I was expecting nothing less than a riveting and engaging story from Miss Victoria, and of course, that’s exactly what I got.
Victoria Schwab ( V. E. Schwab for her adult books ) is an author who grabbed me in an instant when I first read her Young Adult book, “The Archived”. Ever since then I have looked to her as an inspiration ( being a self-published author in progress myself ), and her works have been some of favorite go-to “get away from reality” books to make a bad day good, or a good day better.
So I’m very glad that my first ‘official’ book review is one of her books.
I started off by reading Miss Victoria’s 1st person YA writing before jumping into her 3rd person adult writing with “A Darker Shade of Magic”. It wasn’t until after finishing these books that I discovered “Vicious”, an earlier work of hers. Having read her latest adult novels before her first adult novel resulted in a sort of backwards transition of reading her works, instead staring with her first novels and then moving on from there.
The tone of the book was certainly different from the other books I’ve read by her. I got used to her magic and ghosts, so the sort of sci-fi twist to this story came as a surprise. It was a nice switch of genre though, and I like to see authors who jump around and have fun in all sorts of different areas of writing.
Some Things I Liked
- The term “EO”.
Now why is something so simple so neat to me? I can’t give a clear reason why. I’ve thought and thought about it, and the nearest thing I can get down in words is that it adds it’s own certain shade to the story that wouldn’t be there other wise. It’s a unique terminology ( in the sense that I can’t find anywhere else “EO” had been used to stand for “Extra Ordinary” ) that fits very well with the style of the story and somehow makes the whole thing seem more realistic.
- The Experiments
I don’t want to give out too many major spoilers so suffice to say I found these experiments fascinating. It felt like it was actually a weird branch of science that could or even is being explored without the public knowing about it.
- There Was No Real “Side”
The shades of good and evil in this book are as grayscale as they get. Each time a character acts, it leaves you thinking that they’re changing in one direction, but wait! Just a few pages later and you’ll think them going back in the opposite direction. There was no real ‘good’ or ‘bad’ side. You had to make a hard decision between ‘worse’ and ‘not quite as bad’. It was terribly human.
- Character Development
It was subtle, and almost wasn’t there if you weren’t looking for it. Now why is this a good thing? Because in the real world, people hardly ever have huge changes to their personality or how they approach situations that are instantly noticeable to everyone around them. We’re awfully stubborn things, us humans. It can be a bit frightening when we feel ourselves shifting, and as a result, we often hide in our own denial long enough to make the changes to ourselves more spread out harder to notice then some writings would have us believe.
Something I Didn’t Like
- Doing Bad in the Name of Good
This always upsets me, mostly because it happens far too often in our own world. But what would this story be without it? I don’t put this factor under my “dislike” section because I think the book should be without it; I put it here because it upsets so much in real life. Like many of the other factors that come into play with this book, it made this work of fiction very realistically human.
I can’t find myself picking a favorite character; what was it that I was saying about me being indecisive? The fact that this book was made to be so human makes the task of picking a favorite or a least favorite character even harder.
Some other thoughts I had:
How could Eli die?
What if there are police sectors that we aren’t aware of?
( Ok duh, but still, it’s interesting to think about. )
Who was in the wrong?
Was there even a right?
Now I’m not sure I can answer the last question, but if I had to chose a side ( which I did ), I would say that Victor was the lesser evil. Not everything he did was good, but in my opinion, he had the least bad in him compared to Eli, and in the end, I think Mitch and Sydney made him a better person.
★★★★ Four Star Rating
Have you read “Vicious” yet? If so, who’s side did you pick? Do you like books that make you unsure of which side you should be on? Have you ever found yourself / your personality / the way you approach things changing over time?