Vicious (Villains #1) A rollercoaster of revenge

Old college roommates hunting each other down ten years later.
Vicious Book review image- Xoraslibrary

Table of Contents

Book name: Vicious ( Villians # 1

Author: V.E. Schwab

Find more of her here

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Pages: 364

V.E. Schwab doesn’t miss, Vicious is the second book I’ve read from her and I have nothing negative to say. The first was the Invisible life of Addie La Rue.

Its apart of the (Villains #1) series.

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Victor and Eli were college roommates, Young intelligent medical students who saw the same attributes in one another. They both had huge egos in different ways and once they had a goal in mind they would make it their mission to see it through. 

They may have cared for each other as friends once and maybe they still do even after a research assignment that went too far in their senior year. However, 10 years later, their rivalry is still going strong.

With this being the second book I’ve read from the author, Invisible life of Addie La rue being the first. I can already tell she has a specific writing style. What I mean by this is we jump right into where the character is and what they’re doing.

 In the chapters ahead, we have flashbacks leading up to that moment. Kind of like the series How to get away with Murder (which is a great show btw). 

I enjoy it because it already has me hooked, I mean I finished the book in a day. Not that it’s a long book to get through but the intensity kept building up and I didn’t want to put it down. 

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Ok so first I want to get into the characters. Usually, you can tell which is the protagonist vs the antagonist which I assume is Victor because he’s the one who seems to be telling the story. 

But there were times when I felt like Eli was the sanest one and from there, my judgment kept wavering. Eli turned out to be the most vicious of the two. 

 We start the story off with Victor in a cemetery late at night with a little girl named Sydney and they were trying to revive someone. They make it clear Sydney and Victor aren’t related but could look like father and daughter. So that’s when I thought “Why is a grown man with a 12 year-old digging up a body”

Later we read that Sydney was found on the side of a road and he took her in. 

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When we see the flashbacks of the guys in college I get the vibe that they both admired one another. They were competitive sure, but I didn’t see it as a bad thing. 

 It started with their thesis idea- Victor wanted to research the effects of adrenaline on the mind and body while Eli’s research was on ExtraOrdinaries and how they were created.

Their ideas were very similar when one day Eli came into the room and said his theory of having a near-death experience was what gave people their powers. It was what made the Extraordinaires. 

Victor being slightly drunk but wanting to show up to Eli at the same time suggested that they should try it. 

Eli said it was ridiculous but he was very curious. So they tried it with Victor first. 

The plan was to overdose on drugs and then try to revive him back but Eli couldn’t feel a pulse so he chickened out and called 911. Victor ended up in the hospital with a counselor who suggested therapy because she thought he was suicidal. 

The theory worked

Luckily they let him go home. But that night Eli wanted to try it again but without alcohol or drugs because his theory was that the pain had to be felt for it to work so he wanted to drown himself in the bathtub. Victor waited for the right time but he was getting worried. He started doing chest compressions and Eli came back but Slightly off. They didn’t know if it worked or not but they both got drinks and it was then when Eli accidentally cut himself that his wound healed. That’s when they freaked out because their crazy theory worked. 

Victor was both curious and jealous. So much so that he wanted to try it again. Differently this time but Eli suggested they should wait since Victor already tried it once. 

But I couldn’t tell if it was out of genuine concern or if he was afraid of Victor coming back with better powers. 

Victor tried anyway with the help of Eli’s girlfriend, Angie. She had absolutely no idea what was going on. But Victor needed someone he trusted to help him and they were friends way before Eli came into the picture. Once Angie heard of Victor’s plan she was very reluctant, But she helped anyway. 

Victor goes to jail

Victor called Eli immediately after it worked with bad news. He accidentally killed Angie with his power. His power was being able to manipulate people’s pain. By increasing or decreasing it. 

Eli seemed genuine at first telling him to stay there and he’d be right over. I thought oh okay they’re going to try and work this out but nope. I’m not sure how but through the phone, Victor could hear Eli punch in 9-1-1. 

So the cops came and arrested Victor but he managed to escape and the first person he went to see was Eli. He couldn’t believe he would call the cops on him and tell them that Victor was a EO. They got into a fight and Victor was arrested again. 

I know it’s logical to call the cops when something like that happens but that “Slightly off” feeling Eli had after he tried his theory was emptiness. He was incapable of feeling sympathy so that led me to think he didn’t even care for Angie’s death. He knew he was supposed to but he couldn’t feel anything. 

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Vicious revenge

While Victor was in jail for those ten years Eli was out making it his mission to track down other EO’s and kill them because they were unnatural, all of them except him. He thought God gave him his gift. That he was special. That’s how We meet Sydney, Eli shoots her and she runs into the woods with nowhere to go when Victor shows up in his car and takes her in. Along with his cellmate Mitch. Later Victor learns of Sydney’s story and uses the information she knows to track down Eli. Victor has been planning years for his revenge so everything he did was calculated. 

The person they dug up that night was another EO that had worked with Eli before Eli killed him. Victor wanted to use him to send a message. I thought this was irrelevant. I would have preferred it better if they revived Angie. Imagine after 10 years seeing your dead Ex girlfriend. That would’ve been a more efficient message in my opinion. 

But it was effective because if Eli was capable of feeling anything fear is definitely what he would have felt. At that point, Victor was leaving clues and messages for Eli to find him. that had Eli shook and more determined to find and end him. 

Ultimately they had a showdown which led to Victor dying.

This was sad but I knew Sydney would be able to use her powers to revive him. 

 On the last page, it ends just as it began except this time Sydney and Mitch were digging Victor back up. I wonder if this means he lost his powers or not because he had already died once before to get his powers. I am looking forward to finding out in the Vengeful sequel. 

Vicious Rating

I do wish they explored how becoming an extraordinary affects your ability to feel emotions. As we see with Eli, he acts as if he cares about innocent people and that’s why he kills other extraordinaries. But It’s only because he tells himself he needs to care. 

Victor seems to care about Mitch and Sydney. 

Sydney shows the most emotions in how she cares for Victor and Mitch. So just how vicious are the characters supposed to be after they die and come back to life.

There was not one uninteresting page or chapter in this book! I thought Vicious would take me a while to get into, but I was wrong. I couldn’t put the book down. And because of that, I would have to give it a 4 out of 5. This would definitely be a book I read multiple times over. 

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