Vicious | A Review

Hiya!! I hope your day is going amazing. Today I’ll be reviewing Vicious by V.E. Schwab. It was definitely out of my comfort zone, so I really want to read more books like it. If you have any similar recommendations, send them my way. Anyways, enjoy!

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(Synopsis from 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?

Based on the synopsis, I wasn’t sure what I’d be in for. Luckily, I really enjoyed my time with Vicious! As the story progressed, I found myself constantly wanting to read on. The premise is just that unique. 

The main characters however, were a whole other story. While I was fascinated by Eli and Victor, they weren’t particularly likeable. They were extremely self-centered and did more harm than good. But then again, I don’t know if Eli and Victor were even meant to be likeable from the start. They’re both morally grey characters. This may sound bizarre, but Eli and Victor heavily resemble anime antagonists. I’ve never been able to make this comparison in other books, so it was quite intriguing. Furthermore, there was no character development at all. This led them to feel dull and unlikeable. 

“You don’t understand,” gasped Eli. “No one understands.”

“When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.”

V.E. Schwab, Vicious

In addition, the side characters were also very unique. Both Eli and Victor had allies who were related. Tween Sydney worked alongside Victor, while Sydney’s older sister Serena worked with Eli. I found this to be quite an interesting subplot as the two sisters were unofficial rivals throughout the story.

Moreover, the dialogue was done really well. It was gritty and full of wit. Which dare I say, is an awesome combination.

“The absence of pain led to an absence of fear, and the absence of fear led to a disregard for consequence.”
― V. E. Schwab, Vicious

The writing style was very distinctive. V.E. Schwab writes with such eccentricity and elegance, allowing their books to always be must-reads. Vicious is written in third person, but it feels like you’re reading a first-person novel. You can definitely feel the emotions the characters are experiencing as you read. Unfortunately though, I disliked the ending. Without giving away too much, it was very anti-climatic. 

Overall, I definitely enjoyed reading Vicious. It was unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and was incredibly gripping. If you love morally grey characters, urban fantasy, or superheroes, then I highly recommend this one!

Age Rating: 15 and up

Trigger Warnings: Violence

Overall Rating: 8/10 or 4 out of 5 stars


Have you read any of V.E. Schwab’s novels? Have a great day!

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  1. Great review Saniya ❤️ Eccentric and elegant is such a perfect way to describe V. E. Schwab’s writing!! I’ve been wanting to try out more of her work after loving the Shades of Magic trilogy, so it was great to hear what you thought of Vicious! 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you abby! ❤ Oo I'll have to check out the shades of magic series as well. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I’m biased because I absolutely LOVED Vicious and its sequel Villains and I would love to return to this unique world and these characters. Victor and Eli are the characters who made me learn to appreciate unlikeable protagonists 😂 They’re morally grey, I would probably hate them IRL, but I also love both of them for different reasons. Maybe that’s just Schwab’s magic lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes definitely agree with you on Victor and Eli hahaha. I’m glad you love her books, I hope to read more from her too! ❤


  3. The amount of time I’ve been meaning to get into V.E. Schwab’s work! So many people absolutely love it, and I literally have a signed copy of one of the books, so it is high time I read it 😅 Great review Saniya, it’s always a pleasure to hear what you think of books 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh a signed copy? that’s so cool! Their work is very unique, so I def recommend Vicious. I’d love to know what you think when you read it too! Aw thank you so much Cherry, you’re so sweet ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Suhani says:

    Ooh I’ve wanted to read this book for AGES! Loved reading your thoughts on it!💗✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh hope you love it!! and thank you suhani ❤


  5. Anoushka says:

    Aah I’ve been wanting to start V.E. Schwab books for AGES now, but for some reason i never do? love this review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i feel like i never know what to expect in v.e schwab books, so i def relate to not picking them up all that often. Their writing style is so unique, so i do recommend Vicious. and thank you Anoushka!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been considering revisiting this book because after the sequel, it made me nostalgic for Vicious again. Victor and Eli made me realize I love good antiheroes, enjoyed reading your thoughts Saniya!


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