13638125by V.E. Schwab (Victoria Schwab)
Fantasy / Science Fiction
4 of 5 stars

This book blew up in my social media feeds a few months ago as if it just came out, but in actuality this is from 2013. The author recently sold a sequel to it, and I’m very excited about that! I wasn’t sure if this would be my cup of tea, but as it turns out I couldn’t put it down. Aside from a slight lull in tension about halfway through, I couldn’t wait to unravel the characters’ connections and see what happened next. This was like a superhero blockbuster movie with better dialogue and more planning. The writing is visual and sharp, and although I think some more time could have been spent on character development, I really don’t have anything to nitpick.

Victor Vale and Eli Cardale were college roommates with a penchant for scientific discovery and aspirations for greatness. When they decide to see if near death experiences could result in giving someone superhuman abilities, they immediately test their theory themselves–and find out they are right. But while Victor rejoices in learning that humans can be capable of so much more, Eli is convinced their abilities mark them as unnatural and against God. Obviously, when they can’t reconcile their opinions, mayhem ensues.

I went into this thinking that it was a villain’s origin story, but Victor and Eli are both painted in shades of gray, and this made it so much more enjoyable. Their interactions with everyone around them, whether normal or ExtraOrdinary, are riveting, as are the plans for their showdown. If anyone remembers the TV show “Heroes” (or this year’s reboot, “Heroes: Reborn”), this is what that show tries and fails to do–showcase people with unique abilities as they encounter obstacles to their existence. It’s just that unlike that show, this book is easy to follow. I highly recommend this and can’t wait for the sequel!

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Vicious is available on Goodreads and on Powell’s store website, here. Powell’s has several locations in Oregon, and is one of the largest independent bookstores in the country. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • The Young Elites by Marie Lu – When the blood fever sweeps through the continent, it leaves hundreds of marked children in its wake, and some of these children possess startling new powers. Adelina discovers her own when she runs away from her abusive father, and she is not going to let anyone else hurt her. See my review here.
  • The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – In a world where clairvoyance is both rampant and illegal, Paige Mahoney navigates London’s underworld as she tries to assemble the voyants to fight back against the totalitarian regime. See my review here.
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – This does take the leap into space but it has a similar narrative style and it’s a suspenseful story about one boy finding out if he is destined to save the world–or hasten its destruction. See my review here.
  • The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski – Kestrel becomes trapped in the empire’s plots as she tries to both keep her father alive through the war and aid her lover’s country behind the emperor’s back. See my review here.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. Ashleigh Wilson
    Oct 29, 2015 @ 03:07:26

    I read and reviewed this not long ago and rated it very similarly to you! I loved how there was no clear bad guy, and you just sort of made up your mind who’s side you’re on 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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