Review// Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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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

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

My Review:

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.



8 thoughts on “Review// Vicious by V.E. Schwab

  1. I’m sorry this one wasn’t for you. I liked this one, but actually loved Vengeful, the sequel, even more. However, outside of this series, Schwab is one of my favorite authors and her books/series are all very different topically – I definitely recommend trying something else by her!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the nice comment! I was honestly a bit nervous to post this review because I know how much people like her books and I didn’t want anyone to be offended by my rating. I’ll definitely give her other books a try; I was also eyeing This Savage Song as well and I’d love to see how that one is 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I haven’t read any of Schwab’s work yet but I do intend to, and I personally enjoy reading outlier reviews because I find “unpopular” opinions about much-loved books so interesting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Janille! 😊 Me too, I find it fascinating to read about why someone disliked a book that everyone else loves. Don’t let my review discourage you from giving her work, including this one, a try! I’d love to hear what you think about it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly, her books aren’t for everyone. I liked Vicious but I’ll admit her writing feels clinical at times. I liked Vicious more than Vengeful, but people who didn’t love Vicious loved Vengeful. So I don’t know.
    I actually liked that these books felt a little comic book-like. It made me feel like I watching X-men.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the writing did feel a bit clinical. I think I’ll give the next one a go and see how I feel about it; maybe I’ll like it better! And you’re right, it kind of did feel like reading a comic book at times, which was cool!🦸‍♂️


  4. I’ve seen nothing but praise for this book. I have yet to read but I’m glad you said that it has those flashbacks from past to present. I will read the book but until then it stay on my TBR lol. Great review 👍🏽

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I saw nothing but praise either, so I was shocked about the way I felt about it. Flashbacks in books don’t work for me 9/10 times 🤷🏻‍♀️ makes things feel too all over the place. Definitely still read it at some point, I’d like to hear what you think!!

      Liked by 1 person

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