As soon as I saw Vicious, I knew I had to have it. See, I’ve reviewed books for eight years. But, never have I reviewed a book that started with V. It was the one of two letters (the other being J) missing from my review archive. For months, I had been trying to fill that tiny, infuriating gap, and in a second I had a solution.
I like V. E. Schwab. She consistently turns out fun, reliably predictable fantasy novels easy to read in one sitting, like This Savage Song. Vicious was no different.
Vicious alternates between two timelines: The first is the story of two college roommates working on their thesis projects. The second is told ten years later, one roommate in prison plotting his former friend’s death, the other roommate traveling throughout the country, doing what he thinks is good. The tension between the pair is electric as the story leads up to the question on the lips of everyone in the story: what really happened that night everything went wrong?
“The moments that define lives aren’t always obvious. They don’t scream LEDGE, and nine times out of ten there’s no rope to duck under, no line to cross, no blood pact, no official letter on fancy paper.
I’ve been on a superhero kick recently, so I absolutely loved Vicious. Schwab’s writing is cinematic and compelling, but even better is her collection of secondary characters. From an escaped convict, a back from the dead dog, to a pair of seriously messed up sisters, the backbone of the novel is its characters and Schwab has made sure to flesh them out.
If you’re a sucker for an antihero or a classic case of blurred lines between good and evil, you’ll love Vicious. And even better- after a five year hiatus you can finally pick up its sequel, Vengeful, in October.