Reviews tagging Kidnapping

Vengeful, by V.E. Schwab

2 reviews

rachelunabridged's review against another edition

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


i have been so excited + scared to read this book. i loved vicious so much and wanted to have more of that, but was worried it wouldn't be as good. unfortunately, that did happen, but not to so great an extent.

was vicious better than vengeful? imo, big yes.
was i disappointed in vengeful? tbh, not really. vicious wrapped up so well + felt like its own stand-alone story; i feel like vengeful is almost like a bonus story. like you don't have to read it to complete the story from vicious, but if you enjoyed vicious, here's some extra time with the characters we know and love.
would i recommend vengeful? if you loved vicious + want to see more of the characters, i would say go into this with lower expectations.

ultimately, what made me feel like this read was less compelling is how stretched it felt. there was just entirely too much going on at any given time with all of the new characters + there just seemed to be no clear focus. it really felt like the story was heavily centered around marcella, but then victor + the crew were kinda shoehorned in with no real purpose until the end.

Spoilerfor example, i really thought we were going somewhere with sydney exploring + trying to strengthen her powers, but not only did she decide not to resurrect her sister (good move), but she also didn't get to use them to help victor. so why did that even need to be such a huge plot point? it came off to me like it was just a reason to keep her in the story.

i definitely came away feeling like if it had been written with entirely new characters, this might've been a stronger story. or even if our main characters were given better reasons to be involved.

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spearly's review against another edition

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


Every action had been his own design, every step his own making.
If there was a way out of this, he would find it.
If there wasn’t, he would make one himself.

Vengeful follows our ragtag trio - Victor, Mitch, and Sydney (and Dol) - in the events following Victor's temporary death in Vicious. Sydney brought him back, and now he's... not quote whole. His episodes are getting worse, his deaths are getting longer, and he needs to find a way to stop it.

Meanwhile, Eli Ever is in a heavily guarded cell at the newly minted EON (ExtraOrdinary Observation and Neutralization) facility.

And there's a new Villain in Merit.

This was a really fun read! I enjoyed it even more than I enjoyed Vicious, which is saying something! The new characters were exciting, evil, powerful, and some real adversaries for our anti-heroes.

I've struggled with something about this series, and I think I just have to come around and accept it. I've never loved a character as much as I've hated them, but that's Victor. He's evil, man. Like, I'll murder you when you can't give me what I want, evil. But he's also so damn likeable sometimes. The way he is with Sydney and Mitch, the way he truly seems to care about their wellbeing, about keeping them safe... *chef's kiss*. Sure, they're safety comes at the expense of some perfectly innocent lives but... no-one perfect.

In book one I struggled with the blatant hypocrisy. Eli is some self-proclaimed messiah, murdering all the other EOs because they go against God's plan. Victor has a long-awaited vendetta against Eli, made worse by Eli's self-righteousness. The two come to a head, and out favourite villain is raised form the dead.

And then here, we have... Victor doing the exact same thing, albeit for different reasons. And it's suddenly okay because he's not
Spoilerkilling EOs 
for God, he's doing it to protect his crew. (Only
Spoilerkilling all the witnesses to Victor's non-dead state hardly makes a difference, since EON finds them anyway!

I think I will just have to be okay with the hypocrisy. In fact, that's the point. There are no good men in this game (okay, except for Mitch, though I'm sure he has blood on his hands, too). Honestly, Sydney might by the only good-to-her-core character. But what did I expect, reading a series called Villains?

Overall, an excellent duology. In fact, I could even go for a third book, if V.E. Schwab were so inclined. What happens to June? The formula? Victor and Mitch and Sydney?
. Maybe the excitement is in the not knowing. Schwab certainly knows how to leave readers wanting more.

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