Review: Vengeful by V. E. Schwab

Vengeful by V. E. Schwab26856502

Series: Villains #2

Published: September 25, 2018

Rating: ★★★★ 1/2 (4.5 Stars)

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WARNING: Synopsis and review contain spoilers for the first book in the Villains series, Vicious.

The sequel to VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab’s first adult novel.

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.

The storyline in Vengeful is one that I’ve been thirsting for since the end of Vicious.

The time switching is something that I adored in Vicious and is part of what made it so unique and intriguing. I feel like a bit of that magic was lost for me in Vengeful, particularly in “Part 1” (out of four parts). We are not only switching between Victor and Sydney, but we have two new and exciting characters to contend with. Don’t get me wrong, I loved June and Marcella’s points of views, but the time switch on top of 4 POV started to give me whiplash. Overall, this was one of two negatives I could find in a book that was otherwise flawless by my standards.

Marcella was a dynamic villain and character that, despite her utter evilness, has the reader rooting for her. June felt a little one dimensional at times. While she does experience change throughout the novel, her backstory is only vaguely hinted at and I feel like I never really got to know her as a character. At some points it seemed like she was just used as a convenient way to get out of a situation. I’d really like to learn more about her backstory, whether in a short story or *hopefully* a future installment.

The ending definitely leaves some things open which allows for the possibility of a third book. I believe that Schwab has joked about “maybe in another 5 years” (which is how long it took between Vicious and VengefulVicious was originally intended as a standalone with similar open possibilities that are left in this installment).

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Vicious by V. E. Schwab13638125

Published September 23, 2013

Series Villains #1

Rating   5 / 5

Goodreads

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?

I am a sucker for morally ambiguous characters, and this book introduces many poster children for the term. Victor Vale is a horrendous excuse for a human being. In fact, almost all characters in this book are.

Previously, all my favorite characters have been thieves with an agenda or assassins with a purpose, but one thing they all had in common was they faced an obvious foe with a somewhat malicious agenda. I love this story because there is no obvious line in the sand. EVERYONE is horrible and…VISCOUS, trying to advance their own agenda at whatever cost. The question of allegiance lies with the reader’s decision on who is the most “justified” (if anything these characters do is truly justifiable).

As a bit of a science nerd, the veneer of scientific reasoning surrounding the ExtraOrdinary’s “origin story” provided a major bonus. In the word’s of Victor Vale:

“Science, even completely fiction, [holds] sway.”

The time-skipping in this book was also flawlessly executed. Rather than laying all the characters’ beef out in chronological order, the quick flips to the past and the present made Vicious a true page turner. I was up until about 1 AM yesterday because I HAD TO KNOW why Eli and Victor hated each other so much (and what would happen to Sydney and Dol, two of my favorites).

All that being said, this novel is not for the faint of heart. Murders and blood and gore galore grace these glorious pages as Victor Vale searches for revenge on his once-friend. Despite his utter awfulness, Victor Vale is definitely one of my favorite characters for-EVER. I’m super excited that Schwab recently announced this previously stand-alone novel will now be a trilogy!!! Even though Vengeful (Villains #2) isn’t fully written yet, it’s definitely on my to-read list. I can’t wait to read more about these ExtraOrdinary individuals and whatever troubles they get up to.

Thanks for reading!

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