First book in the Villains series. Predecessor to Vengeful.
Recommend: It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Marvel or DC fan or don’t even like superheroes in general. This book isn’t about heroes – it’s about super-powerful, emotionally damaged, kind of psychotic villains. SO READ IT. :)
I had no idea that this book existed before a friend posted on social media that she was reading Vicious – she was talking about how the plot revolved around two college kids who turned into best friends and then into super-people and then turned into arch nemeses – a whole other level of messed up. So, of course I had to go buy Vicious. I am so glad I did.
Vicious is all the fantastic mutant powers you’ve ever wanted from an X-Men movie, combined with two semi-villains and one hell of a plotline.
Here is what I loved about the book: first of all, the teaming up of Victor (our anti-hero), Sydney (child who raises dead) and Mitch (hacker version of The Rock with a love for chocolate milk) was pure genius. They fit together, these three, and are as Sydney puts it are connected to each other because they have nowhere else to go. Schwab gives each of her characters a unique and deep personality, which makes me love these three even more so because I can clearly see each of their actions and understand why they do them.
Let’s take our anti-hero Victor for example, and compare him to his best friend turned enemy, Eli. Everything from the way Victor looks, to the way his power manifests (in the form of pain), just points to the fact that he is “the bad guy”. But, do his actions line up? Well, even after he was thrust into jail by his so-called best friend, Victor didn’t hurt a single guard or prisoner while he was in there. It would have taken him five minutes to leave a pile of dead bodies and simply walk out of the cell. Even though Victor’s power demanded him to hurt others and inflict pain, for a decade, Victor resisted – he didn’t do it.
EO’s, that is, people who went through a near-death experience and returned alive and gifted with a super power, also lose something of themselves in the process. If we judge from Victor and Eli’s thoughts, they find it hard to feel. Things like guilt, morality, consequences – Victor taught himself to feel these things, trained his mind to obey the rules like a guide book. This is how Victor knows that killing innocent people is wrong; Eli, on the other hand has lost his humanity all together. He’s completely delusional and mad and doesn’t even blink an eye before shooting someone.
What I find really ironic is this: Eli accused Victor of being an abomination when Victor first came to him as an EO. He said that a demon now lived under Victor’s skin and was controlling him. But, as I read Eli’s thoughts it seemed like the exact opposite! Eli listened to this inner voice in his head which told him to kill, torture etc. and gave him a sense of quiet after he murdered. I think he’s the one who has a demon inside of him.
|Victor, Sydney, Dol, and Mitch|
There was plenty of death (and returning from the dead) in this novel, the most satisfying of which I found was Serena’s. Serena was messed up. She had gotten both herself and her little sister killed, and had almost gotten Sydney killed again by bringing her to Eli. Her powers were downright scary, and this is why I’m glad Victor killed her when he did. This woman could have killed everybody on Earth with just one word from her mouth… and like Eli, she didn’t seem to possess enough of her humanity to not do that.
I can’t wait to read Vengeful, the next installment in this trilogy. For some reason, I have this very bad feeling that Victor is about to do something that he’ll regret. I want to know more about Eli’s past, this gaping hole he feels inside of him, and of course, what Victor, Mitch and Sydney now that Eli is in prison. I’m also hoping to see a lot more extremely powerful hero/villains again for me to rant over too ^______^