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Vicious

Schwab, Victoria (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Vicious
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"Victor and Eli started out as college roommates-- brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find-- aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge-- but who will be left alive at the end?" -- from publisher's web site.
Authors: Schwab, Victoria
Title: Vicious
Publisher: New York :, Tor,, 2013
Edition: First Edition
Characteristics: 364 pages ;,22 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Notes: "A Tom Doherty Associates Book."
Summary: "Victor and Eli started out as college roommates-- brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find-- aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge-- but who will be left alive at the end?" -- from publisher's web site.
ISBN: 0765335344
9780765335340
Statement of Responsibility: V. E. Schwab
Subject Headings: Heroes Fiction Ambition Fiction Great powers Fiction
Genre/Form: Occult fiction
Fantasy fiction
Paranormal fiction
Topical Term: Heroes
Ambition
Great powers
LCCN: 2013023963
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Mar 24, 2014
  • JCLGreggW rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Some folks have described this as a superhero novel, which it most definitely isn't even though I can can see how folks might get that idea. It does take some leads from comic book tropes, but the story this novel weaves is something very much its own. Eli and Victor are two brilliant young men in college together, obsessed about the possibility of the existence of ExtraOrdinaries - superhumans. They develop theories and push themselves to the limit testing on themselves. And, of course, something Goes Horribly Wrong, and the story picks up ten years later, with Victor out of jail on a murder rap and on the hunt, tracking down his former friend and partner, Eli, with revenge on his mind. There are shades of Reed Richards and Victor Von Doom here, but V.E. Schwab makes very clear that this is NOT a superhero world of clearly drawn good and bad guys - Eli is a dark and twisted individual, but Victor is just as twisted in his desire to put an end to he monster he helped create. A great take on the superpowered genre from adults and teens alike.

Mar 07, 2014
  • forbesrachel rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

ExtraOrdinary people exist. Not only do they exist, but they are created. Through scientific inquiry, Eli and Victor are able to become them themselves. Success breeds betrayal, and the two find themselves at odds, each trying to kill the other.

The author reveals the descent from their good relations to subsequent bad ones by jumping back and forth through time. Reasons for their actions are often withheld until later to keep our curiosity, especially since there are few supernatural battles. Neither has particularly flashy powers, so in the end, just like how it was the cause of all this, it comes down to wit, and the friends they make.

Most of the story is from Victor's point of view. Through his vision, we too see Eli as the bad guy. Whether he is actually a hero or not is irrelevant, so well does Victor present his version. Part two introduces Eli's voice, and through his explanation he regains some sympathy. His resolve to kill all EO's, regardless of guilt, means that we retain the initial impressions that Victor instilled though. His descent into his "god-given" mission further reaffirms this. While Eli rationalizes his murders, Victor is rational in his pursuit. He is no angel, and his grudge against Eli propels him to some awful acts.

With a logical approach the author establishes a much firmer hold to reality than most origin stories about super powers. Some say power corrupts, in this case it is more like the corruptible seek power, which then breaks what moral restraints they had. Between these two, it is a choice between evil, and greater evil

Dec 29, 2013
  • stephaniedchase rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Intelligent, fast-paced, and dark novel that asks the reader to decide what is good and evil. Brilliant.

Nov 03, 2013
  • VIveggie rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

What a unique little gem of a story!! So many interesting characters and I LOVE the premise of the novel. I even loved the 'bad guys' in this one!

Schwab nailed it with the characters It was like reading a graphic novel where the pictures are in your own head. Very Exciting. Loved it. Sydney was my absolute favourite for obvious reasons. The entire story could have been about just her and Serena and I would have enjoyed it just as much!

My only complaint is that there wasn't enough. I want to know the characters better, more of their backstories, and how they ended up where they were. Also, if I had these sort of gritty and dark superpowers, Id be doing a lot with them. The story just seemed cut too short for all the potential the characters had. Can we have more!?

I'd recommend this book to the superhero lovers in my life!

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