Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Book Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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BOOK review
Started on: 11 April 2019
Finished on: 20 April 2019

Title: Vicious
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
Pages: 393 pages / 366 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2013
Price: Rp 180,000 (https://www.periplus.com/)

Rating: 5/5
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"ExtraOrdinary. The word that started—ruined, changed—everything."
Victor Vale and Eli Cardale are college roommates. During their senior year, they both share an interest in researching a supernatural event that reveal a possibility of someone developing extraordinary abilities after they survived a near death experience. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. And years later, Victor is determined to catch up to his friend-turned enemy, and set a course for revenge.

"Ten years was a long time. A decade could shape a man, change everything about him. It had changed Victor. What about Eli? Who had he become?"
"If Eli really was a hero, and Victor meant to stop him, did that make him a villain?"
This book is so FRICKIN' GOOD! It's been quite a while since I felt this way about a book! I was always excited to pick it up and continue reading, dying to know how it's going to end! At first I was a bit worried because this book used to be so hyped up when it was released back in 2013 (I know I'm so late but I finally read it in the end 😂); but apparently, this book is worth all the hype! Even though this is my first time reading a book by V.E. Schwab, I instantly enjoyed her writing style and also the flow of the story. Reading this book almost felt like watching an action-packed movie; I was always on the edge of my seat and was constantly mind-blown by all the crazy plot twists. If you're into a dark anti-hero story with a hint of fantasy in it, you should give this book a try. It's seriously so so good. I don't know why I didn't read this book sooner 😂.
"Life—the way it really is—is a battle not between Bad and Good, but between Bad and Worse." — Joseph Brodsky
"The calm troubled him; the fact that the physical absence of pain could elicit such a mental absence of panic was at once unnerving and rather fascinating."
There are multiple timelines in this book, alternating between the past and present—indicated at the beginning of each chapter. It might be confusing at the start—especially because the story unfolds the mystery slowly one at a time—but once I'm completely invested in the story, it's not that difficult to understand. The multiple timelines make it so much more intense because the author kept some things concealed for the first half of the story, leaving a lot of questions unanswered as we witness the events during the present day. But don't worry, it all makes sense in the end. And each time something is revealed, it got me even more excited to know what's going to happen next!

Aside from the unpredictable plot (which keeps me curious until the end), I also love the characters A LOT! 🥰 No character is inherently good in this book, each have a personal agenda of their own. But V.E. Schwab crafted these characters so beautifully, allowing us to get into each character's past and understanding the events that have made them that way. Victor Vale, the main character, gives off a dark vibe right from the start, especially with his hobby blacking out books and leaving out words that delivered the message he wanted. I believe that at the root Victor is just envious of his friend-turned-enemy, Eli Cardale. So I think Victor's revenge is not just about bringing justice to Eli's self-righteousness, but also for his own pride in bringing Eli down. There are several supporting characters that also play a big role in the story: Mitch—Victor's cellmate/hacker who broke out of prison with him, Sydney and Serena Clarke—sisters who survived a near death experience and each have incredible powers of their own (I'm not going to spoil their powers because the revelation was quite epic and left my mouth hanging open). I have to admit that I love every single character in this book despite their crazy antics and twisted personalities. I'm torn between Victor and Mitch as my favorite character. I love Victor because he's smart and tricky (I think his character fits the title 'Vicious'); but I also love Mitch because he's the only one without any superpower but he's done so much to help Victor accomplish his mission. Let's just say they're both my favorites 🥰
"Perhaps he should feel responsible for unleashing a monster on the world, for the bodies that monster left in his wake..."
"The Victor that he knew was dead, replaced by something cold and vicious. A twisted, violent version of himself."
The multilayered-plot is very well-written in this book. Reading this story feels like putting together puzzle pieces one by one, each one bringing a new revelation that adds depth to the story. V.E. Schwab built the story up really nicely from the beginning towards the climax—the final showdown. It was really intense and all the plot twists got me good! I know I should be able to predict what's going to happen next because of the superpowers they possess, but I guess I'm just too invested in the story and did not think that far while reading 😂. I especially love the ending! Of course I'm not going to spoil anything, but that ending scene is so epic that it made me smile and closed the book feeling completely satisfied.

Overall, this book was a really fun and exciting to read! Definitely a page-turner because once I got back to reading, I didn't want to stop. The story itself is quite dark and gory, I guess that's why it is categorized as an adult book—but there's nothing too graphic that made me feel grossed out or anything like that. I found out V.E. Schwab released a sequel to this book, and it has pretty good reviews! I'll be sure to read that one soon because this book is just so so good!
"I died begging for the strength to survive, and it was granted. But it's a trade, Professor, with God or the devil, and I've paid for my gift with the lives of my friends. Every EO has sold a part of themselves they can never have back."
"Even though we come back, something stays dead. Lost. We forget something of who we were. It's scary and wonderful and monstrous."
 
by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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