Author: V.E. Schwab
Series Status: 1st book in the Villians Trilogy
# of pages: 364
My rating: 5/5 stars
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?
I have finally gotten this book! It has taken me forever to find a good condition hard cover of this book at a reasonable price. This is one of the earlier publishings of Schwab as well as her first adult novel and for some reason is incredibly hard to find. But now I have found/read and it’s going to be added to my collection of favorite by her.
With every Schwab novel the uniqueness of each story always amazes me. This story felt incredibly unique because of its dual focus on the two opposing characters and how you can see that each character truly believes they are doing good. I really enjoyed this change because it was an interesting look at the “villain” of the story compared to our “hero”, although the underlying plot seems to be that none of them are good some are just not bad.
This truly helped created the characters depth and was ultimately what hooked me into the story. Seeing this dynamic shift where all of them know they are wrong but unwilling to change was so captivating and necessary to the plot.
The story is not particularly fast paced because it does deal with a large number of flash backs and character point of view changes but I actually thought the slower pace helped the story. Because of this slower pace the build up was better and better. While I was reading the pace kept me so involved because I could tell it was leading up to an incredible finish.
Overall this story was incredible and I loved the very anti-hero outlook within it.