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Publisher's Summary

A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates - brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), and aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find - aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the arch nemeses have set a course for revenge - but who will be left alive at the end? In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

©2013 Victoria Schwab (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

Where does Vicious rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's probably the second best book I've listened to. Firefight was the best - a book with similar subject matter, but much different story, tone, and pacing.

What did you like best about this story?

How it stars two very different kinds of sociopathic main characters. And oh my god those last chapters leading up to midnight - anticipation built up so well and the midnight fight so, so, lives up to all of it. Pretty creative superpowers, particularly Serena's. I also like how both Victor and Eli's powers were explored so far, as a lesser story wouldn't have thought of that many creative uses/ limitations of the one power.

Have you listened to any of Noah Michael Levine’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Nope.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me really excited and happy when I finished it. It felt like the kind of story I'd come up with.

Any additional comments?

Okay, so, yes, I loved this book, however: when I first started listening to it, I hated it, and couldn't follow anything going on, since I went into the book pretty blind.

I didn't really know what it was about, save for the briefest of summaries that didn't cover more than "the two main characters used to be friends, but now they're enemies. Also, superpowers."

To get the full experience of this book, do read a little bit about the plot and structure it's written in, or it could be confusing and frustrating. This story jumps around in the timeline practically every chapter which makes the focus unclear. So, do read a more in depth description of this book before just diving in, as the structure can be frustrating to follow.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A superhuman novel that isn't strictly YA.

Tired of superhero books that pander to a demographic too young to drink? Looking for a story about superhumans that's more like an action revenge flick than a coming of age story? Than this is the book for you.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Decent Story, Unimpressive Narration

This story was interesting and somewhat unique. It had a few little twists that were nice. There were several times I thought the author could have gone for big twists or surprises, but she didn't go that way.

The narrator was just OK. His female characters were so soft spoken that I found myself having to turn the volume all the way up and then back down to hear everything. Also, the main character had an unexplained accent (unless I somehow missed the explanation).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, subpar narration

Story was GREAT!!
Narration was unvaried and hard to listen to....get someone else to narrate next time.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A unique take a superpowers

I didn't know what to expect - taking this from a Goodreads recommendation. Powers without real heroes, the back stories of the characters, and the motivations (generally dark) that drove the characters combined to create a strong story about power, heroes and, to a degree, self delusion.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Lackluster

Really struggled to finish. Did not hate it, but between the lackluster writing and a narrator that did not add much nuance, I will be returning this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Worst Narrator Ever

V. E. Schwab writes some really incredible books, and I've heard Vicious counted among them. However, the narrator is so bad that I cannot finish it. Not only can I not finish it, it was constant torture to get through the few hours of it I could. Now when I open the book to finish it the old fashioned way, all I can hear is the narrator trying out his British-William-Shatner impersonation, and it's horrible. I think he was going for pretentious, but what he got was something so awful that it's unlistenable. This entire book is ruined for me because of his voice. Do yourself a favor and just read this one.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

V.E. Schwab can punch my feelings in the face

I did not expect to enjoy this book nearly as thoroughly as I did. Don't get me wrong, I knew I'd most likely love it because I just inhaled the Darker Shades of Magic series, but my word did I love this book.

Levine's narration was a bit hit-or-miss. While he preformed the non-dialogue sections beautifully, but when it got to more than two characters, I began to loose track of who was who. His accents tend to bleed together, miss the mark, or appear and disappear for the same character.

While the non-linear plotline may seem hard to follow at first, I found myself loving it. It solved the problem of expose-dumping, especially when so much of the necessary information happened years and months in the past.

I enjoy the ways Schwab portrays Eli and Viktor: two sociopaths with different levels of realization of their sociopathic personalities. She did a great job exploring the concept of 'absolute power corrupts absolutely' and portraying what a superhero might actually look like in a modern day world.

With Vengeful coming out soon (!) it's important to note that Vicious was never written with the intent of a sequel (though the possibility was obviously there as it's happening!) so don't expect a giant cliff-hanger at the end of it all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Vicious

The Darker Shade of Magic series is Wonderful. The author has obviously grown extensively since Vicious.
It was boring, drawn out and not worth finishing.
I'm thrilled to have found this author and look forward to the continuing Darker series

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Alysia
  • Redondo Beach, CA, United States
  • 02-07-15

Comic Book Style

This book was my book clubs first pick of 2015. I had never heard of the book or the author before this.
The story reads just like a comic book or an X-Men prequel with two college friends acquiring special abilities. Victor and Eli both started as normal kids both of them in love with the same girl, but things change quickly in their senior year. It all happened when they tried to be extra ordinary. Now they are each others arch nemeses and they are out to eliminate one and other.
The story had a big element that I love. A unique story. That is so refreshing and V.E. Schwab did a great job of creating the world, the back story and the follow through. With chapters jumping from present to past to recent past it was a bit hard to follow in audiobook form but in the end everything tied itself up nicely. I had/have a feeling there might be a book 2 because there is definitely more that can be written about these characters.
Speaking of characters, V.E. Schwab made me think and change my opinion several times throughout the story as to who was the good guy and who was the bad guy. Honest, I had a hard time picking the good guy because one would do something so awful I had to rethink it. There was a time in the book I was on the road to resolve there is no good guy. Victor and Eli seemed to be villains and there was nothing I could do about it.
Noah Levine was a good narrator and he did a good job of reading. I had to get use to his lack of inflection in the beginning but don't worry he throws them in towards the middle and keeps it up to the end.
Overall, V.E. Schwab did a good, fast paced book with unseen twist and turns.
I took away one star because the jumping bck and forth in time was not easy to follow in audiobook form and it would have been nice to have more than one narrator but I really liked the book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful