Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab
Fantasy | Science Fiction
Published by Tor Books
Released September 24, 2013
Goodreads | Amazon
Vicious was one of the first books that the online book community turned me on to; it just took me a couple of years to finally read it. And oh my my, I loved it.
This is the second Victoria/V.E. Schwab book that I’ve read and reviewed on Read Yourself Happy, the first being City of Ghosts, which was incredibly enjoyable.
Vicious is the first book in a duology and is about two roommates at university who are both brilliant and strange. They decide to experiment to find out if it is possible to become an EO, or ExtraOrdinary – basically a superhero. They discover that an important part of the process is having a near-death experience, and they both take their turns. Things don’t turn out quite as they imagine, however.
I was pretty much hooked on this novel from the start, as the first chapter involves a mysterious man and a dead girl walking through a graveyard for some nighttime gravedigging. Sure, it’s dark, but so is my taste in books.
We see the story from both Victor and Eli’s perspective, and I enjoyed how different the two characters are, from their desires and personalities to their goals and motivations. There are also a couple of sidekicks – Victor’s prison buddy Mitch, and Sydney, a teenage girl with an extraordinary gift that Victor picked up on the side of the road.
This is a revenge story more than anything, as we learn right away. Something happened between the former best friends, and the story starts off with Victor hinting that he wants to get back at Eli.
Vicious is the perfect book for comic book fans, as it deals with characters with superhuman powers. Also, just like a lot of our favorite superheroes, neither Victor nor Eli are good people. They both have many qualities that make them just as much a villain as a hero, and that quality adds so much dimension into the overall story.
I’m so glad I loved this book because I went into it wanting to love it. I follow Victoria Schwab on Instagram and Twitter, and she just seems like such a genuinely wonderful human. I look forward to having the opportunity to meet her at the end of August at a signing at the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival, and I’m going to try to hold back my fangirling as much as possible.
If you’re a comic book fan, like dark sci-fi/fantasy, or just want to read something complex, interesting, and beautifully written, you might want to run to the bookstore and pick Vicious up. It’s damn near perfect.