Review: Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Goodreads  ||   The Book Depository

Synopsis: 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?

This book has been the center of some pretty severe hype over on Booktube and Bookstagram. Everyone’s been talking about it for months, and so, in one of my book buying splurges, I invested.

This book is interesting and definitely not what I expected.

First and foremost, if you are thinking about reading this book, avoid spoilers if you can- trust me, the full effect of this book comes when you know nothing about it. Secondly, think seriously about hype and the potential bias that it may place on your expectations. This book is good yes, but I’m not sure if it lives up to the hype. Don’t be fooled here. And thirdly, dedicate the necessary time to read this; make sure you don’t have anything else going on and concentrate on how creatively this story is told.

This book was good. I liked it, I enjoyed it. But I wouldn’t tear off my shirt and froth at the mouth raving about it.

This book, as I’m sure you can tell from the type of books that I review, isn’t my normal choice when picking up potential reads. But I was sucked in by social hysteria and convinced I had to read it. I justified the purchase by reminding myself that I have been trying to read books out of my comfort zone this year.

This book is a mix between a sci-fi and a superhero/villain book. The premise is exciting- it’s clear from the beginning that our two main characters are not redeemable and their motives will not be justified. Honestly, It’s about time recently that an author created a book that didn’t try to apologise for the villains or make some tragic backstory. I love villains when they are unapologetically evil, and that’s exactly what Eli and Victor are. And I love that they both become so obsessed with destroying each other that everything falls to the wayside.

Like I said earlier, I liked this book, I’d give it a solid 3 and a half stars, but I’m not in love with it. I struggled at first to connect with the story, got confused often and therefore found myself putting this book down more than I was picking it up. Will I read more by Ms Schwab? Hell yes! I’ve got more of her books in my TBR pile. I just honestly think it was a case of- like the author and the skills, but not really connected here. I’m really eager to try her other things.

So, in summary? Good book, good premise, cool characters, just not as good as the hype. I really struggled writing this review because I’m still not quite sure how I feel about this book. I don’t think I did it justice in this review, but it was worth a shot.

Read: English paperback version

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