Vicious (“heroes” book told by … villains)

Hey friends! Hope that you’re all doing well! (and not dead with stress … because that would be unfortunate)

As I’m sure that you’ve discovered by the title, I have an extra-special review for you all. Not only is Vicious (VE Schwab, Villains #1) a superhero book – which are def rare – but it is told by the villains. I know, I’m crying, too.

I will warn you, though, this book is not for the faint of heart. Read at your own peril.

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Vicious (Villains, #1)
click to go to goodreads

What I liked:

Tbh, going into the book I really had no idea what it was about. I knew that it was morally grey, there were super-powered people, and the cover was gorgeous (yes, I am that shallow). Wasn’t sure if I liked it.



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And I have to say, I’m so glad that I started off the year reading this because I had a sucky reading year last year (I read a lot less than normal and I didn’t love, like, any of the books). So starting this was nice.

Every character is some form of sociopath (there’s an explanation for that) and I ADORED our main narrator, Victor. The beginning chapters of the book were my favorites, were Victor and Eli are roomies in college and are basically two nerds competing for the title of biggest nerd. It is fantastic.

But I have to say, my favorite part were the powers. Basically, whatever your last thought before death (and resurrection) is a direct correlation with your power. It was brilliant.

And this book is constantly compared with a dark X-Men, but, like, I don’t get it? It’s been fooooreeeeever since I watched them. It really reminded me of the web serial Worm and TV show Heroes.


As I had already said, I adored Victor. I felt that I could see where he was coming from (except towards the end … I dunno even know about him, mate). And maybe it’s not good to be able to relate to him??? Anyways. Victor is all cool cucumber on the outside, but inwardly he is just eternally screaming.

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Eli … well … I just don’t know. I liked him at the beginning (could you guess that that was my favorite part?), and I was so-so with him when Victor was narrating, but when Eli himself narrated, I found myself entirely bored and his character didn’t really make sense to me. So I liked him when someone else was narrating.

Sydney was pretty cool. She’s “thirteen” (about two weeks shy or something) and while I feel like sometimes she didn’t act her age, Ms Schwab did an overall pretty good job writing a kid. Syd, herself, was pretty cool. She will take nothing from no one and is very feisty while being super vulnerable (basically every character in the book, lol).

I actually surprised myself and absolutely fell in love with Mitch and Dom (both didn’t have as much page time as I would have loved). Serena was an extremely interesting character to read about. I was pretty pissed at Stell the whole time.


I love Schwab books!! Her writing is gorgeous. Like, let me just live off of this forever, please and thanks. The writing completely sucks you in, stealing all concepts of time and forgetting that you – unfortunately – belong into a different reality.

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(^) me finishing the book

Each chapter has a time: Four Years Before, Two Weeks Before, Last Night, etc. Basically, the finally climax of the book is “now” and it leads up, while slightly skipping around the time line. Gah, it’s so hard to explain! But nevertheless, I adored it and it added sooo much to the story!

Pacing was little slow, but it just worked. Fit with the book, imo.

I will say, though, that there was head-hopping that drove me nuts (not a lot, but still enough to be a con) and a lot of time it would (no joke) take me one or two pages into a chapter to figure out who was the narrator.

Nonetheless, VE Schwab is a fantastic writer and she wrote the characters fabulously and really sucks you in.


The headhopping really took a bit for me to get into. Like, it was part of the writing style which … almost made it worse?

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This may be a personal pet peeve (I’ve experienced this with Schwab’s other books), but the last fifth of the book or so is constant action-action-action … but it is a bit much for me. Like, could we have a break, please? I just find myself getting restless.

I also could have done without Eli’s whole narration. (Jk … but not really. It is important, but man it was boring.)

And this one, haha, is petty … but I feel like EOs (ExtraOrdinaries) is such a lame name? Like, couldn’t it have been something cooler?


Basically, this book was fantastic. Everyone has absolutely no morals and there is pain and death everywhere. The characters are completely precious (and well written) but don’t tell them that, because they WILL murder you.

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The writing is fantastic, which is to be expected from a Schwab book.

I will say, if you are a Steve Rogers and are extremely moral or don’t like bad choices (lol) and/or have a weak stomach, maybe shy away from this. It isn’t all that graphic, but just the completely calm way that everyone inflicted pain … it was a bit much. I loved it.

Vicious is technically an adult book, but a majority of the time it was narrated by college students and a twelve year old. Lots less of sex and language then I’ve read in YA books.

It is extremely dark, though.

So! Loved it! The second book is also amazing (my review for that is coming somewhat soon). Please review both so that we can fangirl over our favorite little psychopaths.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Is anyone else a major fan of dark books? Ahahaha. PLEASE LET US TALK ABOUT IT. Or superheroes. Has anyone watched Heroes? Psyched for Endgame? LET’S CHAT ALL THE POWERED THINGS.

6 thoughts on “Vicious (“heroes” book told by … villains)

Add yours

  1. You gave a book 5 stars!!! Wow, now I have to read it. “There’s pain and death everywhere”? Count me in.

    Also aww I love X-Men! I think I prefer it to Avengers, though I do loooove the Hulk 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knoooow. It’s, like, so dark and so morally grey and for some reason I just love that????

      Honestly, I think that I’d have to agree with you. Iron Man and Hulk are my two children … but I just love the X-Men!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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