4.2 (106,107 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 arch nemeses have set a course for revenge-but who will be left alive at the end?
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 162.56 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 680.39g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0765335344
  • 9780765335340
  • 47,587

Review quote

Entertainment Weekly's 27 Female Authors Who Rule Sci-Fi and Fantasy Right Now

"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
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About V. E. Schwab

VICTORIA "V.E." SCHWAB is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including the acclaimed Shades of Magic series, This Savage Song, Our Dark Duet and Vicious. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured in the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post and more, translated into more than a dozen languages, and has been optioned for television and film. When she's not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, she splits her time between Nashville, TN and Edinburgh, Scotland and is usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.
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Rating details

106,107 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 45% (48,118)
4 36% (38,202)
3 14% (14,993)
2 3% (3,501)
1 1% (1,293)

Our customer reviews

My first thought when finishing this story was, "When is the movie coming out?". Reading Vicious was like a cinematic experience and I could easily visualize each person, feel the suspense and intensity in each scene, and know, without a doubt, that I would watch this on the big screen and love it. It was a fantastic novel with amazing character development and well-executed shifts in the timeline that enhanced the story instead of causing confusion. Also, the alternating points of view made it that much more captivating and had me hanging on to every word. You get to know the bad guy, the not-quite-as-bad guy (no heroes here), and the characters who are caught in the middle of their decade-long feud. I began the story thinking that I was reading from the villain's point of view, but along the way discovered that none of the characters in Vicious are in black or white. They all fall into a gray category mostly because the EOs (ExtraOrdinarys) seem to have something vital missing. They're not entirely the people they were before. It was a concept that was just as intriguing as the EO's method of creation. Schwab did a wonderful job weaving this story together and I would love to read more novels set in this world. If you're a fan of fantasy and mystery who enjoys complex stories with complicated characters, then Vicious is a more
by Misty Boyd
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