Last month, I discovered a new favorite author: V. E. Schwab (aka Victoria Schwab). I read and fell in love with A Darker Shade of Magic and then moved on to Vicious, which I’d been hearing about a lot in the past few months. It sounded really interesting, and really unique, and I am really glad I ended up picking it up, because it totally lived up to the hype in my opinion.
College roommates Victor and Eli have a complicated relationship. Both brilliant, arrogant, lonely, and in love with the same girl, they bond over intelligence and ambition. It’s only natural they would discuss the topics for their senior thesis. Victor has chosen to study adrenaline. Eli’s topic is a bit more unusual: EOs. ExtraOrdinary humans. Together, they come up with an interesting theory: that EOs are the result of near-death experiences. And, after a night of celebratory drinking, they decide to become superheroes. But the experiment goes horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison to catch up with his old friend and new foe. Eli’s superpower seems to have supercharged his arrogance. And someone has to stop him from killing all the other EOs.
I really loved Vicious! V. E. Schwab’s writing is interesting and unique. I’d classify Vicious as magical realism, but despite the fantastical elements, it seems completely realistic. There is actually a lot of science involved (it’s very thoroughly explained – don’t worry), and I really enjoyed that aspect. I loved that all of the characters are a little bit messed up. And I just really enjoyed the story. To be honest, I was expecting something that was more fantasy, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book takes place, more or less, in our world. I was also struck by the pacing of this book, for some reason. It seems a bit slow, but it’s still full of action, and it really grew on me. I just think everything in this book really worked! And I enjoyed reading a book that, to me, seemed extremely unique.
I think Vicious may be one of my favorite books of the year – it was a really great read. V. E. Schwab has quickly become one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t read anything by her yet, I would highly recommend it. Her books are pure magic!
You can pick up a copy of Vicious here. P.S. the hardcover version of this book is really cool! I love the fact that, underneath the jacket, the book is completely bare. Just simple, gray fabric. I think it’s really beautiful.