Rating: 4 / 5
I had a lot of fun buddy reading the entire Shades of Magic series with one of my best booksta friends, so we decided to continue on by picking up V.E. Schwab’s Villains duology next.
VICIOUS is set in a relatively familiar world, but one in which there are the occasional Extraordinary (EO) people with special abilities. When prompted to take on a research project for school, Eli decides to take on the task of figuring out the origins of EOs. His college roommate’s research into adrenaline seems to make a good overlap in concept. Soon Eli determines that near death experiences are key to obtaining special powers. They decide to test the theory but things do not all go as planned.
In the modern day, ten years have passed since those college days and Victor is just getting out of jail, determined to hunt down Eli with a friend from jail and a teen girl with extraordinary powers of her own. This friendship has turned deadly and both are on a mission of destruction.
I had heard a few mixed reviews on this one, but the idea of two morally gray characters at odds intrigued me before I even started. I loved the way the author balanced out the two time periods and the differing points of view between Eli and Victor. Both do some dark things, though I’m not sure I would call both equally villainous.
This pulls together some fun action sequences, some odd situations (the book begins with some of our main characters heading to the graveyard with shovels… a good sign of trouble to come!), dark twists and found family. It is pretty clear to the reader that things aren’t all going to go well and the actual outcome is unknown until the very end.
I very much enjoyed this read and look forward to seeing where the sequel takes the story!