An Anti-Hero Whose Story You Are Going To Love: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Victor and Eli are college roommates, who try to uncover what causes people to become EOs: Extra Ordinary people with powers such as healing, awakening the dead, or bending metal. During their experiments, they become ones themselves.

This is the beginning of their split. Victor is arrested and convicted with man-slaughter. Meanwhile, Eli believes that his gift is heaven-sent and finds a new mission to follow: he has to rid the world of EOs who could be a danger to society. However, Eli's definition of this is very broad and basically includes everyone but himself.

Meanwhile, Victor spends years in prison plotting revenge. When he finally manages to break out, there is nothing that could stop him from following his plan.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

I picked up "Vicious" by V. E. Schwab because I had been looking for books with asexual characters. This was one of the few recommendations that were not romance and every character was dubbed "dodgy". So how could I resist? Even though there is no ace confirmation in this part yet, this book proved to be one of the best reads I've held in my hands since a long time!

First of all, there are the characters. The story is split into several point of views. One day you are following Victor and the next chapter you follow his arch enemy's footsteps. This gives you an insight into what their motivations are, and Schwab is not shy in sharing the raw emotions that go through their minds.

At the same time, neither of these characters is your classical definition of good. Eli is the villain of this story, even though he claims to be the hero and his motivation is "for the greater good." So his intentions are pure while the execution is not.

Meanwhile, Victor is the hero for the reader but his motivation is often only revenge and hatred to make Eli suffer. Yet, he brings out loyalty in others and picks up a couple of strays along the way. Victor is a classic anti-hero and, as such, written perfectly. Yes, his motivation is not pure and morally good, neither are his methods most of the time. And yet, you can't help but get sucked into his story.

Being able to understand Victor better comes from the way the story is told. Throughout half of the book, you follow the current timeline as well as a "Ten Years Earlier" timeline which fills in the blanks and provides the backstory to Eli and Victor as well as their transformation. While this is great in order to establish the story and characters, it took some getting used to when I started reading.

At the same time, sometimes I got the feeling that the story was not going anywhere because we were still "stuck" in the past. However, for the second part of "Vicious" the pace is exactly what you expect it to be: upbeat, fast, and thrilling. It simply kept me hooked.

When I say that I haven't read a book this good in a while, this is not a statement that I make lightly. It has action, character, and anti-heroes whose story you will love to follow. It has my vote, and I am going to put the second part into my shopping basket right now.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab
Published2013by Tor Books
Series:Villains #1
Goodreads:Add to shelf

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