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 am 100% sure that V.E. Schwab will never disappoint me. The writing style is, of course, beautiful. The world-building is amazing. The plot is original, and SO FREAKING AWESOME. The characters… do I even need to say it? Okay, I’ll say it. They’re extraordinary! They come alive within the pages, they freaked me out, they pulled so many contrasting feelings out of me. There is a villain, for sure, but I’m not sure there’s a hero to root for here. But that’s what I loved the most about this book. It’s complicated. It’s ambiguous. It’s vicious.
To Victor it was all just a matter of semantics. Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone else could be labeled a villain for trying to stop them. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.
The book spans through many years, so you can see these characters changing; and it’s incredible how perfectly Schawb wove their development with new pieces of information going back and forth in time. I loved how both, Victor and Eli, found some people to help them, and how different their relationships were. Honestly this could just be an endless list of things I loved about this book; but I don’t won’t to spoil anything and ruin the full experience. Just please, read this book, so we can freak out together until Vengeful comes out!