Vicious

VIcious - Victoria Schwab, V. E. Schwab **I received a 100 page preview of this book from Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge. As a result, I have only read the first 100 pages.

As a huge fan of [b:The Archived|10929432|The Archived (The Archived, #1)|Victoria Schwab|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1338729878s/10929432.jpg|15846509], I was incredibly excited to read Vicious. I quickly found that the only similarity between the two is the excellent, engaging writing that makes them unputdownable.

Vicious is very much a new adult/adult story told through alternating time frames. The present tells of Victor, an escaped convict, who is determined to get his revenge on his former best friend. In the past, Victor is a promising university student and his friendship with Eli is firmly intact. Their relationship is real and complicated, fluctuating between love, admiration, bitterness, and jealousy.

I loved the detailed biological explanation of how one can go about obtaining Extra-Ordinary abilities. The method of obtaining these abilities and the ways that Victor and Eli implement it makes getting bitten by a radioactive spider seem like a welcome alternative.

Ultimately, Vicious is a story about how the lines between superhero and supervillain aren't as black and white as comic books would like us to believe. It's about ambition and power, and how easily those can drive apart friendships. Beneath their smooth exterior the characters all have a hidden dark side, though these impulses are stronger for some than they are for others. It's a truly fascinating look at human nature that will make you look at "good guys" and "bad guys" much differently.

Hopefully the rest of the novel is as compelling as the first 100 pages. Whether it is or not, though, one thing is for sure: I can't wait to get my hands on a finished copy.

This review can also be found at The In-Between Place.