Format: Hardcover 480 pages
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Fiction / Superheroes
Eli Ever and Victor Vale were only medical students when their mutual discovery that near-death experiences can, under the right conditions, manifest extraordinary abilities.
They were best friends, and rivals, and then enemies. They were dead, then alive, and then---Eli killed Victor, once and for all.
Or so he thought---but Sydney Clarke felt otherwise, and used her own superpower to tip the scales. Now, a trio hides in the shadows, while another takes advantages of post-death life to take over the city of Merit.
If there can be life after death—will there be calm after vengeance, or will chaos rule?
Until she meets a very unique character named June who can change her appearance quicker than the Flash can run the mile. June is a character who is best described as an assassin who you can't hurt. When she accidentally bumps into Victor, she finds herself drawn to him, and follows him to Sydney who despite the fact that she turns 18, still doesn't look a day older than she did when she died. So, while June kills people for a living, Sydney finds a way to bring back the dead. A curious relationship to say the least.
Victor is trying to say under the radar. Being buried and re-animated by Sydney can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done. But, before he metes out revenge on Eli, Victor has a huge problem. His problem is that he keeps dying over and over and over again. He tries to find ways to fix what is happening to him. But, in the end ends up becoming an avenging devil to keep people from knowing that he has risen from the grave. On the personal side, Victor’s relationships with Sydney, Mitch, & Dominic, slowly come unglued in direct correlation to Victor's issues of dying and his burning desire for revenge.
Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she’s finally gained the control she’s always sought—and will use her new-found power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. At a touch, Marcella can incinerate anyone, and anything to ashes. Now that her husband is out of the way, Marcella will do whatever it takes, including collecting her own sidekicks like June, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other once more.
Eli Evers is was captured, and imprisoned by a new group known as Extra-Ordinary Observation and Neutralization. EON's end goal is to capture all dangerous EON's and even those who aren't necessarily dangerous. But, certain people within EON have gone a bit too far. Eli spends part of this book being tortured to death over and over again to see how he ticks. If EON can find a way to remove the person's gifts, they are one step away from bringing an end to all EO's no matter how innocent they may be. Eli's backstory is one in which you will either love him, or loath him.
No holding back. This book was as strange as it comes. First, the author takes individual characters like Victor, June, Marcella, Sydney, and Eli, and alternates their stories from 5 years to, to even further back in time for Eli. For Marcella, who we are just meeting, this makes sense. We, as readers, can see how the character progresses from the time she dies, to the time she meets the two most powerful EO's in the world.
Villains really was more or less the story of Victor and Eli. You can't doubt that at all. While Sydney and Selena played their parts in the first installment, they weren't the reason for the story itself. With Vengeful, this story takes a definite step in the direction of making the women the stars of the show. First with Marcella who has been treated as though she was a prized object to have, instead of someone with a brain. Sydney has her own issues and that's really because she just doesn't age at all. So, while she may be 18, she really looks 5 years younger. June, oh June, what shall I say about you that won't spoil things? Hmm..I know! She's a human voodoo doll. I can't say much more than that.
The thing I love about this author is that she never once tried to lighten Victor and make him a hero. He is a villain. He does things that are regrettable, and would be frowned on in normal society. But, that's who he is. That is how his life has decided to take him. While he does have feelings for Dom and especially Sydney, he still is a person who warrants the hatred addressed towards him. Same with Eli. Eli is a killer who not once regretted his actions. Not once. When he finds out that Victor is alive, despite everything that he did in the first installment, he becomes guided in his desire to find a way to end this feud between the two former friends.
I am one who takes copious notes while reading, so, when the author chose to alternative time lines each break, I am glad that I was able to keep up with that she was trying to do. I would recommend that you play close attention to the timelines because they do tend to change quickly. One can't possibly end a series the way the author ended this story. You really can't expect readers to just walk away knowing that things have been left unresolved, especially between Victor and his people, most especially Sydney.
Whereas readers get a glimpse into Eli's past, we ever get to see what Victor's childhood was, or what led him to meeting Eli. June is also a mystery to readers. We get hints that there is more to her than meets the eye, but the author never once reveals who she really is, or what happened to her. I know that there was a 5 year wait between books, but I do hope that the author finds a way to either write faster, or admit that this was the final installment in her series.