Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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

Victor and Eli were college roommates, close friends, and top students.  Their shared research and fascination with the possible existence of EOs (Extra-Ordinaries), leads them to experiments with serious consequences and a break in their friendship.  Ten years later, Victor is out of jail and set on revenge against his now enemy, Eli.  With each man set on destroying the other, only one can come out on top.

“All Eli had to do was smile.  All Victor had to do was lie.  Both proved frighteningly effective.” 

You never know when a book you read will turn out to be an absolute favourite.  Vicious was one of those books for me.  In fact, as soon as I finished and soaked in the ending I wanted to flip back to the first page and start all over again.  The story flashes back and forth between the present day when Victor is recently out of prison searching for Eli, and ten years in the past when they are both young, ambitious college students dabbling in dangerous experiments.  The complicated relationship between Victor and Eli is fascinating and I loved jumping back and forth in time and seeing its development to the enemies they would eventually become.  Everything about this book works beautifully: the cast of characters, the page-turning plot, and the brilliantly effective way it moves back and forth in time.  It also brings up interesting points and questions of morality and the use of knowledge and power.  What I appreciated the most was the fact that it is not your typical good guy vs. bad guy kind of story.  Everyone is flawed and selfish in some way, which is what makes it such an intriguing story.

“There were some people you had to stay away from, people who poisoned everything in reach.  Then there were people you wanted to stick with, the ones with silver tongues and golden touches.  And then, there were people you stood beside, because it meant you weren’t in their way. “

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