Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vicious Book Review

Rawr Reader,

   I wasn't pulled toward this book at first, but after several months I just wanted to read a new book from her since I love her writing and didn't want to wait until The Unbound in January, so as time came closer and closer to its release, I realized I actually am excited for this book and really do want to read it. So here it is, my review for Vicious by V.E. Schwab. The synopsis is provided by Goodreads:

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?

    I'm a huge fan of this amazing author's writing and first discovered her through The Archived.

(safe for those who haven't read this book)
   I found the pacing a little uneven at first, taking me about 150 pages to really get into the story (while the story wasn't dreary, I felt it too weighted in the past than the present.)
  But something I absolutely loved about Vicious was the development of our characters backstories and their development over the course of the novel (particularly our protagonist duo: Victor and Eli). I won't spoil their intentions and who's bad and who's good, because if you look at this externally, no one is really good, but they remind me a lot like A Song of Ice and Fire characters. You start off having these feelings toward these characters but then they shock you by revealing their true selves, but then they trick you again and again and you're like, are you good-bad or bad-bad?? Ahhh! Hehe. Okay, maybe not that dramatic but I loved this journey with our protagonists, especially Victor (probably because we start off from his POV) and all the other characters we learn to care about. 
   Now I know that Schwab has repeatedly mentioned that Vicious is an adult book and not a young adult book, I felt that it did have a little of the air of one. A good third of this book takes place in the final year in college-- and while this isn't what most consider "young adult" having a set of 16 year old protagonists, I still think that's more young adult than adult. While granted, there's plenty of obscenity and action and detailed violence that makes this I guess more adulty and for more "mature" readers, but I'd still suggest younger readers check this out.
    Something that I love the most to see in books and movies is the chemistry of brothers and sisters, or any siblings, or two friends who become like siblings. So when I read more and more of Victor and Sydney's bond, I found their scenes together more enjoyable than the Victor/Eli scenes or any other ones. 
    One of my favorite parts of this book is the setting. Like The Archived, the story takes place in a contemporary world but in a fictional city/university. I don't really have much to say other than that I really liked this because whenever authors describe settings based off of real locations and cities, I can't really connect with the atmosphere since I haven't been there. However when the setting is unfamiliar and new to everyone, I'm on the same page and can create this place with my characters. This new world will be a equal in realism as my fictional characters and in a fast, action-packed book like this one, I need everything to have the same weight and equality in realism.
   And I won't say how, but this book did remind me of some movies, particularly The Prestige and X-Men. So I guess if you like those movies or like comic books, I think you'd really enjoy it.
   But this story is very unique, much like her other works are, and I highly recommend. Of course! ^^
I give this book 5/5 stars.

Also I got these wicked awesome trading cards several weeks back and I need to share them. :)

Author's Quote:
“There are no good men in this game.” 
― Victoria Schwab, Vicious

My Goodreads:

Next To Read:
Fangirl by Rainboy Rowell

River Song's Spoilers:
(unsafe for those who haven't read this book yet, so don't read this section)
   While I did very much enjoy this book, I did have problems with it. Pacing for one, it took my about 150 pages to start getting into the meat of the story. Second was the predictability of several of the characters. I predicted Angie would die in the beginning (as for why Victor and Eli would be budding heads still 10 years later-- which reminded me of The Prestige but with superpowers), I predicted Eli would be this boyfriend who tried to kill Sydney, and I predicted Mitch was going to die for standing in the crossfires at least once. What makes it so predictable I feel is the fact that there aren't many characters to begin with, and with how the majority of these characters seem to die, it was only the questions of matter of time and their role in the book.
   Okay, Mitch is one of my favorite characters, and the fact that I was so deeply relieved he survived the two murder attempts against him shows how much I love him. This guy can't catch a break, always getting judging looks from everyone just because he's big and tatted and has been in prison once or twice or maybe a couple more times... My point is, don't judge a book by it's cover. Also, I love the relationship he builds with Sydney, I love when characters that are in no way related to each other show brotherly/sisterly devotion. Not every character in each book doesn't have to be seeking romance with every acquaintance they make, and I love how Sydney is able to find this friendship with Victor and Mitch.
   While Mitch taught me not to judge a book by its cover, and Sydney taught me not to doubt the strength in a young female character (which technically I didn't since The Archived I know Schwab does a fantastic job at creating strong female characters), Victor and Eli show readers that like Mitch we shouldn't judge our characters by their external features/pasts but by their actions. While Victor begins the story with the "villain" personality while Eli arises as the "hero," as the story continues, we see that these roles slowly reverse. And while they both don't completely do a one-eighty, we see that they both come do begin to become the villain/hero the other was meant to be. 

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel

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