Though not my favorite of Schwab’s–that title goes to A Darker Shade of Magic–if I could only recommend one Schwab title to a friend that would fully portray just how talented she is, it would be this one. Vicious is the kind of book that can only be done by a master writer. Schwab is not only such a writer, but so good that after only three books I am tempted to say she may be my favorite author of all time. If the rest of Monsters of Verity, Shades of Magic, and her other series and standalones are even a fraction as good as This Savage Song, ADSoM and Vicious…then wow.
In the past, Eli and Victor are college roommates and begrudging best friends. Their outrageous, ambitious natures lead to several life-threatening science experiments that give them both powers and changes life as they know it.
In the present, Victor escapes prison and is out for revenge. Who is the villain in this story? Who will make it out alive? These are the questions that keep you reading the book until the very end.
Eli and Victor are both ******* insane. And you can’t peal your eyes away from the mess that is their lives. So much happens. And it is all so dark.
In this book, you have a twisty, parallel structure. It goes back and forth between different timelines throughout. The main focus is on Victor, our not-so-good protagonist. Despite the focus on him, however, the book breaks away to tell other points of view while still staying in the fractured timeline format. So when I say only a master writer could do this…I really mean it. It would take me days to make a chronological timeline of this story, and its already been written. Schwab had to do the reverse. Or maybe even wrote it fractured from the get-go, and had to really focus on keeping it consistent. I have no doubts that the plot is air-tight. Sometimes stories like these fail to keep up with format, but Schwab does it so well.
Vicious is incredibly well-written, twisty, dark and so not for the faint of heart. If you can handle a messy battle between two people who are irredeemingly bad, then you should read this. Or if you just have a respect for the craft of writing, then this book is worth it. Schwab is a creative genius.