Author: V.E. Schwab Series: Villains #1 Genre: Science Fiction Release Date: September 24, 2013 Book Length: 366 pages Publisher: Tor Books Review: 1/5
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 archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
I know this is a very unpopular opinion for this book, but I have to be honest with myself here.
Victor and Eli are two friends-turned-foes after an experiment for Eli’s thesis turns them both into ‘Extra Ordinaries’ – people who have gone through a near death experience and have come back to life exhibiting some sort of superhuman power. This premise I did find kind of interesting, but overall, the book just wasn’t for me.
For starters, I didn’t really like all the back and forth through time every chapter – “Ten Years Ago Before the Accident”; “Two Days Ago”; “Five Years Ago”; “Twenty Minutes Until Midnight” – it just felt too all over the place. Also, Eli’s character annoyed me so much, and since he was one of the main characters, it really took away from my experiences because I couldn’t care less about him (or really any of them, for that matter). I didn’t like how his whole thing was that he was killing the Extra Ordinaries because they were ‘wrong’ but he himself wasn’t wrong being one of them too because he was killing them ‘in the name of God’. Meh. Every time he brought that up, I felt annoyed. Some of the dialogue also felt very dramatic and unnatural, like something you’d cringe at if you heard on a TV show.
This was my first V.E. Schwab book, but despite my low rating, I think I’d definitely give her others a chance. I guess I’m an outlier for this one though since many people do like it, but unfortunately I just could not bring myself to enjoy it.