Friday, June 15, 2018

#Review - Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab #Fantasy #Paranormal

Series: Villains (#1)
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Library
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal

A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

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.

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

Vicious is the first installment in author V.E. Schwab's Villains series. 10 years ago, Victor Vale and Eliot (Eli) Cardale were roommates and fellow medical students at Lockland University. Both were brilliant, arrogant, and itching for adventure. They shared research into adrenaline, near-death experiences, and the possibility of becoming EO's, or Extra Ordinary People. What they ended up with was a shattered friendship, death of an innocent who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and 10 years in jail for Victor. 

Victor and Eli are not your stereotypical villains. I would label them both with superiority complexes allowing them to do things that only serial killers would consider to be rational. Especially Eli. This tale of betrayal and survival, will collect characters from 13 year old Sydney Clarke, & her sister Serena Clarke, to Mitchell Turner who is a very curious character who seems as though he is a lure for trouble. 

My favorite is definitely Sydney. The girl isn't given much of a chance at all to survive, but when all is said and done, her powers make her the most impressive character in the entire book. I know that this book released in 2013, but since the sequel--Vengeful--will finally be released this fall, I figured it wouldn't hurt to start this book now so that I didn't have to wait 5 years to see what happens next. 

Schwab is a curious writer who seems to come up with the most interesting world and characters. Characters that feel as though they could step out of the pages and into real life and become either your friends, or your archnemesis. 
Vicious is a twisty tale that takes readers 10 years in the past, to days, and weeks ago. Vicious methodically ratchets up the tension as Victor, and his allies, and Eli and his ally, circle each other for the final inevitable clash between Victor and Eli. Schwab has definitely taken the superhero genre and turned on its head.  

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