomenal book, and definitely one of my favourites of the year, if not one of my new all time favourites. I could not stop reading this and found myself dreading the moments when I had to put it down. This is the second book that I have read by Victoria Schwab, the first being The Archived and I loved it just as much. I think it's safe to say that I plan on reading everything that this woman writes because my my can she tell a story. She truly has a gift for crafting these mysterious stories, giving you only some of the answers, never enough pieces to fit together the puzzle.  I should probably start talking about the actual book now. Vicious has an almost X-Men vibe to it, but it handled the idea of "superheroes" in a refreshing and incredibly interesting way. Our two main characters start off as college pre med students (and when I say "start off" I mean in a chronological way of life, not in terms of the actual beginning of the book... I will explain later) working on developing ideas for their senior year theses. Victor and Eli are roommates, very different in ways that are developed as the story goes on. Essentially, Eli chooses his thesis to be examining the existence of EO's (ExtraOrdinary's... LOVE that that's what they're called, not just "super" humans or "heroes.") He is able to figure out the common pattern that several EO's share, and as one thing leads to another, him and Victor end up using their research to create new EO's of themselves.  The plot itself was what originally sucked me into reading this book, but the writing style and structure just made it all the more gripping and cliffhanger esque. This story is told through a few different characters lenses, and what makes this book really special is that it is not told chronologically. There are time gaps between chapters, and not systematic ones either. There isn't really a pattern that first we're in present time, 10 years before, then present, then 10 years before etc. While this may seem a little bit confusing, it really becomes quite easy to follow and was a very effective way of telling this story. I loved how seeing glimpses into a character's past helped explain their actions in the present.  Everything about this book was fantastic, and the characters were so multi-dimensional it was fascinating. What I really appreciated about this book was that yes we had a character that we rooted for and one who we were against, these were not two men that could be distinguished as completely good or completely evil. They were all very complex characters which made for a much more interesting read. I loved seeing Victor, Mitch and Sydney (and of course Dol) working together even though they were such an unlikely group. I found Syndey's story to be really touching even though it was very sad, but seeing her attach herself to Victor and Mitch warmed my heart quite a bit.  Additionally I also think the whole EO aspect was done phenomenally. While all of these ExtraOrdinary abilities were interesting to read about, what made it all the more haunting was not the powers that these people gained, but the parts of themselves they lost in the process. It was also chilling just how much power these EO's possessed, especially those like Serena and Victor. Vicious was such a fantastic book, and after hearing the movie news I can see how it can be made into a film which hopefully will be just as good as the book! This was such an exciting read and unlike anything I've ever read before. ALL OF THE STARS. Go read this!!!!! I can guarantee that you won't regret it :)
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book Hangover Alert! Although The Archived by Victoria Schwab has been on my radar since last year, Vicious is my very first Schwab novel. And BAM. She has earned her spot on my "Automatic-Read" list. The Automatic-Read list is a factious list inside my head, containing the names of authors I completely trust. This means, if they come out with a new book, even if it's about astrophysics with a side of quantum mechanics, I am going to read it. So what does VICIOUS have that landed it on this prestigious (It's not the Giller, or the Man Booker but it's the most important list to me) list? Requirement Number One: You need a great cast of characters I don't care if your plot has never been done before, or your book sends out a deep message; if your characters don't annoy me, you're off to a good start. A lot of times I have trouble reading about "smart" main characters because they come off as condescending, which leads me not wanting to hear the story they have to tell. But Victor, although smart, is one rung below his ex-best-friend, Eli, which makes his story much more engaging. I'm so tired of main characters written with the same formula: Kind, honest, average-Joe finds out he is the only person who can save the world because he has this abnormal power. Thankfully, Victor was Cinderella who ended up missing the ball, because he starts off the book with the short end of the stick. This makes his character worth reading, because he gets to display emotions that are often neglected in stories: jealousy, resentment, and regret. Never have I wanted a main character to get his happy ending, than I did with Victor. Coming off reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane, I didn't think I was going to encounter an awesome kid character quite so soon. Although Sidney isn't as young as Lettie from Ocean, Sidney was just as mysterious, and equally fierce. She gave off a sense of mystique and calmness, but her calmness hides a storm, which means I was sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the moment she would unleash her wraith on her enemies. :) If you are looking for a great set of characters, I highly recommend X-Men: First Class (especially since the relationship between Eric and Charles is a mirror image of Eli and Victor's.) If you are looking to read about smart, actually-get-things-done kid characters, I highly recommend the manga series Detective Conan (Case Closed). Ai Habara (Sherry) is almost exactly how I pictured Sidney. Requirement Number Two: A great mood/atmosphere. Although set in the present, where everything is about being flashy and going at break-neck speed, Vicious managed to bring in elements of from the Victorian London era. The mood of the story can give Frankenstein a run for his money. I think setting the flashbacks in a grande Victorian-style university really gave the story for a vintage feel. Especially when the story deals with the ExtraOrdinaries, Vicious did a good job making the story feel historical, rather than urban fantasy. This gave this book major props because urban fantasy is not my cup of tea, but sophisticated historical fantasy is. If people are looking to reading books with a similar feeling, I recommend The Madman's Daughter, or The Monstrumologist. I'm trying very hard not to start jabbering about all the plot points in this novel, because I have so many things I loved about this book. Although marketed as an Adult novel, I can see many YA fans reading this. Because of the flashbacks that bring readers back to good ol' university time, this book actually read more like a YA book to me.
Date published: 2013-09-25

Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly's 27 Female Authors Who Rule Sci-Fi and Fantasy Right Now "Fresh, merciless, and, yes, vicious. Wow." -Mira Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Newsflesh Trilogy"Schwab's characters feel vital and real, never reduced to simple archetypes... In a genre that tends toward the flippant or pretentious, this is a rare superhero novel as epic and gripping as any classic comic. Schwab's tale of betrayal, self-hatred, and survival will resonate with superhero fans as well as readers who have never heard of Charles Xavier or Victor von Doom." -Publishers Weekly, starred review"A fun, morally-flexible revenge tale...Vicious methodically ratchets up the tension as Victor and Eli circle each other for the inevitable kill." -Daniel H. Wilson, NYT bestselling author of Robopocalypse"Schwab gathers all the superhero/supervillain tropes and turns them on their sundry heads.... I could not put it down." -F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of the Repairman Jack series"Vicious is dark and intricate and daring, twisting back and forth through time and morality and life and death until you can't turn the pages fast enough. I loved it." -Dan Wells, author of I Am Not a Serial Killer"An epic collision of super-powered nemeses. The writing and storycraft is Schwab's own superpower as this tale leaps off the page in all its dark, four-color comic-book glory." -Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds"Utterly brilliant. Schwab takes the notion of superhero fiction and bashes it on its head...prepare to be thoroughly entertained." -Jackie Kessler, coauthor of Black and White"A noirish cross between the X-Men and 'The Count of Monte Cristo.' You won't be able to stop turning the pages." -Alex Bledsoe, author of The Hum and the Shiver"V.E. Schwab writes with the fiendish ingenuity, sardonic wit, and twisted imagination of a true supervillain." -Greg Cox, New York Times bestselling author