Friday, 30 May 2014

Vicious (Vicious #1) by Victoria Schwab

Description from Goodreads:

A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world. 


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? 

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.


Are you looking for a kickass, I'm-a-superhero-but-also-a-villain book with intriguing characters? Well, you don't have to look anymorejust find Vicious! I knew I would end up being really smitten with this book even before I started it because the premise just is so unbearably cool and interesting. I read this book while I was travelling, and I hated the fact that I couldn't read it in one sit, but instead I had to put it down once in a while between transfers and moving around. Vicious wasn't just a wicked science fiction book but also had an important message about nothing being purely good or evil. 

The story mainly focuses on two pre-med students, Victor and Eli. Their stories are told in two ways; one storyline about the past when they were just students, and the other when they are in their 30s which is the present. Some other point of views were also included by the minor character which made characters like Mitch and Sydney to become more dynamic. It's difficult to say who was my favourite character as all of them were so complex and unpredictable. Sometimes the author forget to give the necessary depth to the supporting characters but I was so glad that Schwab had done exactly the opposite. While all the characters weren't purely good or evil (unlike the usual superhero books and movies present the characters), it was really interesting to follow how the characters highlighted each others' extent of goodness and evilness 

I can't remember the last time I read a science fiction novel which was set in the modern day. That's probably the reason why I was a bit hesitant when I first started reading the book, even though I was pretty excited as well as I had no idea how the novel would end up being. I loved the fact that as Eli and Victor were pre-med students, their conversations were filled with medical information and hypothesising about ExtraOrdinaries; people with extraordinary abilities, or  in other words, superpowers. I have always found the human physiology really interesting so I was so pleased when Schwab had decided to include some intriguing information about what might trigger these abilities to become manifested and why the abilities differ from each person. In fact, I found these speculations so fascinating that I could have read even more about them.

While reading the book, I could visualise everything that was happening at that moment in the story. The events were filled with tension and mystery and I'm 100% sure that Vicious would make a great movie (if the studio had a good vision and the budget was right). There definitely were elements of a superhero movie in the novel, probably because the author was trying to emulate a science fiction film in a form of a book. And she did a really good job doing that. But I really liked that instead of writing a book which clearly presented the superhero and the supervillain, this time the roles were almost reversed and it was difficult to determine who was the bad guy and who wasn't. I recommend Vicious to everyone who is interested in reading an unusual superhero book filled with complex character and intriguing plot. 


10 comments:

  1. Great review! I haven't heard of this one before, but I'm going to add it to my TBR list-sounds really good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was pretty awesome! :) I hope you're going to like it as much as I did!

      Delete
  2. I'm really excited to get to this book but "Ugh. Damn you really huge TBR pile!" V. E. Schwab is definitely one of my favorite authors. Great review. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! :) This was my first book by Schwab and now I'm totally intrigued to read her other books. I've been eyeing The Archived and I really want to read that next by her.

      Delete
    2. The Archived is definitely one of my favorite 2014 books. I know you'll love it.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the heads up! :)

      Delete
  3. Everyone is pretty much raving about this book! Looks so awesome and it sounds really intriguing for sure. Glad you liked it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it sounds even a little bit like your piece of cake, I really recommend you to read it!! :)

      Delete
  4. Great review, I added it to my list, thanks !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad it was useful :)

      Delete

You can't see me, but I'm totally doing my happy dance as I read your comment!