Vicious by V.E. Schwab is the at times gruesome tale of how two friends, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, become enemies and the villains. It starts with a thesis about ExtraOrdinaries, people with super powers. It jumps back and forth from 10 years in the past at university to present day when they are enemies.
It almost seems that Victoria Schwab’s writing was made for this kind of otherworldly or supernatural story. I think I would truly read her grocery lists. It is smooth and concise but still extremely interesting. It just flows.
The third person perspective and multiple points of view give insight into many complex and compelling characters, which works well when working with a cast of especially flawed characters. This is a story that cannot take time to learn about more minor characters, so the way perspective jumps from different characters is a perfect way to develop them while also moving the story along.
In the vein of flawed characters, this novel is all about anti-heroes. Stories of anti-heroes are so rare where romantic literature is the standard. I found it so interesting how my opinion of Victor and Eli changed so drastically when reading from the perspectives with a 10 year gap. I was so conflicted and had no idea who to root for, which is why I love stories of anti-heroes so much. They’re so unpredictable, and this one did not fall short.
The only reason I cannot give this book 5 stars is because I enjoyed the first half of the book considerably more than the second half. I think the novelty of finding out how the two anti-heroes got the way they was much more interesting than finding out how their story actually ends. The second half of the novel was interesting and I wanted to keep reading, just not as much as the first half. The ending, though, makes up for this and did shock me just one last time.