Victor and Eli were college roommates, determined to find a correlation between near death experiences and superhero-like powers. When an experiment during their research goes awry, it sets the stage for a confrontation that’s 10 years in the making. When Victor, a decade older, breaks out of prison in search of his former friend he discovers that Eli is now working with another woman to rid the world of those with extraordinary abilities. With the help of a couple of companions Victor plots a way to catch Eli’s attention and put a stop to his misguided mission.
Wow. I knew the premise sounded good but WOW. This being the first book I’ve read by Schwab, I wasn’t sure what to expect with her writing style but I am absolutely a fan now. Right off the top, Vicious reminded me of a mix between This Dark Endeavour, and The Raven Boys. The protagonists are well-off boys who have a preppy bit of arrogance to them. Told in various stages of flashbacks, leading up to the main event, it was a fantastic format of storytelling. Starting from 10 years ago to 2 days ago, the readers are able to see what made these two men who they are, giving some carefully-planned and appropriately-timed revelations to what’s going on in the more-present day.
Vicious is Schwab’s first adult novel and, to be completely honest, I hadn’t realized it was Adult Fiction until about 1/3 of the way through. The cover is fantastic, but it certainly gives a more YA impression. The style of the narrative also has a bit of a YA feel to me. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is about it that made me think it was YA for a good chunk of the book, perhaps it was the college-age protagonist (which, in that case, would technically make it New Adult rather than Young Adult).
That being said, it didn’t detract from how I enjoyed the book whatsoever. It’s an extremely well-plotted read with some fantastic twists and plot points. Highly recommended for fans of super heroes or a good bro vs bro type story. So addictive. So good.