I’m a little scared to put this review on Goodreads thinking one of the fans of Schwab might find and stab me in my sleep!
But, I believe in diversity in reading, that’s one of the fun factors 🙂 First things first, I buddy read this book with my blogger friend Ova, and I’m so glad, because who would I rant to if not for her! Thankfully she felt the same about the book, and here you may find her RANT as well 🙂
We were both Schwab virgins, this being the first book. Everybody said it was going to be an amazing experience, 4-5 stars flying around. But, maaaan it hurt! If you got your coffee/tea and ready for my rant, here we go!
If you haven’t read it, it’s a superhero story. Victor and Eli are very successful students and best friends at college. In their last year, for their thesis, they choose similar subjects like effects of adrenaline, near death experiences, extraordinary people (if there are any). We go back and forth between past and present in the book. In the present time, we start from the point that Victor breaks out of prison after 10 years and he’s after Eli, old friends becoming major enemies. So, slowly we start to connect past and present and understand what happened in between. I realised Goodreads gives too much of the story in their blurb, so I won’t tell more at this point.
If you want to continue reading what I thought, there’s no way of doing it without spoilers, so after this point *****SPOILER ALERT*****
I must admit, Schwab’s writing was quite gripping at the beginning up until page 100-120. Although I was not a fan of the story and found too many flaws already, I still wanted to know what happened. But, she lost me about page 130 mark, and I couldn’t care more about anything, as the flaws were too many to count. I would like to do this in chronological order that happens in the book, so you can see why I had such a tough time making sense of it all:
Victor and Eli are almost cool nerds, being best friends, having good families, going to college with bright futures. And suddenly, one has an idea of ‘MAYBE’ if somebody has a near death experience and come back to life, they come with a super ability (an extraordinary person, EO). On a whim, Victor decides to kill himself and Eli needs to revive him and see if this is true. You DON’T decide on a whim to make an experiment like that, are you crazy?!!! Like, honestly, it took 3 seconds in the book. No research, no proper plan, no set up, nothing. Our friend ends up in hospital, saved from death luckily, and no superpower as well! Then, as if this won’t be a lesson to a remotely normal person, they decide to try this on Eli. Eli comes back from death because of Victor, who revived dead people all his life (not!!!) Eli finally has a power of healing himself from any damage. We don’t know why. This is never explained in the book, friends. People who has near death experiences come back with a super power, different ones for each. It’s never explained why this happens and why they have different powers. You need to be content with whatever information is given.
But, I’m thinking, we know why Superman or Spiderman became what they are. It’s explained to us. You can’t just go out and write whatever and expect us to take it as it is.
Then Victor gets pissed off that Eli has a power and he doesn’t. He wants to do another experience. I think this Victor is the bravest person I’ve ever read about. He walked into death without blinking, TWICE! Eli doesn’t help him, so he asks Eli’s girlfriend Angie to help and revive him. He supposedly has feelings for this girl, but she became Eli’s girlfriend. During the experience, somehow Victor comes back with his much wanted super power of not feeling pain if he wants, and by accident Angie dies! ‘Oh well’, says Victor, calls Eli and says ‘hey, your gf died, it was an accident, what can we do.’ Eli doesn’t do much as well. And because the two don’t care enough, the poor girl dies out of nothing. I’m sorry, but THIS IS RIDICULOUS. How come 2 people can become monsters, bad people of this extend, within the span of days??? Yesterday, I was in college, normal person, good friend. Today, I decided I don’t care about a girl who died, and also I can easily kill and revive myself twice. Also, I’m pissed off with my best friend because he got a super power before me!!!
Meanwhile, we get one page per chapter from the present when Victor escaped out of prison and trying to find Eli to take his revenge. Literally one page. Victor is with a girl whom he found on the side of the road one night, injured. Are you ready for the COINCIDENCE?
ELI shot this girl in the arm, while he was trying to kill her. And you want to know why? Here comes another COINCIDENCE. The girl and her sister had a drowning incident and the girl revived with her super power of raising dead people. This girl’s sister becomes friends with Eli, tells him about her power. Eli decides to kill her because he has a problem with EOs, he kills them all (don’t ask, I don’t know why). Eventually, her sister calls her to visit her in the campus, Eli shots her, but she escapes, then RUNS INTO Victor, who escaped from prison the same night. How handy, no? So, 4 of them nicely tie into a chase story, and at this point I decide I can’t take anymore of this book.
All in all, Vicious was a book with ordinary writing without an original subject, full of flaws, lack of explanations, set up or character development.
I know, this review is quite the opposite of how the majority of readers feel, but this is how I felt 🙂
Thanks a lot for stopping by and happy reading!