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Vicious Paperback – 10 Jan 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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 (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently read the author's newer novel, A Darker Shade of Magic, and enjoyed it without being overwhelmed. I'm generally less interested in superheroes and villains than fantasy worlds, but I was intrigued to see what else she'd written, so decided to give this a go, and actually ended up preferring it. It offers two interesting main characters, both of whom are well developed and broadly believable, and both of whom tread a good line between hero and villain. It's also a clever and surprisingly realistic pseudo-scientific depiction of how people could gain superpowers and what living with them might be like. It has the intriguing idea that superpowers result from near-death experiences, and that the powers relate to what the person was thinking at the time they died/came back, which results in some interesting powers. It was fast moving, kept my guessing and had an well-executed dual timeline.
On the downside, there were some far too convenient plot devices (notably main characters coming across secondary characters with the exact right power at the exact right time) and while it toyed with the idea of there being a very fine line between hero and villain, it was very clear which of the two protagonists we were meant to cheer for.
Overall then, a fun and different read that's definitely worth a look, but that didn't blow me away. i'd give it 3.5 if that were possible.
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By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Nov. 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Victor and Eli are at university together. As part of their studies they start looking at people who have developed extraordinary/super human abilities and what might have caused this. They find a way that may develop these abilities in themselves and Eli tries it first - their relationship will never be the same again and Victor will spend the next few years in prison. Released, he finds himself on the road with his cellmate and searching for Eli to revenge himself on the man who used to be his friend.

This is an excellent story told in a non-chronological manner as we learn bits about how the abilities were developed, what happened to put Victor in prison and what is happening in the present as he pursues Eli. I never felt confused and I thought that the author gave you just enough information at the right times to understand what was happening. The author includes aspects of different points of view including that of a young woman, Sydney, who joins the group. Victor is the main character but he isn't always right and some of his motivations are a bit shady including the revenge aspect. This enhanced the book for me because he seemed very real. Eli seemed the weakest character to me and I didn't really understand why he behaved the way that he did - it didn't seem to ring true.

This was a book where I had to put myself totally in the hands of the author. It was impossible to predict what might be going to happen next and I found myself absorbed in the story. The story ends neatly but I do wonder if it is going to be the first in a series. I would be interested to see how things develop from here.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Where to start it's not that it was bad exactly it just didn't live up to my expectations, I came into this after reading This Savage Song which I adored by the way! And was expecting the same kind of excitement which I'm sad to say just wasn't there. One thing I really did like though was that the whole storybwaent told in order it started off with Sydney, Victor and Mitch in the graveyard and then 10 years into the past it was a cool way or telling a story and was something different I haven't read it done like that before. I have nothing bad to say about it though it just didn't live up to my expectations still planning on buying more of her books though because I adored the writing style!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book, I can't recommend it enough. Very clever story and superb characters. The concept of near death experiences leading to superhuman powers based on what you felt at the time of your near death experience is very clever. Sharp paced and fresh. All the characters are pretty messed up and it isn't entirely easy to work out who is the most evil until perhaps the end. For me a very refreshing different type of book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Victor and Eliot (Eli) are college students. Roommates and best friends, they are constantly competing with each other - whether it's to be top of the class, or for a girl. They have much in common - intelligence, arrogance, and a certain aloofness that holds them apart from their class mates.

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.
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