So this review is coming a little late, I actually finished Vicious a week ago but had some technical difficulties so I didn’t get a chance to record my initial thoughts here. Because of this I’ve had a little time to think about it whereas usually I just word vomit. Hopefully it won’t be too different though.
A friend of mine recommended Vicious to me and I put it off in favour of the Shades of Magic series, which I absolutely adored. Vicious, despite being very different from Shades of Magic, was just as well written and cleverly devised. I don’t think I’m the first to say it but V.E. Schwab is a genius.
That being said it did take me a little while to get into this book. It follows two friends, Victor and Eli, who have superpowers and a long history of competition dating back ten years. The narrative skips between the various timelines seamlessly, but the chapters are so short I didn’t really sink into reading it like I would with a more lengthy section. I ended up putting it down quite a bit until about half way through, when Eli’s narration becomes more prominent after Victor dominating the book.
I really enjoyed the way the superpowers worked in this book. I won’t spoil anything here but the gifts were believable and often terrifying, but the way they end up being linked to each individual is intriguing. At first I was sceptical about reading superpowers rather than watching them, the superhero genre has always rested firmly in the visual for me, but V.E. Schwab did a brilliant job of adapting the superhero genre to print.
In terms of plot I had sort of hoped that both Victor and Eli would be equally despicable people, but in the end I was quite happy with Victor turning out to be a gritty, realistic not-hero, just a person. Honestly, if you’re looking for a new fictional boyfriend Victor Vale is it, and reading his revenge plot play out was so deeply satisfying that I stayed up until 3am to read the second half of the book.
If you’re looking for something similar to fill the space left by the Shades of Magic series then Vicious isn’t it, but even though it’s drastically different it’s just as good.