- Book Name: Vicious
- Author: V. E. Schwab
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Publisher: Tor Books
- Pages: 371
Vicious is a haunting and gripping story that takes on the story of two strange boys–one is an enigma who the other cannot understand but aches to do so anyway–and they both share a friendship that makes them believe they can take on death and come out unscathed.
Needless to say, that idea of two young men playing God was enough to make me read this book. But things don’t always go as planned, especially not when you’re playing with forces as unpredictable as death. The consequences of their actions haunt Victor and Eli both, and the book is told in a manner that jumps back and forth in time to show us what made them the twisted men they are now.
“All Eli had to do was smile. All Victor had to do was lie. Both proved frighteningly effective.”V. E. Schwab, Vicious
There are multiple characters in this tale and almost none of them are conventionally good people, and yet you’re pulled into their stories and their perspective. The dynamics and the characters are what make this book such a good read, because every moment that you follow along with these dangerous characters you’ll find yourself relating and understanding them (despite how morally grey and somewhat scary their minds can be).
V. E. Schwab never makes it easy for you to liker her characters, but that unlikable aspect is charming because it makes her world so much more real and easy to get lost in. Victor is unrefined, unrestricted and undeterred by the lapse of his morality. And there’s Eli who believes he’s a saviour when he’s so clearly not. Sydney is a young girl with a power so morbid that it clashes with how naively young she is, and her interactions with a much older powerful and scary Victor are nothing short of brilliant.
“The absence of pain led to an absence of fear, and the absence of fear led to a disregard for consequences.”V. E Schwab, Vicious
This book is a one of a kind read, and an entirely new genre in itself. They only thing that lacked in the story for me was the ending which wasn’t quite as spectacular as the beginning of the book. But I’m rather sure the aspect that left me unsatisfied will show up in Vengeful (the sequel to Vicious). I’ll call this genre dark-introspective-comic-book-backstory-filled-mayhem. Vicious is enriched with the atmospheric beauty and revulsion of a theme too hard to grasp: is losing a part of your soul worth the price for Extra Ordinary power?