My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Synopsis (From GoodReads):

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 arch-nemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? 


I always marvel at the power of books to draw me into a story, hold me (sometimes kicking and screaming), force me to abandon common sense and stay up late into the night to reach the next chapter, and then abruptly dump me on the pavement when the novel ends.  That is how I felt reading V.E. Schwab's Vicious.  Although my description seems like I had a terrible experience, it was actually a thrill ride, filled with twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end of the story.

I didn't know anything about this book going in, only that all the people I follow on Twitter raved about it.  So, I dutifully checked it out of my local library.  The story is part science-fiction, part psychological thriller as two roommates form a bond over their research on the possibility that near death experiences could lead to supernatural powers.  The book flips back and forth between the character's college days and ten years later.  Why did Victor go to prison?  Why is Eli killing people and how is he getting away with it?

I enjoyed this story for it's insights into human nature and behavior.  How would someone behave if they suddenly had the power to get people to do whatever they wanted?  Could they resist that kind of power?  If you were invincible, would you think you were somehow God's Chosen One?  How much hate would build up in a man sitting in prison for ten years towards the person who put him there?  As much as this is a science-fiction book, I loved how the drama was based on human traits such as loyalty, jealously,  anger, and revenge.  The super-powers are not the point of the story, but are a catalyst for exploring these emotions.

I highly recommend this book for it's original story concept.  I think it would make a terrific movie!

Source: Public Library
Format:  Hardback
Recommendation: It was a great, original concept. Read it when you don't need to sleep!
Will I read more from this author:  Yes!

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  1. I have this one on my shelf! Definitely need to get on reading it. Great review :)

    1. I loved the intense & complex friendship between Eli & Victor, and later Victor & Mitch. I think that was what made Victor (slightly) more likable: the fact that he did crave human interaction and created a "family" of misfits.

  2. Great review. I read this book a few months ago and loved it. You should check out A Darker Shade of Magic if you haven’t read it yet.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Oh, That is V.E. Schwab's new book, right? My TBR pile is so high right now, but I will add it to the mile long list!

  3. Interesting book. Thanks for the follow. Following back on GFC.

    1. Thank you for following me! You are my 100th follower!


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