Vicious by V.E. Schwab is one of those books that I could read in a single sitting, but I didn’t, because I wanted to make it last. And I still haven’t finished it, so no spoilers in the comments!
Vicious is the closest I’ve ever seen anybody come to creating a superhero novel. (Though I’m sure there’s a lot out there I haven’t read.) But unlike most comic books, I’m 90% of the way in and I still don’t know who is the hero and who is the villain. And I love that moral ambiguity. Those shades of gray in a character are what I really strive to write, so when I come across someone who pulls it off so masterfully, I can’t help but applaud.
The book also layers past and present together so skillfully that I was never disoriented by the skips in time, but rather felt like the whole narrative wove together just as it should.
The only criticism I really have is that I feel like the setting itself could have been developed more. There was so much potential to create something like Gotham, but instead what I got was a sleepy college town. It worked, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book, but it felt like a missed opportunity.
If you love super villains and are not averse to violence, you should definitely pick up Vicious. I’m dying to finish it, but making myself wait, because I don’t want it to end.
What will I read next? I honestly don’t know. I mean, I have a list about a mile long, but usually I just pick up whatever catches my eye. I know Vicious has a sequel out now, so maybe that? I’ll keep you posted!
Buy Vicious on Amazon or wherever you get books.