Book Review : Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Genre : Fantasy, Science Fiction
Page : 366 pages
Published : 24th September 2013

A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

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.

“There are no good men in this game.”

I’m not gonna lie but I lay my eyes on the book because of the cover. I don’t even know why. Maybe because of the bright red colour on the book or because of the guy.

I’m not even sure myself. But it has those action vibes like you would see in the movies and I love tension. So yep.

To sums up the book, its the story of two good and brilliant guy named Victor and Eli who embark their lives as college students and somewhere along the way, things gone wrong and both turns evil in their own way. Evil in this book means having superpower that makes them feel different and act differently from the way they used to be. I’ll give it a five for the story.


Because it’s pure different from all the fantasy story ever existed. It’s not about the strong willed, gifted or talented main character that saved the world against the bad. There are no knight in shining armour that will come to aid when things get rough.

It’s bad against the bad.

But for me, it’s bad against the evil.

Victor who is smartly brilliant, born to a decent family known by many and Eli, who according to Victor shines brighter than Victor. Former best friend that are undefeated when they’re one and now they are one another biggest foe. Like many other action movies, both are aid with their allies that they found across accidentally in fulfilling their mission. Eli is ready to wipe out the entire superpower population and left only himself although he is one of the group. Victor who is ready to risk and sacrifice everything and anyone just to kill Eli himself.

The whole scenes in the book are just like compilation of complicated action movies that packed neatly in a book. The kind of compilation that made your adrenaline rush. The story are also told in a perfect order between the past and present. It’s a full packed story of their lives. For the unique story, the ending is unpredictable. Both have high chance to lose their live.

I can’t even explain perfectly how unique this book is. The characters are all memorable and snatched the centre stage in their own way. It begins innocently as friendship of the two smartest guy in the college with jealousy that sprouts once in a while but reconcile over and over again for the same ambition they share. Until one crazy ideas pop out and experiment were made that severe the bonds they have build for years.

Do I love this book? Yes definitely. If I could I would rush you guys out to the nearest bookstore to buy the book and urged you to sit and read.

Do I love both Victor and Eli? Yes, but putting my own preference in the review, I am more into Victor. For me, even though Victor has his own way in doing things, he is being more reasonable in thinking through things than Eli. Eli has his own obsessive way in deciding the right and the wrong. Still, every characters in the book is amazing and like I said over and over again, different and memorable.

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

Author : Celine

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