Rating: 5 stars
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 archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
10th January 2014
Re-released: 29 May 2018
Wow! There is no other way to start this review that would fully sum up my love for this book. This is the third V.E. Schwab book I read and honestly it was extraordinary. The premise was absolutely fascinating, the characters were amazing and I just adored this book so much. I cannot wait to read Vengeful which is being released later this month (25th September 2018), I am so ready to be back in this amazing world!
To start, the premise of this book was absolutely fascinating! The idea of near-death-experiences being the cause of someone becoming extraordinary and developing abilities really intrigued me and drew me in right from the beginning. On top of that, the structure of the book made me not want to stop reading, it starts with Victor driving away from prison, and there is no information as to why he was in prison or anything leading up to that point, so straight away it becomes unputdownable as there is already an element of mystery.
I think my favourite storyline in this book was when we followed Victor and Eli in college, when they were working out how to become extraordinaries. That was so gripping and honestly I would read another full novel just about their college years together! I think I specifically liked this part as they are both extremely intellectual people and everything they try or theorise is based on science, it isn’t just two silly teenagers trying to do something cool and become superheroes. As someone who loves science and has actually studied science to a relatively high level I always enjoy a book based on factual science, I become far more invested and can be much more involved with the plot, and this is a great example of one of those novels.
The plot overall was also fantastic, it followed multiple different paths at once but never got confusing at all which requires great skill to write! I love multiple perspective novels or books that switch between time settings and this one is one of the best examples of that that I have found so far. It also added a great layer of mystery to the whole book as there was a lot you didn’t know about the characters until quite late in the novel, but I loved this! I kept coming up with different theories and ideas all the way through this book, and it isn’t until just before the final action when you know all the information and so could become fully immersed in that final section!
I was so invested in this story right from the start, and I am still far more invested than I should be considering I finished the book over a month ago now! (Can you tell you I am absolutely dying to read Vengeful?) As well as the main plot following Victor and Eli and their feud, I loved all the little side plots, specifically Sydney’s backstory! She was such an interesting and adorable character, and her backstory added even more to that! *SLIGHT SPOILER* Also, I love how she basically spends the whole book with a supervillain, and yet totally has Victor wrapped around her little finger! He also cared greatly about her, which gave him a fantastic sense of humanity and made it so much easier to empathise with him throughout the novel. *SPOILER OVER*
As is to be expected of V.E. Schwab, the writing in this novel was absolutely amazing! I have always enjoyed her writing but this was quite different from the other books of hers I have read! This is probably due to the fact that this is considered an adult book whereas the others I have read of hers are middle-grade and YA, so the writing in this was probably more sophisticated. But whatever the reason, I loved the writing in this novel so much! And as I have mentioned many times already, I am so excited to jump straight back into this world with Vengeful later this month!
So overall, in case you couldn’t tell, I absolutely loved this book, and would definitely recommend it to every single person out there! No matter what genres you enjoy this has enough of everything and is such a spectacular book that you will probably love it as much as I did!
– Maddie Browse