Title: Vicious
(Villains – Book 1)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Superhero/Supervillain Sci-Fi
Pages: 365
Rating: 4 of 5

If you enjoy antihero or supervillain-as-protagonist stories, this book is a must read! I won’t comment much on the plot because V. E. Schwab presents the story in a non-linear manner that slowly reveals what is going on, and that slow revelation is half the fun. Suffice it to say that this occurs in a world that contains people with X-Men-like powers (though not from mutation).

Both of our main characters are, as the title states, vicious in their own way. Neither is particularly sympathetic, but their ambition and rivalry make for a great story (and one of them has a little bit more of a “you should be cheering for this one” vibe).

Occasionally I wondered “why don’t they just use their power to [fill in the blank] and solve this problem right now?” but I think that’s a common plot difficulty with any story involving overpowered supers. If you can do the suspend-disbelief-and-ignore-a-few-plot-holes to enjoy a superhero movie, this is a lot of fun. The ending was satisfactory and tied up enough loose ends to be considered stand-alone while allowing for future stories in the same world with at least some of the same characters.

Vengeful (Villains Book 2) by [Schwab, V. E.]Title: Vengeful
(Villains – Book 2)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Superhero/Supervillain Sci-Fi
Pages: 478
Rating: 3.5 of 5

Speaking of which…this was an okay followup to Vicious. Throw a couple more nasty EO’s into the mix, make last time’s “you should be cheering for this one” sociopath even less sympathetic, give a lot more background on last time’s bad guy (worse guy?), end on an even bigger bang than last time, and you have this book.

The events of the story flows naturally out of what happened in the first book and add some interesting elements and characters. However, it is a bit harder to discern a central plot, and the wrap-up leaves quite a few loose ends. It is clearly intended as a setup for one or more sequels, and I personally find that annoying. I didn’t dislike the book as a whole, but the scattery plot, increasingly psychopathic characters, and partially unresolved ending meant it didn’t wow me like the first one.

9 thoughts on “The Zealot & The Sociopath

    1. Vicious caught my eye as I was browsing in the library, and I remembered seeing a couple positive reviews of It. Plus I wanted to give Schwab another chance. I’d read “A Darker Shade of Magic” a few years ago and liked the world building but felt it was overall a bit meh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. I like hearing the backstory of how people pick out a book. Sometimes it is obvious (like Book 9 in a 15 book series that they’re going through) but in cases like this, it isn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My reading has been a little more random than usual for the last few weeks because I’ve been reading mostly library books to get entries in the summer reading prize drawing 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. LOL…I fairly regularly do things that would cause great consternation at my uber-conservative alma mater (going to the theater, listening to music that has drums in it, having our church partner with an African American led community ministry that isn’t explicitly Baptist, etc.)…guess I’m just a rebel 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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