Reviews tagging Torture

Vicious, by V.E. Schwab

57 reviews

kaceyatwood's review against another edition

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dark sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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bookwisp's review against another edition

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dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

Two college roommates uncover the secret to unlocking Extra Ordinary abilities in humankind; all you have to do is die. This discovery sets them on a collision course. 

Short, snappy chapters make this a quick read. The multiple POVs work well, as does the non-linear storytelling. However, best I can describe, Vicious needed another 75-100 pages for the main characters to fill their own boots. 

This might be my own fault. I think I’d fallen prey to the marketing and entered into this with expectations of a Charles Xavier vs. Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) dynamic, with the accompanying difference in ideologies. Of the two, Victor came off with the better characterisation. Eli, in my opinion, was underdeveloped which, for me, meant he didn’t quite stack up as an adversary to Victor. Eli’s internal zealous justification was well written, but I found myself getting frustrated because I wanted to understand why and how he’d arrived at this. There are a number of moments which indicate a traumatic past, but there was just a smidge too much tell and not enough show on this front – at least in my opinion. 

Vicious is a good book and an enjoyable read, but I was left wishing that more of the origin story had been covered in the origin story portions. I did enjoy Victor’s cutting humour and dry turns of phrase, but Mitch - steady, loyal and not as cruel as he might have been - was a surprise fave. 


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alexiab's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

This book was, in a word, intense.

It’s probably the darkest story I’ve read in a while. it’s unsettling and gruesome and yet intriguing as all hell. I couldn’t stop reading it. I had to know what was going to happen.

I absolutely love the way VE Schwab gets inside a characters mind and breaks down who they are. Most of these characters are absolute monsters, and yet there is something underneath each of them that’s understandable, that almost makes you want to sympathize with their perspective. Which is bat shit insane? They’re monsters?! but I think it adds to the magic of this storytelling. 

I spent the majority of my reading this book warring between being horrified at how gruesome the story could be and absolutely loving the chaos and unravelling of the story. I think that speaks to very good writing, to be able to have the WORST characters and still keep the reader enthralled. 

I’m only taking off half a star because I don’t know if this is the kind of book I could read again. But I don’t think it’s intended to be a frequent visit kind of story, so that’s not the book’s fault. 

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viltescer's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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luciuous's review against another edition

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adventurous dark funny mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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jehansflowers's review against another edition

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adventurous dark funny fast-paced
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

GOOD SHIT

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corabookworm's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional inspiring sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

characters - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
plot - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
writing - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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deadpoetsam's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


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egj220's review against another edition

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adventurous dark fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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queer_bookwyrm's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

 
5 ⭐ CW: violence, incarceration, graverobbing, attempted suicide, intentional overdose, murder, self harm, torture, opioid misuse, descriptions of blood and corpses

Vicious by V.E. Schwab is the first book in the Villains duology. I loved this book! I'm a sucker for morally gray characters, and this book takes the cake. I mean, with lines like this- "There are no good men in this game"- you know you're in for a treat.

We follow Victor Vale and his best friend/roommate as they come up with a thesis for your science class. Victor chooses something to do with adrenaline and hormones, but Eli chooses something wild. He chooses to make his thesis on the existence of ExtraOrdinaries (EOs), people who have Near Death Experiences (NDE), but we're brought back to life and ended up with powers based on what their last thoughts or desires were.

Both Victor and Eli felt like they might be a bit sociopathic, but this ramps up after each of them goes through with an NDE and successfully come back to life with powers. For Eli, he becomes self healing, and Victor can manipulate pain in himself and others. They realize the. When they've come back, something is missing.

I loved the way this was done. It's got a superhero origin story feel to it, but as stated before, there are no good men. Eli and Victor are just different shades of bad. I loved the juxtaposition if Eli being religious and his idea that he's doing God's work while killing people. It lent an extra bit of creepyness. Eli's psychology alone is fascinating.

Glad I just bought the sequel, so I can find out what happens next! I also might be interested in starting the ExtraOrdinary graphic novels! 

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