[Book Talk] Vicious (Vicious, #1) by V. E. Schwab

Book Details

Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Read: April 2017

Vicious series

  1. Vicious
  2. Vengeful (yay!)


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?

My Thoughts

So I got this book recommendation from Regan over at Peruse Project. Seriously, it’s because of her that I’ve been reading so many GREAT fantasy books! I never thought that I’d get into fantasy because the books I’ve tried have been overly ambitious (like George R. R. Martin) and they just haven’t flicked that switch in my brain, but the last few I’ve read have been AWESOME.

Now, I love V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series and I feel like I could have loved her newest book, This Savage Song, but I listened to it on audiobook while I should have read the physical book. But that’s beside the point, this book was pretty amazing. It took just a little bit to get into and I think that was because I don’t read a lot of male POV books, but once I got into it, I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved Victor and Eli and their determination to figure out how EOs exist. I loved the back and forth of the writing, which would have been SO confusing on audiobook — it went from last night to ten years ago to two years ago, etc. and I felt like since I gave myself the time to actually sit and read in big chunks that it wasn’t confusing at all. I loved the backstory given for both main characters as well as the additional characters in the story. I loved how interesting all the characters were and how dark the story was in general. The ending was so good and when I finished I learned that it was literally JUST announced that this book would be the first in a trilogy and that makes me so happy!

And can I just gush about the cover? I love how old school it is. It seriously looks like something I’d find on my brothers’ sci fi shelf from 20 years ago. It’s just so retro! (I’m 36 years old … can I get away with calling something retro?) This book made me want to read more fantasy and want to read more of V. E. Schwab’s books. She’s a fantastic writer!

But don’t take my word for it … read some other reviews! 

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My Bookshelf Dialogues
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[Audiobook Talk] A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) by V. E. Schwab

Audiobook Details

Format: Hardcover & Audiobook
Source: Purchased & Library
Narrator: Michael Kramer & Kate Reading
Length: 16 hours 9 minutes
Read: March 2017

Shades of Magic series

  1. A Darker Shade of Magic
  2. A Gathering of Shadows
  3. A Conjuring of Light


It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

My Thoughts

I was a little worried going into the second book of this series. I remembered lots from the first book and loved the first book, but then I read another V. E. Schwab book and wasn’t so sure about it. I had started reading this one a few months ago, got about 50 pages in and then put it down for a while – not because I didn’t like it, but because I just veered towards other books. I had remembered the library had the audiobook, so I got that and listened and it was great!

It’s funny because I don’t think a lot really happens in this book. It pretty much revolves around the competition and there’s not a lot of the London jumping that we got in the first book. However, I loved seeing all of my favourite characters again, Lila especially, and my dear, dear Kell. It was actually a lot of fun to listen to this one rather than read it because the narration was so good and the story was just so compelling that I had to keep listening. Even though there wasn’t a lot to the plot, it was just straight up enjoyable. And the (cliffhanger) ending? I can’t wait for the next book!

This series is a lot of fun and I’m happy to have bought copies of the books for my shelves – they’re gorgeous and so shelf worthy.

Audiobook Notes: 

I loved the audio for this book! I read the first one in physical format and had started this one in the hardcover, but for some reason I kept putting it down, so I got the audiobook to continue on. Apparently there were other narrators for the first book, so I can’t really compare the two, but these narrators were good. They weren’t the best, a little old for the story (especially Lila, who’s pretty young) but it worked for what I needed it to. It was a little weird listening to a book that takes place in four different Londons, and yet the characters had American accents. I will most definitely read the last book in physical format.

But don’t take my word for it … read some other reviews! 

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