Friday, May 22, 2015

Vicious by Victoria Schwab [Joint Review!]

4 out of 5 Robots!

Vicious By Victoria Schwab
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release: September 24, 2013
Hardcover:  364 Pages
Publisher: Tor
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon & Julia

Book Summary:
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?  (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Julia & Shannon: Joint Review!

1. In a sentence or two, tell me what you think
Shannon: I loved the exploration of the hero vs villain myth.  What makes a hero?  What makes a villain?  But I do wish I felt more connected to the story.  It took awhile for me to get into it.
Julia: Wasn't sure what to expect from Vicious, I didn't even read the summary before picking it up. It was a little drawn out, but the story is really intriguing and I loved how intricately the lives of the characters intertwined. The characters and blurry line between good and bad fascinated me.
2. What was your favorite part?  What was your least favorite part?
Shannon:  My favorite part was watching all the parts click together and all the characters converge on each other.  Since this book jumps around in time quite a bit, it is hard to tell where it is all going.  But the pay off was pretty great at the end.  I loved the last line.  My least favorite part was probably Eli.  I just did not understand his ideology or his righteousness.
Julia: The ending, the last few chapters. When everything clicks, and exactly like Shannon said, the last line! AH! Nailed it. It made all those drawn out chapters in the beginning worth it. Least favorite part.... I didn't really have one, just didn't like how drawn out some parts were. Sometimes I was like, do I really need to know this part of his past?
3. What did you think of the characters?
Shannon:  Well, see above for my thoughts on Eli.  I "got" Victor a little more, but I do tend to like anti-heroes a lot.  I have to say my favorite character was Sydney thought.  She is a 13 year old girl with her own abilities and a tragic past.  Her sister, Serena, is also a great character and she is super creepy.  
Julia: I loved Victor. He's mysterious and bad, but good and it takes you awhile to figure him out. Eli is annoying in his "quest," but a necessary character. Sydney is so three dimensional, I really felt like her character portrayed her true age. That doesn't happen often in young adult novels. And yeah, Serena is scary. 
4. It is pretty clear that both of the main characters are not exactly heroes.  Are they villains?  Or just anti-heroes?  
Shannon:  I loved the murky morality here.  On one hand you have Eli who firmly believes in his ideology and sees himself as the hero of his story.  He believes he is protecting people and has a divine duty to get rid of people with ExtraOrdinary abilities.  So while he is doing a horrible thing, he completely believes in his morality.  Victor, on the other hand, does not care about his morality but it could be argued that is less of a villain in this story than Eli.  I have feelings on who the "real" villain is in the story, but I don't want to give anything away!
Julia: Nothing is black and white here! We've got these two main characters, and you can see them both as villains or good guys, depends on how you want to look at it. But it's gray and blurry and keeps you guessing the entire time. Keeps the story rolling!
5. How did you feel about the treatment of EOs (ExtraOrdinary)?
Shannon:  I thought it was an interesting concept that you are granted ExtraOrdinary abilities after a Near Death Experience.  I loved that the powers were tied to a person's final thoughts/wishes when they experience their NDE.  But I do wish it was a little more fleshed out.  It seemed like there were a lot of people having NDEs.  And that seemed odd to me.  
Julia: I've never read a book where near death experiences give you a superpower based on your last wishes or thoughts. So this was a fresh take for me, and I couldn't be more satisfied. I love dark superheros and comics, and that's what it felt like to me. The way they "arrived" at the discovery is pretty cool too. Don't try this at home folks! :)  
6. How did this book compare to A Darker Shade of Magic?
Shannon: I didn't quite like this one as much as A Darker Shade of Magic, which was probably one of my favorite reads this year so far.  I didn't understand or connect to the characters quite as much. And it took me a lot longer to get into Vicious.  But the writing is still very very good, so I can't complain too much!
Julia: They're totally different reads, so I can't really compare them other than saying the writing is done well in both and I highly recommend you reading both. But they don't have the same feel, which I am pumped on. Both books are SO good! 
7. What would you rate this?  Who would you recommend it to?
Shannon: I think I would rate this 4 stars.  I think comic book fans would enjoy this one, especially if you like your "heroes" dark. 
Julia: 4.5 stars. Dark and well written... If you don't mind your books not having romance, or you prefer that, read thisssss!!!

1 comment :

  1. I haven't read any Schwab yet, not even ADSOM. I am hoping A Darker Shade of Magic will be an ebook special after Christmas. I haven't looked to see if any of her early books are more in my price range. From all of the reviews I have read she seems like an author I can get into. This book with its "murky morality" sounds interesting. Thanks again for another well done dual review. :)



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