Vicious (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This page turner is a truly original piece of work. Every time I pick up a Schwab book I am transported to an entirely different world and I really feel like I am with the characters. This crazy, violent, and energizing novel is a unique mash up of The Secret History, X-Men, and Frankenstein.

-- Josh

— From Josh H. Staff Picks

In the past, two college-aged best friends discover the strange link between near-death experiences and superhuman powers. In the present, the two are mortal enemies, each bent on tracking down and destroying the other. Uncovering how they got from one to the other is a gritty, violent, expertly paced thrill-ride. You won't be able to put this one down.

-- Haley

— From Haley P. Staff Picks


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), 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 archnemeses 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.

"A dynamic and original twist on what it means to be a hero and a villain. A killer from page one...highly recommended " --Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Marvel Universe vs The Avengers and Patient Zero

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Fantasy Books of 2013

About the Author

V. E. SCHWAB's first adult novel, Vicious, debuted to critical praise and reader accolades. Schwab is the author of YA novels The Near Witch, The Archived, The Unbound, and a fantasy middle-grade series, Everyday Angel.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780765335357
ISBN-10: 0765335352
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: January 20th, 2015
Pages: 384
Language: English
Series: Villains