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 was a little nervous to read this book. I have LOVED Schwab’s Monsters of Verity and ADSOM series, and this got a fair bit of hype last year, with the release of Vengeful. So yeah, there’s a little part of me that was worried I wouldn’t like it. Luckily, I read it anyways and I had nothing to worry about. Phew!
Vicious is sort of a superhero-medical-villain crossover genre. Sort of! I really like the whole not really a villain but definitely not a good guy thing, and this book has it twice – even better! It has Victor, who I don’t see as a particularly bad person, but he’s driven, wanting revenge and definitely not afraid to do bad things. And it has Eli, who I definitely see as a bad person, but sees himself as fulfilling a purpose. Their relationship and the twisting of good and bad between them both was just fascinating.
I also liked the difference in the powers and the reasoning behind them. And as much as her character fell a little flat for me, Serena was probably the most interesting because of her power. I like that they all recognised that she was the threat.
I will admit to not outright *loving* the book, but I do love the premise and the characters. There’s something inherently fascinating about it, and they way that it’s written. I think I’d possibly compared it a little to both Schwab’s Monsters of Verity (because it is similarly dark and told by someone who is Not A Hero) and also Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight (possibly because I just read Godsgrave and it is also antihero led, with death and vengeance at its heart). And sadly I would say that I do *slightly* prefer those books. But that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a fantastic read – it very much is! I really enjoyed it and I am moving Vengeful up my TBR so I can get to it soon 😍
Buy Vicious from Amazon UK (affiliate link)