Vicious was so incredibly refreshing. It was everything I hoped it would be.
When the story opens, Victor and his buddies are digging up a grave. And their task has something to do with getting Eli's attention. As far as I'm concerned, a story that starts like that--death and mystery right from the start--skyrockets my expectations. And, lucky for me, it never disappointed.
Victor and Eli both became EOs (ExtraOrdinaries) when they were best friends in college, thanks to some dangerous experimentation they performed on themselves. Years after college, they are on opposite sides. In a way, it's a classic story--two friends who become enemies. One of them is viewed as a hero, and the other wants to take the hero down. What's wonderful about this story is that neither
is a hero. They have their own agendas, and they'll get rid of anyone who tries to stop them.
By the end of the book, I knew these main characters. I understood them. Eli: the one who thinks he's on a mission to save the world from EOs. And Victor: who has his own reasons for trying to stop Eli. You know that saying about how "power corrupts"? How about the one saying that great power means "great responsibility"? Well, both of these men feel they have responsibilities, and both are thoroughly corrupted. The result is something dark, and twisted, and beautiful.
I will almost certainly pick up another book by Schwab.Footnote: Some folks have this shelved as young adult. This is not a young adult book--not even a little. It's not a new adult book either. There are some scenes that take place while the main characters are in college, but even those few scenes have an adult vibe to them.