Vicious ~ V.E. Schwab (Villains #1)


😮 I have no words, but I'll try.

The Writing and Worldbuilding

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

As usual, Queen Victoria's writing and world building were superb 👌. She crafted such a believable concept that I can't help but want to try it myself and become an EO (but I won't; don't worry). I especially loved the story structure, how the chapters alternated between the past and present and different characters' perspectives, revealing little tidbits as it went along. It wasn't necessarily unique—I've seen it done a million times—but it was well done and not something I've read recently by any means, so it was refreshing and intriguing. The book itself read like a noir or even a heist movie tbh, but with the cheese replaced by thought-provoking insight into the psychology of superpowers and those who have them, and of who and what is the greater evil, and if that makes the less evil good.

The Characters

Be lost. Give up. Give In. in the end It would be better to surrender before you begin. be lost. Be lost And then you will not care if you are ever found.

Victor Vale: He was honestly the most interesting character I've read in a very long time. He's without a doubt a psychopath, but he seems to care just enough about select people, namely his fondness for Sydney and his hate towards Eli. Even his relationship with Mitch was interesting. There were strong Frankenstein vibes with him, what with the method of his NDE and his name being Victor. I also really liked his erasures. I loved that most of the book was in his perspective because that essentially made him the MC, but he's definitely not your average protagonist.

Eli (Cardale) Ever: He was just as interesting as Victor; they felt as though they were cut from the same cloth—both lacking something vital and human long before they became something inhuman. I really liked Eli's religiously misdirected self-imposed mission to eliminate EOs, as it created a great conflict for all the characters.

Victor was naturally quiet, but even more so under pressure, which gave his peers the distinct impression he knew what he was doing, even when he didn't.

Sydney Clark: I really loved Syd. Her struggle with her powers and with her sister was really well executed. I loved that she was essentially a little girl but in that stage of her life where you want to be an adult, and you're beginning to feel like an adult, but the world still sees you as a child, because really, you still are. (Also, please don't judge me, but I low-key shipped her and Victor even though he's literally like 20 years older than her; even I feel weird about this being my OTP, but hey, the heart wants what it wants)

Serena Clark: She was super interesting. I loved how her power wasn't necessarily obvious when she was introduced, but you could figure it out on your own before it is directly revealed, which I did. It made me feel like a detective lol

Mitch: I loved Mitch. He was fun and engaging, and his suddenly getting his backstory and perspectives half way through the book was so fantastically unexpected. He was complex and, like every character, multidimensional.

Angie: She was definitely the least fleshed out character in the book, but that really isn't a problem, because she was also the character featured the least, and when she was, she felt real.

He wondered about life, and people, and science, and magic, and God, and whether he believed in any of them.


This book is as close to perfect as a book can get, I think. I absolutely loved it and devoured it. I want to read it again; I just know I'll notice things I never noticed before each time I reread. It's such a fantastic experience and I'm so happy I read it. I had a similar idea for a book once and tried to write it out, but didn't get far, and honestly, no one could have done a better job than the great goddess herself, Queen Victoria #AllHailTheQueen

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