So Vicious by V. E. Shwab was our April Book club book of the month. This book is a Sci-fi book following two men that 10 years after their senior thesis have become archenemies.; also, superheroes. Now I felt that hype has really effected my reading experience lately, but this is the only book that I really felt lived up to all the acclaim it has received in the book community. .
If you like: superheroes, morally grey characters, and mysteries I strongly believed that you will like this story. It is a science-fiction story in it’s elements but the writing and telling of this story is very much in a mystery/thriller style. What truly makes this book special is the character study. Every character has incredible depth and darkness and is nothing like a character I had seen before; however, all that is coming in the spoiler part of this review.
Victor is my favorite evil bean. In book club we had such a long discussion about whether or not Victor was a sociopath, psychopath, or something else. We had no conclusions but we like his interactions with everyone. Yes, he was bad and maybe he was manipulative and used his crew. But these were people that spent their lives feeling useless, or evil, or forgotten. Maybe they were being manipulated but that doesn’t mean that Victor wasn’t great for Sydney and Mitch and the Dominican Rusher.
Eli is such a good villain. He totally believes that he is doing what is correct and what needs to happen. He does so many crazy things because his circumstances are different from everyone else. While for a majority of novel he is the only one whose power is internal or only effects himself, therefore in his mind he is not a threat to humanity. He is God’s Chosen as he cannot die. However, until the night of the final showdown the Domincan Rusher has only been able to effect himself with his traveling. We learn that somewhere in the missing 10 years he stopped talking to his victims. We have no idea how many he had killed whose powers could be used on others.
Mitch is funny and uses peoples underestimation to maneuver his way through life. He knows very well that he is a henchmen but also has strong faith in Victor and the way he cares for Sydney is endearing. The ONE thing that I didn’t like about this book started with Mitch. His shot and miraculous survival (it was kevlar vest and I laughed out loud) was the beginning of a series of no less than 4 shot not really dead or shot and came back to life. Only one person died but like so many people were shot!
Serena was my favorite character but one I still don’t completely understand. She was such a twist on the ingenue attached the “hero”. She does build him up to be the hero like a traditional trope but she uses her siren powers to use others to convince him of it. Serena is so unsure whether or not she wants to save Sydney she allows Eli to kill her. She is disappoint that she isn’t dead, but Eli is under her command. She finds her powers so easy and she is by-far the most powerful EO we see, but she is the only one looking for her weaknesses trying to find one.
I really enjoyed this book. However, I don’t know if I want to read Vengeful because it was such a well encapsulated story.