- Paperback: 353 pages
- Publisher: Titan Books (10 Jan. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1783290218
- ISBN-13: 978-1783290215
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Vicious Paperback – 10 Jan 2014
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"Supremely plotted and incredibly well-written." --The Independent <br \><br \> "Stark, cynical novel... urgent, insightful prose. Vicious? Yes, that certainly applies. We d also add dangerous and surprising." --SFX <br \><br \> "Vicious has been garnering much pre-publication praise, and rightly so: it's a brilliant exploration of the superhero mythos and a riveting revenge thriller." --The Guardian <br \><br \> "Schwab's artful chronology-bending plotting rivals that of any Iain Banks novel, and her writing is a sly, cynical treat. Vicious grungy spin on timeworn tropes." --Financial Times <br \><br \> "A dynamic and original twist on what it means to be a hero and a villain. A killer from page one... Highly recommended!" --Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author <br \><br \> "Schwab writes with the fiendish ingenuity, sardonic wit, and twisted imagination of a true supervillian - Greg Cox, New York Times <br \><br \> "Vicious is the superhero novel I ve been waiting for: fresh, merciless, and yes, vicious." --Mira Grant, New York Times bestselling author <br \><br \> "Schwab gathers all the superhero/supervillain tropes and turns them on their sundry heads... I could not put it down." --F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author <br \><br \> "Vivid, highly original, Vicious is a masterclass in storytelling, a superlative left-field take on familiar superhero tropes that is, quite simply, unmissable." --Adam Christopher, author of Empire State and The Burning Dark <br \><br \> "Vicious is a supremely clever, cruelly addictive thriller easily cloaked in the trappings of genre fiction whilst telling a stunningly powerful, wonderfully absorbing horror story of timeless archetypical passions whilst exploring the nature of heroism, villainy, friendship and family. A magnificent treat for all lovers of the dark fantastic…" -- --Comics Review
"Completely fresh and utterly timeless." -- --SF Crowsnest
"Vivid, highly original, Vicious is a masterclass in storytelling, a superlative left-field take on familiar superhero tropes that is, quite simply, unmissable." --Adam Christopher, author of Empire State and The Burning Dark
About the Author
V.E. Schwab is the author of The Near Witch, a Y.A. fantasy, as well as The Archived, the first book in an upcoming Y.A. supernatural series. This is her first adult book.
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Top Customer Reviews
Vicious looked the part; snappy, menacing title and hero-shot blacked out characters against a shattered red background. And it was written by a woman, which, in a field dominated by men, was cheering. The subject matter – people who gain extraordinary powers and the way in which they use them, is a well-worn trope, so I expected the novel to take it somewhere different. Sadly, this seemed to be a re-working of the main ideas from the TV series Heroes, but without the darkness: two people get supernatural powers, by dint of dying/being revived. Their powers are linked in some way to their deaths, which was quite a nice touch; but then we move into familiar territory as one of the men decides to get rid of anyone else with superpowers as his (although wrong in his eyes), are god-given and other people are just unnatural.
The author, it appears, has recently made the move from YA into adult fiction and to be honest, I felt it showed. Victor is an attempt, I would guess, to create a grown up, ambiguous character with whom it’s difficult to empathise. Trouble was, I didn’t really care enough to worry about not empathising with him – especially after encountering many other characters in novels with much more depth. Victor’s (and most of the other characters actually) main issue appeared to be over-privilege and absent parents (pretty much like many of Tartt or Fitzgerald’s characters) and we seemed to be invited to dislike him because he killed people.Read more ›
For his thesis, Eli chooses to investigate the existence of "ExtraOrdinaries" - EOs - people who have superhuman powers. Examining reported instances, Eli stumbles across a theory as to how an EO develops their ability. Sharing this with Victor, they begin to experiment, unable to resist the possibility of being more than human.
“I want to believe that there's more. That we could be more. Hell, we could be heroes.”
They are successful, but their experimentation has dire consequences...
Ten years later, Victor has been incarcerated and escapes from prison with a single aim - to take his revenge on Eli, who betrayed him.
Vicious jumps around in time between their days in college that set these events in motion, to the current day and Victor's mission to take his revenge. Victor has assembled a ragtag crew to help with his mission:
• Mitch - Victor's cell mate, and a computer hacker
• Sydney - a young girl, and another EO
• Dol - a dog that Sydney has rescued
The back stories of these characters are all laid out beautifully, without resorting to an info dump part way through the story - it blends in seamlessly, telling you all you need to know about those involved.
I really enjoyed Vicious. It's a brilliant, imaginative twist on the theme of superheroes, and an original idea. Unlike many novels featuring those with superhuman abilities, this isn't about good vs.Read more ›
What is the difference between hero and villain is something you will ask yourself constantly throughout the book. I asked myself several times which out of the two friends Eli and Victor was which. It is an answer that you could debate for hours after the book.
There is so much to like about this book it is hard to quantify them all. The fact the author that I believe is female is as addicted to marvel superhero's as myself. The short quick chapters that change timeframe and give you all the background on the characters. You just want to keep reading to see what has happened to these characters and how their lives develop. The character development of these characters is the real strength of this book. Not just the two lead characters but the supporting cast. They are all well developed and likeable flaws and all.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am definitely going to be looking for more from this author. If you like superhero's, good character development and a good story that is quick and easy to read then I must urge you to pick this up.
"Victor was the first to speak, and when he did, it was with an eloquence and composure perfectly befitting the situation."
10 years later, Victor breaks out of prison with his cellmate Mitchell Turner, determined to get revenge on Eli, who’s spent the last decade on a mission to kill other ExtraOrdinaries, aided by a beautiful woman called Serena who has ExtraOrdinary abilities of her own ...
V. E. Schwab’s first book for adults is a tightly plotted, original take on the superhero story that reads as X-MEN meets THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. There are no heroes in this novel – Victor and Eli are each deeply flawed people who rely on warped logic and personal vengeance to justify their behaviour. I really liked the way Schwab gives them each an ability that reflects their personality and how they learn to use those abilities against others. The grudge that exists between them is nicely sketched out and well mirrored by the relationship between the ExtraOrdinary sisters Sydney and Serena. I was less sold on Eli’s reasons for eradicating other ExtraOrdinaries because the quasi-religious rationale didn’t have a huge amount of build-up in his backstory with Victor (although Schwab’s writing just about carried me) and this equally applied to Serena’s reasons for working with Eli, which wasn’t helped by her flip-flop attitude to Sydney.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Honestly one of my favourite books of all time. All the character depth and sheer readability of YA fiction, but without the forced morality publishers tend to put on books branded... Read morePublished 15 days ago by T Webb
Couldn't finish. Plot and logic holes abound. Enjoyed the premise while it was readablePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
To start with there is so much packed into this 360 page book that it really took me by surprise. Even after hearing so many good things about this book I was completely taken... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Fall-out-book-nerd
A captivating and refreshing twist on the ever popular superhero trend. Schwab delivers a worthy addition to the genre with this exciting story that packs a punch and then... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jamie-Lee Turner
Review by Francesca
V. E. Schwab’s Vicious is a thrilling and immersing tale of betrayal and revenge. I raced through it. Read more
Book came slightly damaged but very happy and exited to readPublished 4 months ago by Pureheartreader
Brilliant, couldn't put it down! Flew through this book in two days.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Gritty novel with an unusual take on the modern superhero genre. Two very opposite people become best friends until it all goes wrong. Read morePublished 7 months ago by L.F. Warren