Vicious (Villains #1) (Paperback)
This review courtesy of Mary:
The first in a new series by venerated author V. E. Schwab (author of The Shades of Magic trilogy), Vicious dissects some of the themes prevalent in superhero mythology—such as good vs. evil, nature vs. nurture, and the concept of the anti-hero—through its two main characters, Victor Vale and Eli Ever. These two lonely college roommates share a morbid fascination with near death experiences and, after performing a series of experimentations, discover that one can obtain phenomenal abilities when exposed to the brink of death. How the two of them handle this revelation will change the course of both their lives—and the lives of every person they hold dear.
Heartfelt, riveting, and utterly original, Vicious establishes itself as an impeccable beginning to what promises to be an incredible series. I couldn’t put this book down!— Mary
A trade paperback repackage of New York Times bestseller V.E. Schwab's Vicious, a masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, and superpowers which will include:
*A new cover by Wil Staehle, cover artist of the iconic Shades of Magic trilogy covers
*Schwab's Tor.com short story set within the Vicious universe, "Warm Up"
*A teaser for the upcoming sequel, Vengeful
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?
In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn't automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.
"A dynamic and original twist on what it means to be a hero and a villain. A killer from page one…highly recommended!" —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Marvel Universe vs The Avengers and Patient Zero
About the Author
V. E. Schwab is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Shades of Magic series, as well as The Near Witch, The Archived, and Vicious. The product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing, Schwab has a penchant for tea and BBC shows, and a serious and well-documented case of wanderlust.
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"Fresh, merciless, and, yes, vicious. Wow." —Mira Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Newsflesh Trilogy
“Schwab's characters feel vital and real, never reduced to simple archetypes... In a genre that tends toward the flippant or pretentious, this is a rare superhero novel as epic and gripping as any classic comic. Schwab's tale of betrayal, self-hatred, and survival will resonate with superhero fans as well as readers who have never heard of Charles Xavier or Victor von Doom.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A fun, morally-flexible revenge tale...Vicious methodically ratchets up the tension as Victor and Eli circle each other for the inevitable kill.” —Daniel H. Wilson, NYT bestselling author of Robopocalypse
“Schwab gathers all the superhero/supervillain tropes and turns them on their sundry heads.... I could not put it down.” —F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of the Repairman Jack series
“Vicious is dark and intricate and daring, twisting back and forth through time and morality and life and death until you can't turn the pages fast enough. I loved it.” —Dan Wells, author of I Am Not a Serial Killer
“An epic collision of super-powered nemeses. The writing and storycraft is Schwab's own superpower as this tale leaps off the page in all its dark, four-color comic-book glory.” —Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds
“Utterly brilliant. Schwab takes the notion of superhero fiction and bashes it on its head...prepare to be thoroughly entertained.” —Jackie Kessler, coauthor of Black and White
“A noirish cross between the X-Men and 'The Count of Monte Cristo.' You won't be able to stop turning the pages.” —Alex Bledsoe, author of The Hum and the Shiver
“V.E. Schwab writes with the fiendish ingenuity, sardonic wit, and twisted imagination of a true supervillain.” —Greg Cox, New York Times bestselling author