Bear with me here, this is a tricky book for me to review. Well written, excellent pacing, and a great protagonist. This action packed space adventure starts with a knife fight and the heroine is an assassin. Basically, this is the kind of book I'm likely to give all of the stars to, but in this case I can't.
Sadly, the plot revolves around a false rape accusation. I knew that going in, because it's spelled out in the cover text, the girl "claims" she's been raped. I appreciate the warning, as if I hadn't been expecting it, this book would have just been deleted when I got to that reveal.
I even think Ire handles this well in terms of how all the characters interact with this knowledge. But I am so done with "bitch made it up" as a narrative element. Rape is lazy as a plot device and this is even lazier - all the tension of a revenge story without having to even deal with trauma. Plus, here in the real world, where false accusations are rare, accusations of rape get women treated with suspicion and derision by society, and men can still be president.
Uh, aside from that. Pretty much an excellent book. The first few chapters are really insightful about addiction. The story is driven by a series of mishaps that allow for the introduction of interesting characters and world building.
The end feels pretty rushed, sadly. After the climactic scene, there's a lot of detail that gets crammed into exposition, which is kind of a let down after so much action. There's one large unresolved plot element, but I think this in intended to be a series. If it is, I'll probably read the next one. There's enough here that I liked, and surely the next book won't have this same issue.
I was going to give this book a solid 4.5 star but, after I had let the story sink in for a while, I gave it 5 stars instead. The more I let it mull in my brain, the more I want to do a re-read.
I loved the whole villain vs. villain with lots of revenge seeking mixed in. Honestly, I took to Victor, the main character, right away. I do not know what that says about me but I was in his corner the whole time. He is very much the anti hero trope that everyone roots for, kind of like Tony Soprano.
It was a entertaining easy read but without a lot of the fluff you normally get. The writing was simple, sometimes a little basic, in almost a YA type of style. But, it was really engaging. It sucks you in from the start. V.E. Schwab writing almost reminds me a bit of Stephen Kings, in that she has amazing ability to weave a story.
It is labeled as a fantasy but I would argue it is more magical realism. I hope they make it into a movie. In my mind, Victor looks almost like Voldemort.
There are no good men in this game
There is some thing about Vicious that is seriously a good vicious read. Sorry, maybe saying that does not sound right. Here's what I really want to say:
What a rush of adrenaline read! There is some thing that works in Vicious that really sets the standard of writing that, once again I may have used the same term, grab the reader at the beginning, spin the reader into a world of origin, purpose and revenge and hits you gasping for air just waiting... waiting to ask the question in mind - WHEN IS THE SEQUEL COMING?!?!?! 2018 IS A LONG WAY!!!
I want more Victor Vale! I want more Eli Cardale/Ever! These two are my favorite characters! They are arrogant, selfish and bad in their own way! Their intentions were unspeakable true and their philosophy are just so twisted! The antiheroes that think they are heroes - think Vin Diesel's Richard B. Riddick except scrawny!
What I love most - the characters introduced for every single chapter are memorable. They are filled with backgrounds, their motivation aims and their purpose. Every breath is given realistically, even to supporting characters - you just can't help but notice them. The setting description, the flow of the reading - it is just non-stop reading! Its almost perfect and finally, finding out that there's going to be a movie adaptation!!! They better set it right and find the right actors to play Victor (I hope its not Robert Pattinson) but seriously - I am drawn to this world that its what I always wanted to read (or even write) about people with extraordinary powers. It really made sense in the origin!
I would recommend this to anyone looking for any thing that hits you so good in the stomach after a meal and that you wish to come back more? Vicious is your book.
P.S.:- The characters, as the title states, are vicious in their own way too. Seriously, deliciously... vicious.