YOUth Review: Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Vicious is a science fiction novel written by V. E. Schwab, targeted towards young adult readers which was published in 2013. This thriller story is about two extremely intelligent university roommates, Eli Cardale and Victor Vale, who are best friends. Unfortunately for Victor, he has always been second to Eli, a charming and outgoing student who is consistently at the top of the class. However, Victor is a very insightful person, and pays closer attention to people and their actions rather than lectures in school.

Eli and Victor are in the same biology class in university and have a project; to pick a thesis on their area of interest and to study it. Victor, wanting to choose more of an ambitious topic, decides to study adrenal inducers, while Eli chooses to study the factors and theoretical possibilities of whether ExtraOrdinarys (EOs) exist. Victor knows EOs are only rumoured to exist and are thought to be people who have superhuman abilities, like superheroes, and information on EOs is hidden to the public, resulting in Victor being envious of Eli's choice. Together they learn their topics are linked and discover how to create superhuman powers. They put their theories to the test, resulting in the greatest rivalry of what used to be two best friends now turned into terrible enemies.

This novel dives into the themes of friendship, revenge, power, betrayal, and what it means to be the hero or villain. This book was an amazing read! There was never a dull moment, and the twists and perspectives from multiple time points and characters in the story made it quite interesting to read. The way the concepts of superheroes and villains are portrayed made it even more intriguing, and how the plot of the story played out was surprising. If you are looking for a fantasy book involving science, themes of betrayal, friendship, and revenge, as well as an enthralling plot with captivating characters, I would recommend this book for you!

Reviewed by Celeste M.