Author V.E. Schwab
Genre Adult Fantasy
Series Villains Book 1
My Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“You can’t kill me, Victor,” said Eli. “You know that.”
Victor’s smile widened as he buried the knife between Eli’s ribs.
“I know,” he said loudly. He had to speak up over the screams.
“But you’ll have to indulge me. I’ve waited so long to try.”
Synopsis In the beginning, Victor and Eli were college roommates who began a research project involving near-death experiences and the possibility of it bringing out extraordinary abilities in victims. However, when the boys take their project to a dangerous level of experimentation, things get disastrous.
Ten years later, Victor escapes prison with a single vengeful aim – to find his old friend (now enemy) Eli, and stumbles upon a young girl with an incredible gift that proves helpful to him in his pursuit for revenge. However, Eli has been busy on a quest to eliminate people with extraordinary abilities, and unbeknownst to his old friend, he too is aided by a terrifyingly powerful sidekick. In this vindictive struggle rife with vengeance and bitterness, who will be left alive?
Overall Impression A brilliantly-woven gem dripping with enmity and betrayal. I don’t have any dislikes on this book, so that explains my 5-star rating.
Themes and Writing This book centers around the concept of extraordinary people and deals with the notion of supernatural ability, morality, friendship and revenge. Schwab’s writing is so vivid and always makes you feel like you are watching a movie, the way her writing makes the scenes play out in your head.
Characters The characters are so real and captivating in their strengths and flaws. It was simply enthralling to follow them along on this journey and watch how each one of them used their special ability to help or hurt people, or both. We get to witness their individual struggles with morality and the idea of doing the right thing, and despite some of their monstrous deeds, we also glimpse the kindness, trust and warmth they are capable of.
All Eli had to do was smile. All Victor had to do was lie. Both proved frighteningly effective.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, enjoys a clever, intricate plot with a cunning and charismatic main character and appreciates a dash of morbid, sarcastic humour.
In a nutshell A perfect blend of sinister and sophisticated, this thought-provoking masterpiece will keep your adrenaline pumping as you hurry through the darkened streets of Merit city with Victor and Eli, hopefully before the clock strikes midnight.
Also by V.E. Schwab: Book Review – A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Review by Amanda