REVIEW: Vengeful

It’s been about a week now since Vengeful – the long awaited sequel to Vicious – has been released so I think it’s about time I finally sat down and wrote my review. When I first read Vicious, I was instantly in love with Victor and the whole cast of character very seriously wormed their way into my heart. To be entirely honest, I only read Vicious a few months ago in preparation for Vengeful to come out as I’m always a sucker for a long awaited sequel with a gorgeous re-release cover.

I was lucky enough to have my copy of Vengeful sent to me earlier so I had a week to read it before the actual release date. Rushing to finish the book I was reading at the time, I dove into it the second I possibly could. Now before I get into this review I just want to mention that even though won’t go into detail about it, this book does contain some incredibly graphic torture scenes regarding EOs and how their powers work so if you thought the self-inflicted violence of Vicious was too much, I don’t recommend getting into this one.

First off I just want to say that I adored Marcella. I thought that she was such an incredible character despite her problematic behaviour and I truly think that if anyone deserved to be treated better or at the very least taken more seriously, it was Marcella. After losing people in the last book, having new characters that I could really bond with was something I was happy to see. The biggest draw of this book is honestly the grey morality of everything and how even the “bad guys” have a greater purpose in the grand scheme of things.

I enjoyed having a closer look into Eli’s personal life before he met Victor. I like that there wasn’t really an explanation for his “dark side” and that – despite having the worst father in the universe – everyone Eli came across seemed to notice that there was something off with him (even if they weren’t aware of it like Victor was). However there still just felt like something was missing.

But now to get into the spoilers and the things that I was a little let down over.

First of all I found the deaths to be very anti-climactic. I had, more or less, figured out what Marcella’s fate was sure to be around two thirds of the way through the book and although it was dramatic, I felt it could have been even more dramatic given the kind of person she was. If anything, I kept having to shake my head loose from the thought of when Logan had to kill Jean in the third X-Men movie (which I’m sorry to say still had a more emotional impact). Aside from Marcella, and this is the bigger spoiler here so turn back now if you’re avoiding them, Eli’s death was almost laughable. Perhaps that was Schwab’s intention to give him such a human death because of what a God complex he had developed, but it felt so meaningless for Eli to go that was (although definitely meaningful for Sydney) and makes me think he’s not actually dead. While I’d be happy if he wasn’t, I also feel like to bring him pack in a potential third book would be a cop-out.

Victor also felt lacking as he spent a fair amount of time knowing that he couldn’t just ask Syd and Mitch to leave him be, but still buggered off on his own anyway. With no big fight that had Victor in it, I just felt like my favourite character – and essentially the main character at that – was pushed to the side to act as more of a plot point in his own story than the leading man.

I know this review probably sounds like I’m complaining a lot, and I guess I am, but I do want to be clear that I very much did enjoy this sequel and was so happy to be thrown back into the world where Victor lives. I really hope that V.E. Schwab does another book even it was just about Sydney or even just about June, but even if she doesn’t I can’t see myself being sad about that. To have this sequel at all is an incredible thing that I am thankful for.

If you enjoyed Vicious as much as I did, definitely go pick up the sequel. You won’t be sorry to have read it – even if you do get a little grossed out.

37534835Author: V.E. Schwab
Published: September 25, 2018
Pages: 480
Publisher: Tor
ISBN: 9780765387523

Synopsis: Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.

REVIEW: Vicious

With the release date of Vengeful on the horizon and my pre-order set to ship just as quickly, I figured it was finally time to read Vicious by V.E. Schwab. This is the first book I’ve read from Schwab, and let me tell you I was not disappointed.

The story revolves primarily around Victor and Eli as they hunt for the cause behind EOs or ExtraOrdinaries and the source of their abilities. Things take a turn and a friendship very quickly becomes a dangerous rivalry.

I very quickly fell in love with Victor. He’s snarky and has a certain dangerous undertone to his personality that I find very appealing. But I also like the depth of his character as well as those of his “teammates”. When Sydney comes into the story he isn’t at all “gross a child… wait it’s useful” like tends to be the trend with characters who share similar traits to Victor. Sydney is a sweet girl, innocent enough but she learns fast and isn’t naive which I really enjoyed about her. Even Mitch was the “smart guy in a dumb guy’s body” but he was so much more than that too.

I also really loved how this story unfolded in it’s non-linear way so that we were only given information when we needed it. It made for excellent story telling and created suspense between sections that had me yelling “NO WAIT GO BACK!”.

I can’t believe it took me so long to get to a V.E. Schwab book but I’m so happy I started with this one. Easily a five out of five from me.

Trigger warnings: this book contain graphic self-destruction and suicide. None of it is a cause of mental illness but may be triggering to some.

40874032Author: V.E. Schwab
Published: September 24, 2013
Pages: 366
Publisher: Tor
ISBN: 9781250160263

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.