Vicious by V.E. Schwab | Book Review

June 18th-21st 2018
★★★★☆

I had a list of books to choose from. Did I want to dive into another YA fantasy on the heels of beta reading one? Or did I want to go for something in the adult genre, by an author who I had always wanted to try. I actually left the decision up to an internet chat, one of the members told me to read this one next. Thank you so much for telling me to read this one next.

If you’ve never read a Victoria/V.E. Schwab book, my question to you is why? Her writing is incredible, the kind of lyrical prose that I hope to someday aspire to have. This book follows a multitude of characters, telling the story from all of their perspectives. Its unique non-linear structure has the reader following events from ten years ago, and two days ago, all culminating in a very neat bow at midnight.

Minor spoilers ahead.

In this story (at the beginning, if we’re talking about this in a linear fashion), we follow Eli and Victor at college, where Eli has declared his thesis of ExtraOrdinaries (EO), or those who have abilities following a near death experience. Victor and Eli, in their quest to prove that they exist, set out to give themselves abilities, which means that they need to die… sort of.

Fast forward ten years. Victor has escaped from prison and is hunting Eli down with a vengeance. Eli is on a quest to rid the world of other EOs since they go against God.

The book is filled with suspense. At the top of each chapter is an indication of where we are in the timeline. We follow these two through the deaths, and resurrections of multiple characters, interacting. Their chemistry and need to best each other is palpable even before they’re at odds with each other. They both need and despise each other. Both are simultaneously the villain and the hero, though no one is in the right. The countdown from ten years prior to midnight happens with only six pages of the novel to spare, which set me on the edge of my seat as I turned those final pages.

And the end is perfect. The book definitely works as a standalone, left off at a cliff-hanger. As is present throughout the story, the book ends with a sense of needing more, and of slight emptiness, which parallels the characters feeling that becoming ExtraOrdinary has taken away a piece of them, a piece which they aren’t able to bring back.

I can’t wait for the sequel, Vengeful, which comes out on September 25th.

-Siobhan

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