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  • Writer's pictureTabitha Tomala

Vicious by V. E. Schwab Book Review

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Vicious by V. E. Schwab book cover
Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Vicious Book Review

Victor and Eli both harbor brilliant minds and dark ambitions. Eli’s college thesis starts as researching EOs, humans with extraordinary abilities. But when he theorizes how to become an EO, Victor manipulates Eli into creating them. Their test subjects? Themselves. Victor and Eli will chance bringing themselves to the brink of death to become Extraordinary. But even before they returned as EOs, something was fundamentally missing. Key emotions they should have felt such as guilt and empathy. Now with powers, Eli and Victor will make choices based on their personal vendettas, changing the lives of all they encounter.

Vicious presents the reader with two characters who are villains. While readers may side with one over the other, neither is inherently good. While some of their choices may inadvertently help others, their true goals are less than admirable. Victor bears a personal grudge against Eli. During Victor’s transformation, he caused the death of a fellow student. Eli made sure he was captured and jailed. Upon release, Victor makes his sole focus to be Eli's destruction. While on the other hand, Eli sees EOs as unnatural. Under the misconception of religious duty, he sets out to eradicate any EO he comes into contact with, despite his own extraordinary abilities.

Switching between various timelines, V.E. Schwab builds the narrative piece by piece. Readers will be hooked as the storylines draw ever closer back together. Seeing through various characters' points of view, also allows the reader to experience their skewed ambitions and sense of duty. Eli and Victor are unlikeable characters, but this fits with the overall darker tone and atmosphere of dread. Each has ways of manipulating people to their sides and twisting their loyalties.

Vicious puts extraordinary powers into the hands of two psychopathic main characters. The violent fallout from their motivations creates a brutally dark story. Readers who enjoy dark fiction with a hint of fantasy, give this one a try.

To Purchase: Bookshop | Author's Website

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