Vicious by V.E. Schwab – A Review


Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab
Fantasy | Science Fiction
Published by Tor Books
Released September 24, 2013
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

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.

Have you read Vicious? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

Want more Victoria/V.E. Schwab? Check out her other books:

Vengeful | City of Ghosts | A Darker Shade of Magic | The Near Witch | This Savage Song

Here are a few other similar titles you might be interested in:

Six of Crows | Once & Future | Roar | The Ocean at the End of the Lane | An Ember in the Ashes | The Boneless Mercies | The Price Guide to the Occult

Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

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Tuesday Temptations: New Releases for the week of September 25, 2018

  • A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney
    Amazon | Goodreads
    Fantasy, retelling
    This is an urban fantasy retelling of Alice in Wonderland, and L.L. McKinney’s debut novel. It takes place in Atlanta, GA, and tells the story of Alice as she fights magical, monstrous creatures in Wonderland.
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
    Amazon | Goodreads
    Hank Green’s debut is about a girl who becomes unexpectedly famous through social media. I’ve been hearing about this book everywhere, so I’m looking forward to picking it up.
  • Vengeful (Villains, #2) by V.E. Schwab
    Amazon | Goodreads
    In this much-anticipated sequel to V.E. Schwab’s ViciousMarcella Riggins is fighting for control. Victoria Schwab has been on my TBR list forever, and I’m actually waiting on Vicious at the library.
  • The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner
    Amazon | Goodreads
    Young Adult, fantasy
    Rena Rossner’s debut novel is based on magic and folklore, so it is obviously something I would love. Taking place on the border between Ukraine and Moldova, the story follows two sisters, Liba and Laya, and a secret passed down within their family.
  • Transcription by Kate Atkinson
    Amazon | Goodreads
    Historical fiction, mystery, thriller
    Juliet Armstrong is just 18 years old when she begins working for MI5 during World War II. A decade later, she realizes that she’s still fighting a war.
  • A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos
    Amazon | Goodreads
    Fantasy, young adult
    This is book one of a quartet and is a massive fantasy world. Ophelia can read the past of objects and can travel through mirrors. When she is promised in marriage to Thorn, she is forced to leave the world she knows.
  • Black Wings Beating (Skybound # 1) by Alex London
    Amazon | Goodreads
    Fantasy, young adult
    In part one of this trilogy, twins Brysen and Kylee travel into the mountain to trap a great bird, the Ghost Eagle. They are both looking for their out power, and a war is approaching.
  • The Taiga Syndrome by Cristina Rivera Garza
    Amazon | Goodreads
    Originally published in Spanish, this novel is about an ex-detective searching for a lost couple, and runs into fairy tales along the way. This is an interesting idea for a book, and I’ve been wanting to read more books in translation, so I’ve already added this to my TBR list.
  • The Rule of One by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders
    Amazon | Goodreads
    Science fiction, young adult
    The United States has established a one-child policy in this novel set in the near future. Ava and Mira are identical twins and have been trading places for years. One day, though, they’re discovered.
  • The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
    Amazon | Goodreads
    Fantasy, young adult
    This is a dark retelling of the classic Frankenstein. Elizabeth is given a home by the Frankenstein family and is tasked with managing Victor Frankenstein’s intense temper and depravity. Her only goal is to stay alive.