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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The Dead and the Dark | An ARC Review

Hey everyone! I hope you’re doing well, and enjoying this lovely spooky season. Today I’ll be reviewing The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould. This book was definitely outside of my comfort zone, so I’m happy I received the opportunity to read it! Without further ado, here are my thoughts on it!

PS: Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

The Dark has been waiting for far too long, and it won’t stay hidden any longer.

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on.

Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his presence ever since. But now that the Ortiz-Woodleys are in town, his ghost is following her and the only person Ashley can trust is the mysterious Logan. When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness.

(Synopsis from goodreads)

I’m not going to lie, it took a while for the book to fully grasp my attention. The book was very complicating and repetitive at times. However, as the story progressed, I found myself becoming more and more enthralled!

The main characters Logan and Ashley are quite peculiar characters. They’re both morally grey, and you can never truly tell if they’re friends or not. But this only adds to the excitement you feel while reading The Dead and the Dark. Readers will never know if they’ll become close, or betray one another. In addition, Logan and Ashley’s parents are incredibly mysterious. This only adds to the eerie vibe of the story. Every character in the book has a story to tell, and it was such an amazing experience to see it all unravel.

In addition, the dialogue didn’t stand out to me. Since The Dead and the Dark is a mystery, I expected there to be more suspicious or nail-biting dialogue. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. 

On a more positive note, I adored the writing. While many scenes felt repetitive, the author described each setting a bit differently every time Ashley or Logan returned to that specific place. This was such a unique way to showcase the change in perspectives! 

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Overall, I really enjoyed The Dead and the Dark. It started off slow, but very quickly grasped my attention. I definitely recommend this novel for the fall season!

Age Rating: 15 and up

Trigger Warnings: Violence, death, drowning

Final Rating: 8/10 or 4 stars

⭐⭐⭐⭐

What’s a spooky book you adore? I’d love to know! Have an amazing day!

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