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Vengeful

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The sequel to VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab's first adult novel. Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there's Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn't know about his most recent act of vengeance. Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern eve The sequel to VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab's first adult novel. Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there's Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn't know about his most recent act of vengeance. Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.


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The sequel to VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab's first adult novel. Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there's Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn't know about his most recent act of vengeance. Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern eve The sequel to VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab's first adult novel. Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there's Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn't know about his most recent act of vengeance. Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.

30 review for Vengeful

  1. 4 out of 5

    Em (RunawayWithDreamthieves)

    Me, having absolutely no concept of liking things in moderation: I WOULD DIE A THOUSAND FIERY DEATHS FOR THIS BOOK. I feel like I need to dress up for reviewing this book, to take it in gratitude for a night out in someplace fancy, to offer it drinks. I’m so full of an unnamed wanting that I can’t bear it—like whatever I will allow to crawl out of my heart and down my arm and out my fingers is not enough because I just [clenches fist] love this series SO MUCH. I first read Vicious a couple years a Me, having absolutely no concept of liking things in moderation: I WOULD DIE A THOUSAND FIERY DEATHS FOR THIS BOOK. I feel like I need to dress up for reviewing this book, to take it in gratitude for a night out in someplace fancy, to offer it drinks. I’m so full of an unnamed wanting that I can’t bear it—like whatever I will allow to crawl out of my heart and down my arm and out my fingers is not enough because I just [clenches fist] love this series SO MUCH. I first read Vicious a couple years ago, and I completely inhaled it. I read it again last year and afterward, it stayed inside my heart, setting me alight  from within like a candle flame. I was beyond excited for this sequel and I think my situation now is rather an object lesson in being careful what you wished for because that ending still presses hard into my ribs, making me feel simultaneously warm and sad. I NEED MORE. So what’s this book about? Five years have made Victor Vale’s hatred of Eli Cardale lose its spark, its flame dampened by the fear introduced with Victor’s new unsettling reality: he keeps dying, again and again. Victor, it seems, has been torn and broken and put back together with half the pieces missing. He is desperate to not die, and even more than that, to live. In the collision of his whirling thoughts a plan begins to form, an architecture of gruesome messes that Victor will haul out in the hope of suturing himself back together. And Victor’s makeshift family—Sydney, Mitch, Dominic—is a lifeline to be tightly gripped…but things between them are falling apart in direct proportion to the rate at which Victor’s time is swirling away. Good luck doesn’t seem to be something that holds the hands of Eli Cardale these days either. Captured and imprisoned, he is left tormenting himself with the notion that his most desperate desires are just out of his reach, and one name leaps to mind above and before all others: Victor. Meanwhile, Marcella Riggins—a new EO—has made theater of murder in the town of Merit. Fear was her medium, and nightmares her art. She refuses to bow to fate and determines to embody the word that defines her: ruin. Marcella has upended the game board and sent the pieces flying, and many would wager that in all of time there had never been a purer wrath than hers. And she’s not alone; on her side is Jonathan, a taciturn human-shield, and June, a shapeshifter whose past is shrouded in secrecy and shadows. The one thing they all have in common? They’d all put themselves on top of a trapdoor going directly to the bowels of hell…with absolutely no way to unlatch it. “Power,” said the woman, “belongs to those who take it.” VENGEFUL is a gripping and a staggeringly satisfying tightrope walk of a book. It’s so damn good. Though I’m not sure you’d call any of the people in it “good.” Within this ornately structured, reality-contorting framework, Schwab weaves together with a sure hand all the separate threads she's seeded along the way into a resoundingly orchestrated ending that will leave you wondering if healing is even remotely possible. Schwab wastes no time in bringing readers back into her massive, complex world—smartly beginning to expand her world outward into new dimensions, fleshing out new characters and seeing heads aflame, more than once. There are so many aspects of this book that leap out to me as brilliant: the introduction of women who were not beholden to the story of the men around them but rather had their own agency on full display, the examination of the grey spaces that exist between traditional definitions of good and evil, the terrifying and exhilarating situations, the whimsy and unsubtle darkness, the varied and wonderful character voices, Schwab’s love of antiheroes and her lilting voice, how she gives her characters power without the moral imperative to be good but does not allow them to slough off their culpability, how this book synthesizes the material in the previous book and gives it a new, different wholeness—all in one perfect book. There’s also something so captivating about the motley collection of punctured, unpredictable, darkly likeable individuals which makes up the heart of this book. Schwab is a skilled writer with a gift for voice and characterization. She makes every character a concrete individual with a definite presence. My old feelings for the recurring cast came softly thronging back, while I grew fond of new characters. I mean, look, they’re all terrible people, unmoored to any discernible first principles that guide their decision-making and always hoping for cruel ends to justify their brutal means but…¯\_(ツ)_/¯ “Maybe we are broken. But we put ourselves back together. We survived. That’s what makes us so powerful. And as for family—well, blood is always family, but family doesn’t always have to be blood.”  VICTOR VALE: I would take a bullet for my asexual fashionista foster father, Victor Vale. I know he’s all-too-powerful and doesn’t really need me to, but it just feels like the right thing to do. Victor Vale is one of the most interesting and complex characters I’ve ever come across. Schwab’s building of his character is as careful and subtle and clever as anything—though it’s sometimes easy to miss in the noise and gloss and intensity of his persona. Victor completely subverts both the hero and anti-hero archetype. He’s willing to do and has done anything to protect those immediately close to him and he is often surprised to find himself possessed by something perilously close to affection for them. But he’s not at all nice or soft—he’s cold and calculating and remorseless and gives an incredible illusion of sanity and stability but you never know what’s going on below his dispassionate mask. A lot of the things he’s done are irredeemable. Yet, you come to understand him deeply without being pushed to erase his past behavior. And while he does change in bursts and clashes (he’s shed enough of his selfishness to carve a place for Syd and Mitch, and he’s even less of a jerk to Dominic), he essentially doesn’t change at all. Our perception of him does, though. Victor’s desperation and the thrum of fear he’s constantly experiencing at the thought of irreversible death and leaving his family unprotected sort of humanizes him. I lived for those scattered smithereens of grudging vulnerability. Yet, somehow, I still feel like we’ll never know all the carefully cobbled pieces of him. There's just so much layers to his character and it's positively riveting! This is my way of reiterating: I NEED MORE. ELI CARDALE: Well, he's alive and well…much to my chagrin. I haven’t quite parsed out my own relationship to Eli’s character but here’s the thing: part of me wants to believe that maybe, just maybe, the man who’s deception steeped in elegance, from his sharp smile to his unsettling eyes, malefic, hate-ravaged and bent on vengeance, is only a piece of who Eli is. Because over the course of this book, we are transported by the narrative back to Eli’s childhood and all that youthful hubris and quick-tempered rage and holier-than-thou drivel is swept away to reveal a deeply damaged individual whose life had come to him tangled in hate, and when he’d tried to untangle it, he’d failed. How he got there, and how the youth became this man, is one of this book’s most intriguing mysteries, pulling you ever deeper into the story. Another part of me, though, wishes I could root through my memories and shred my knowledge of his backstory—those years with his father’s vicious, careless cruelties and his mother’s indifferent neglect. Because Eli is so horrible. But I can't. “Once upon a time, when the marks on his back were still fresh, Eli told himself that he was growing wings. After all, his mother thought Eli was an angel, even if his father said he had the devil in him.”  Also, I feel like I’ll never stop feeling the scorch of acute nostalgia for when Eli and Victor had been better at loving each other, and worse at getting in one another’s way. And it’s frightening—in a really visceral way—the realization that everything could go wrong so horrendously, so quickly, and that, in the wrong circumstances, anyone might become a monster. MARCELLA MORGAN: You know what? I want more Byronic women figures. I want more self-important, reckless women libertines in silk dresses and steel-heeled stilettos leaving a string of broken men in their wake while dashing off threats and coolly bargaining with rivals who wish to gnaw on their souls. I want more women characters with an utter, unflinching embrace of self who are just on the charming, mercurial side of unlikeable assholes—definitely unreliable and more often than not morally questionable. “Perhaps she was glass. But glass is only brittle until it breaks. Then it’s sharp.” To say that Marcella is an intemperate, murderous lunatic would wound the feelings of most intemperate, murderous lunatics. And I am still a bit embarrassed about this next part—as it speaks to a black part of my character—but I would gladly let her step on my throat. Her character is so fascinating to me. Marcella is a study in brutality, a paragon of sheer and untampered force. She does not take things in, she only spins them around, sharpening them into weapons and recklessly flinging them right back. The men in her life couldn’t accept the idea that women are supposed to be multidimensional. They were happy to have her because they were happy with weakness. The more pliable a leader was, the more power they had. And who could be more pliable than a simple woman, playing at dominance? But Marcella wielded that ignorance like a finely knapped glass-knife. She pushed back against what the world decided for her. She was going to play the lead role in the grand cosmic drama, and not merely a bit part with no lines. She  required no validation. Her wish was her command. Her voice was her own; she uses it. Her life was her own; she carved a place for it. She was relentless in her dedication to herself. And she would never again allow weakness or softness, fear or ineptitude to hold her frozen. She hadn’t really known yet what she was capable of. And her gift had been untested. Until it wasn't. “How many men would she have to turn to dust before one took her seriously?”  I also have to talk about Mitch and Syd. I love them. I would lay down both of my kidneys for Sydney. And we all know Mitch is so buff because all his muscles are filled with love. He's probably at the gym, furiously doing weights, and thinking “I’m going to be so fucking good at hugging.” WHAT AN ANGEL. I'm not gonna lie, the only thing sustaining me right now is the elaborate, self-indulgent fantasy version that I’ve created in my mind of a world where Victor, Syd, Mitch and their thrice-dead dog are safe and together and away from *gestures vaguely* all this. BLOG | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | TUMBLR

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    His eyes met Victor’s, and for a second neither man moved. Run, thought Victor, and he could see the response in Eli’s coiled frame. Chase me. Oh, how I loved this book! I've waited five long years for the sequel to Vicious and I was starting to think it would never happen... but Vengeful was so so good. Definitely worth the wait. This duology (series??) is called "Villains" and yet the characters are so much more interesting than that. While I've enjoyed a number of Schwab's books, I feel like her His eyes met Victor’s, and for a second neither man moved. Run, thought Victor, and he could see the response in Eli’s coiled frame. Chase me. Oh, how I loved this book! I've waited five long years for the sequel to Vicious and I was starting to think it would never happen... but Vengeful was so so good. Definitely worth the wait. This duology (series??) is called "Villains" and yet the characters are so much more interesting than that. While I've enjoyed a number of Schwab's books, I feel like her strongest writing and characters lie here with Victor and Eli. These "villains" are actually complex antiheroes - murderous and power-hungry, for sure, but also sympathetic and even likeable. They fascinate me. The bare bones of the story is not that original. I've read countless books about people with X-Men like powers. And yet, for me, Schwab makes this book stand out from the pile. She creates such interesting, well-rounded characters, and draws out the tension so perfectly that I need to know what happens next. I love it when an author can take an exhausted topic and breathe new life into it. In this book, new characters emerge to make the fight even bigger than before. Once again, we are forced to consider what it is to be good, to do right, and what it is to be evil. All of the characters do despicable things and yet their motives make a certain kind of sense-- even if I'm reluctant to admit it. The addition of a new character - Marcella - is a real highlight of this book. She is seriously terrible. And also freaking awesome. Perhaps she was glass. But glass is only brittle until it breaks. Then it’s sharp. In fact, the female characters are far bigger stars in Vengeful than they are in Vicious. Hell hath no fury like women seeking vengeance against the men who wronged them. June is another fantastic character and her snark made me smile with delight: “Whatever you’ve heard,” said June, “it’s probably true.” Vengeful's timeline jumps back and forth and all around, and frequently switches perspective. While less-skilled authors would probably give me whiplash with this, Schwab uses it really well. As the past races alongside the present, the tension increases until finally all the pieces come together. Never has the phrase “the past is catching up with you” been more appropriate. Between the new characters causing havoc and the inevitable confrontation between Eli and Victor, this book is just so addictively good. Eli's backstory made me love/hate him even more and Sydney's growth added another layer to the story. It was also great to have Victor confirm his asexuality on-page. It's such a good book, but I want to issue a quick warning so potential readers can make an informed decision: It's an adult book, with graphic violence and semi-graphic sex. Further content warnings for: (view spoiler)[domestic violence; attempted rape; drug use; suicide; graphic torture. (hide spoiler)] Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  3. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Schwab

    One day I will be finished writing/rewriting this book. ETA: HAH. I DEFEATED YOU, BOOK MONSTER.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    “I don't want to survive. I want to thrive.” Am I Victor Vale yet cause I can assure you that I died several times during the course of this book. After wiping cold sweat off my forehead and 5 minutes of deep and thorough breathing exercises I am relieved and happy to tell you that I loved Vengeful. I had high hopes, but my fears were taller. Ever since Victoria had announced that she would write a sequel to Vicious, I wondered whether this was a good idea. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first bo “I don't want to survive. I want to thrive.” Am I Victor Vale yet cause I can assure you that I died several times during the course of this book. After wiping cold sweat off my forehead and 5 minutes of deep and thorough breathing exercises I am relieved and happy to tell you that I loved Vengeful. I had high hopes, but my fears were taller. Ever since Victoria had announced that she would write a sequel to Vicious, I wondered whether this was a good idea. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first book, but that was the exact reason why I wanted it to keep being a standalone novel. It was perfect. I loved it from start to finish, I could not find a single thing that bothered me, I was in awe with every single aspect of this book. Victoria is one of my favourite authors and I knew that she could write. Her writing, her characters, her stories are exceptional. And still, I had my doubts. I was not the biggest fan of and the finale to the Shades of Magic series was not as satisfying as I had wished. But then I opened the book and read the first page and I knew it, I knew this was the shit. This was going to be exactly what I wanted even though I had not known that I wanted it in the first place. Let's talk about the characters. I don't like Eli. He was a reckless fanatic and I wanted him to die. I didn't care for Victor. He was equally violent but at least not as self-righteous as Eli. My heart was always with Sydney, Doll, and Mitch. I want them to stay safe forever. Vengeful introduced me to Marcella, whom I loved from the very beginning. Her morals might have been even lower than those of Victor and Eli but I couldn't care less. June was another character I fell in love with. But she was not without issues either. However, I kind of like that her story was not explored in this book. We got hints, but her backstory is still draped in shadows...so if Victoria is actually going to write a third Villains book in five years - she said she might release a Villains book every five years - we might get to see more of June. (view spoiler)[And Sydney. But luckily not Eli, I'm pretty sure of that and not sad about it. What I am sad about is that Marcella was killed off. I understand why - she was too powerful and would have raised hell so her influence had to be limited - but she was a fascinating character. (hide spoiler)] The way this story was constructed was a work of art. Victoria managed to assemble an impressive amount of POVs, each with their own voice. Things could have easily become unrealistic or rushed, but Victoria managed to maintain the pacing and the result was a thrilling, breathtaking story about villains, power and death. I know that it took a lot of patience and willpower to write this book but it was worth it. 5 well-deserved stars. Find more of my books on Instagram

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lia (a paper pigeon)

    Okay. I'm gonna be a big brave girl and say it. This wasn't that great. There, I said it. Phew. That was a hard one to admit. I mean -yes, I liked it. -yes, Victoria Schwab could write assembly instructions and I'd still read every word like it was prose. -yes, it was great to be back into the Villains universe. -yes, it was entertaining and made me lose my mind. -and yes, I still think Mitch should adopt us all. But I can't say I loved Vengeful as much as I loved Vicious because it'd be a lie. Okay. I'm gonna be a big brave girl and say it. This wasn't that great. There, I said it. Phew. That was a hard one to admit. I mean -yes, I liked it. -yes, Victoria Schwab could write assembly instructions and I'd still read every word like it was prose. -yes, it was great to be back into the Villains universe. -yes, it was entertaining and made me lose my mind. -and yes, I still think Mitch should adopt us all. But I can't say I loved Vengeful as much as I loved Vicious because it'd be a lie. I don't know if I should believe the tingling and bothering feeling in my brain that suggests that maybe this one suffered from the sequel curse, or if the disappointment comes from it being too long & packed with side characters/plots I couldn't get myself to fully care about, but I didn't feel the same enthusiasm I did last year, when Victor, Syd, Eli and their merry brigade came into my life. I have no idea what happened. Somewhere between the first and the last chapters I got lost (and a bit bored sigh) and couldn't focus on it properly, despite the twists and raw scenes. I felt like something was missing and, at the same time, something was imposing. I guess I'll figure out what exactly didn't do it for me, someday. But, man, what a pity. And what a slip. Don't get me wrong, Vengeful is still far from the tragedy that are many overhyped sequels out there, and I've still loved parts of it that I'll maybe gush about once the spoiler alert is at its minimum, but I still think Vicious was better. And, if possible, sort of different. @ Victoria Schwab, I still love you to pieces. Please, don't ever stop writing. Please, don't hate me. ACTUAL RATINGS 3,5/5

  6. 4 out of 5

    Korrina (OwlCrate)

    Guys, get ready...

  7. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    theres nothing quite like reading about a bunch of sociopaths to make you feel good about your life. additionally, theres nothing like enjoying a book about sociopaths to make you feel the need to re-evaluate your life. lol. this had everything i loved about vicious, and so much more! i dont even know where to begin. how lucky we are to even get a sequel? how much more world building was present in this? the fact that mitch was still so wholesome? the brilliance of schwabs storytelling? how much theres nothing quite like reading about a bunch of sociopaths to make you feel good about your life. additionally, theres nothing like enjoying a book about sociopaths to make you feel the need to re-evaluate your life. lol. this had everything i loved about vicious, and so much more! i dont even know where to begin. how lucky we are to even get a sequel? how much more world building was present in this? the fact that mitch was still so wholesome? the brilliance of schwabs storytelling? how much this made me wish i could shapeshift? or quite possibly the fact that i HAVE A CRUSH ON ELI?! what is even wrong with me!? i am just going to take my falling for a mass killer as proof that story was exceptionally well-written, the character development was on point, and everything about this got me so invested. if i could have made one teeny tiny little change, i would have preferred less side plots/minor characters. eli and victor definitely deserved to be the focus of this book at all times. i think these additional characters were added to set up for another book (maybe? possibly? fingers crossed?), but i felt like they diverted too much attention away from the people who really mattered. overall, when all is said and done, this book definitely made me feel like i need therapy because it was almost the death of me (that ending though, seriously). so i will be forwarding you my treatment bill, ms. schwab. be sure to check your junk mail. :P ↠ 4.5 stars

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lexie

    Update: Verily, that the sequel to Vicious is titled Vengeful is a beautiful case of both alliteration and sinister phrasing. Then again, it is Victor Vale, so perhaps poetry and peril were par for the course.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    you know how I’ve been talking all week about the #fivestarathon, and there were five challenges, one of which was to read five books during the one-week readathon, and I had a full TBR and I’d picked five books, and I didn’t think I’d actually get it done because I haven’t really been reading recently? I fucking did it I read seven books this week, five of which were for this readathon, and this was the last one and I finished at 12:30 a.m. and in case you were wondering, it was absolutely fuck you know how I’ve been talking all week about the #fivestarathon, and there were five challenges, one of which was to read five books during the one-week readathon, and I had a full TBR and I’d picked five books, and I didn’t think I’d actually get it done because I haven’t really been reading recently? I fucking did it I read seven books this week, five of which were for this readathon, and this was the last one and I finished at 12:30 a.m. and in case you were wondering, it was absolutely fucking perfect. review to come!! ✨ buddyread with most of goodreads, probably Vicious - ★★★★★

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hamad

    Full review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription Actual Rating: 4.5 stars Victoria Schwab liked my tweet My life is complete!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    emi

    OH MY GOD THIS F*CKING BOOK Someone pls kill me as this book is making me suffer inside And then bring me back to life bc I want superpowers Anyways RTC.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Warda

    So, I read the prologue whilst waiting for a friend and my. Mind. Was. Blown. Need to chop chop-it and reread Vicious already! —————————————————— I can't breathe... This calls for a moment of silence.

  13. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    And that was entirely INTENSE. Also long so I feel like I was just flung down 57 flights of stairs and am now gasping at the end with my leGS brOKEn. Although I will admit I liked Vicious better and I'm a teeny bit disappointed because I expected a 5star read and (for me) it wasn't. But like it was still excellent. I'm absolutely reeling with the cleverness of the timelines. I understand why Schwab was dying on twitter while writing this. I've written a teeny-tiny 2-timeline split book and that n And that was entirely INTENSE. Also long so I feel like I was just flung down 57 flights of stairs and am now gasping at the end with my leGS brOKEn. Although I will admit I liked Vicious better and I'm a teeny bit disappointed because I expected a 5star read and (for me) it wasn't. But like it was still excellent. I'm absolutely reeling with the cleverness of the timelines. I understand why Schwab was dying on twitter while writing this. I've written a teeny-tiny 2-timeline split book and that near killed me. But this has DOZENS AND DOZENS OF THEM. This book is a work of intricate design and it's staggering and very worthy of applause. We also get two new characters sweeping the page: Marcella and June. One thing that annoyed me about Vicious was the lack of women so this MORE than makes up for it. They are badass and terrifying. Marcella is wickedly beautiful and so Slytherin afjdksald I absolutely loved her. She just grew into this frightful villain of perfection. (Shhhh I'm allowed to love the villains.) And June is a shape-shifter of many many mysteries. I wish we got some answers for her? But she looks out for Sydney and plays all sides and LOVE HER. Basically this: Schwab: here is a new backstabbing Slytherin character Me: LOVE !! AM IN !! LOVE !!! Who is not a Slytherin here, hmm? (Ok Mitch and Sydney are Hufflepuffs, but still.) Eli and Victor actually don't feature as much? Well Victor is dying and trying to find a cure and Eli is in prison but working with Stell. We get Eli's backstory which made me feEL THINGS FOR HIM I DIDN'T ASK TO FEEL. Like rip my heart (literally) out of my chest, thanks. Tbh, I don't see a difference between Eli and Victor. Just that Eli thinks he's good (he's not) and Victor thinks he's bad (he is). They are such a fantastic duo and will literally plan to save each other so THEY can be the one to kill the other. I can't even. Bless them. Also, no joke, my favourite scenes were the domestic ones. My dysfunctional family of Victor, Mitch and Sydney. Afjsdakl. The chapters are like: mURDER MURDER ... hot chocolate and homeschooling Sydney!! I love it. I love that Victor pretends not to care but he loves them. Dislikes? Just that it was long, very very long, and I felt it dragged in the middle. And I missed having Victor feature more. It felt like his character just stagnated? The ending was unsatisfying for me tbh. ALSO IT IS VICIOUSLY STABBY. Which I freaking adore. The powers are intense and creative and we get Mob bosses and government agencies and vivisection and blood everywhere and ajfdskald everyone gets hurt and I love it all. Vicious wins for me, but Vengeful is still a stunning sequel. Her eyes narrowed in concentration as her will warred with his, but Eli was loose, and Sydney was lost, and those two things made Victor immovable.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chantal (Every Word A Doorway)

    AM I DREAMING?? One of my all-time favourite books gets a sequel?! This is too good to be true. What I want to know is when? WHEN?

  15. 5 out of 5

    ☆ Mira ✷

    #hide yo kids hide yo wife schwab came for us all ^me meeting Victoria Schwab the day after I finished Vengeful and trying not to be freakishly starstruck. (she said she loved my "Victor Vale is my hero" shirt, which is peak fangirl try and top me. Also, I always thought that she must be the Devil & Co due to how her books screw me over, but she's so sweet and funny, she definitely has no Satanic origins.) Anyway, after finishing Vengeful, I spent 10 mins searching GIF websites for variations #hide yo kids hide yo wife schwab came for us all ^me meeting Victoria Schwab the day after I finished Vengeful and trying not to be freakishly starstruck. (she said she loved my "Victor Vale is my hero" shirt, which is peak fangirl try and top me. Also, I always thought that she must be the Devil & Co due to how her books screw me over, but she's so sweet and funny, she definitely has no Satanic origins.) Anyway, after finishing Vengeful, I spent 10 mins searching GIF websites for variations of "death, satan, ghost, hell" to express how I feel about Vengeful only to accept that nothing can do it justice, so that's the Schwab Effect™. I mean, I just want to know what grave sin I committed in a past life to deserve that fireball of an ending?! I KNOW there will be a third book—that cliffhangerish hell can't possibly be the last we see of Merit. I teared up in class today, probably looking like I was crying about math, but really I was just thinking about a certain event at the end about which I'll be Emotional for the next century. But I also must have been a saint at some point to be born into a world where the Villains duology exists, because, you know, when there's intense pain, the happiness is that much stronger, or something like that. And there's a LOT of enjoyment here. So many BADASS things kept happening that made me grin in delight. Whenever I sat down to read, 100 addictive pages would go by before I knew it. Especially during the climax. The climax felt like a roller coaster, except that roller coasters warn you about the potential side effects, and it's socially acceptable to scream at the top of your lungs during them. My heart was beating faster than it does when I think I've finally trapped a spider under a cup, only to lift it and see empty space. And then the ending—WHAT?! That's going on my gravestone. I'm in awe of how Victoria draws out tension and develops relationships between characters over months or years that they spend not interacting at all. In AGOS, Kell & Lila didn't even make eye contact until the last 18% of the book, yet their relationship was MY LIFE the ENTIRE time. In Vengeful, this type of dynamic takes place between Victor & Eli; they've been apart for 5 years and don't reunite until the climax, but we get all the feels from their friendship/enmity. Speaking of Victor/Eli feels, THOSE ELI EMOTIONS WHAT ON EARTH. I can't believe we got Holland'ed again?! Join my Eli Protection Program 2k18 PLEASE. BUT anyway, let's get to the point and talk about Marcella Morgan, the real star of Vengeful. She's the icon of my life, a truly aspirational EO with the power of burning what she touches. Naturally, she uses this power to burn trash ass men down and rise to power. Marcella wondered how many men she would have to turn to ash before one took her seriously. Every time I thought she couldn't get more savage, she went and Did That. With the time-skipping format of this series, we learn Marcella's life story, which sets up an amazing character arc. How she views her femininity and draws power from it throughout her life, and how that evolves, is fascinating. Which brings me to my next declaration: Vengeful is the feminist antihero story I never knew I needed. It's the most feminist SFF I've EVER read. The juxtaposition of the ways in which Marcella, June, and Sydney are suppressed and how they react to it is incredibly effective. The themes in Vengeful are for you to figure out—Victoria doesn't straight out tell you anything—which made this feminist aspect subtly executed but so powerful. Back to how I met Victoria Schwab on tour (!), she talked about the feminism in Vengeful, and I diligently memorized what she said. Whereas Vicious is very masculine and focuses on male friendships, toxic masculinity, etc, Vengeful is all about the women and how they reclaim power. Marcella is a mob wife always treated as an object. Sydney, due to her not aging, is frustratingly infantilized by everyone, both by strangers and by those who love her. Then there's June, and... well... Victoria just started enthusiastically talking about how June is a living, breathing, voodoo doll, seeming (righteously) proud of herself for this. ("She's like Mystique from X-Men, except that if she gets hurt, the other person will feel it!") The flow of power is another main theme, building on what started in Vicious and linking to the aforementioned feminism. I spent 2 hours today just thinking intensely about Victoria's statements in this book about power and how it corrupts. The parallels and contrasts between Marcella & Victor, Marcella & Eli, and Victor & Eli's use of power are SO INTERESTING. My loyal followers probably aren't loyal enough to read 1k words of literary analysis in an innocuous review of a superhero thriller, but the person reading this is welcome to slide into my DMs anytime ;) It was also illuminating to think about how Marcella compares to Adelina from The Young Elites. Their narrative arcs are close parallels despite the series being so different. <3 so anyway, this too long review is a small sampling of my reactions to Vengeful, the book of my life that makes me want to be the next King Arthur so I can declare it required reading for every high school in the kingdom I rule.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Azrah

    I finished this book over a week ago and have procrastinated this review because I AM STILL completely S H O O K. It took a while to put my thoughts together. And I will now attempt to express my love for this book and all these kick-ass characters, who are all so dear to me. SPOILERS BELOW The five year time jump came as a surprise, though not an unwelcome one. Throughout the book there was plenty time jumping and changing of POV, but I managed to keep up and I didn't mind. After the end of Vi I finished this book over a week ago and have procrastinated this review because I AM STILL completely S H O O K. It took a while to put my thoughts together. And I will now attempt to express my love for this book and all these kick-ass characters, who are all so dear to me. SPOILERS BELOW The five year time jump came as a surprise, though not an unwelcome one. Throughout the book there was plenty time jumping and changing of POV, but I managed to keep up and I didn't mind. After the end of Vicious, when Sydney resurrects Victor, everything is good for a while. But it soon becomes apparent that there is something very wrong with Victor and his powers. And so begins the search for a solution: an EO healer. But with each dead-end their desperation increases. Mitch and Sydney shouldn’t have come at all, but Victor had long given up trying to dissuade them. Attachment was a vexing thing, as pernicious as weeds. I loved Victor even more in Vengeful. I felt his hopelessness and I was praying for him to find a remedy. He cares so much for Sydney and Mitch my hearts cracks. ...couldn’t bear the look on Sydney’s face. Or Mitch’s. He could leave. Should leave. Distance wouldn’t save him, but it might protect them. Mitch ( who is my favourite Schwab character) is Sydney and Victor's anchor in Vengeful. He made each place they were staying in into a home. He worries about both of them. Victor goes around looking for healer EO's and murdering people. And Sydney is resurrecting dead animals in her room. But Mitch? Oh he's making everyone hot cocoa and cooking. I. FUCKIN’. LOVE. HIM. Sydney finds out that Victor killed Serena. She feels betrayed, but she also realises that Serena was dangerous. AND YET she still starts to strengthen her powers in order to bring Serena back! I get that she misses her though. But that bitch was crazy. Leave her dead I say! Once upon a time, Victor had promised Sydney that he wouldn’t let anyone hurt her—that he would always hurt them first. He’d broken that promise. I really felt for Sydney. She's a teenager stuck in a kids body. So she has no one her age to talk to, and she has two overprotective daddies. I don't blame her for befriending June. She needed someone other than Mitch and Victor, someone else she could vent to. I know a lot of people wish that Schwab would have expanded a bit more on June's past. Nope, not me. I didn't like her from the get-go. What happened to her was terrible. But she was still a wacko. I was actually looking forward to Dominic playing a bigger role in this book. He did and I loved reading his chapters. But then he had to go and get himself killed. AND OH MY WORD THE T E A R S Marcella, I thought, was so fun to read about. She's a woman on a mission. And no one will stand in her way. She was just so bad-ass. And I was torn between cheering for her and being like: woman chill now! “Never underestimate an angry woman.” “Never underestimate a woman,” Eli stole the show for me. I was hoping that we would get to read about his past. You know what they say: be careful what you wish for. Eli's chapters B R O K E M E. THE TEARS WOULD NOT STOP FLOWING. And as if his past wasn't torture enough, we jump to the present WHERE HE IS BEING DISSECTED LIKE A FUCKIN’ RAT. Are you trying to kill us V.E Schwab? Because it sure felt like it. But then relief comes when Stell gets him to help on cases instead. Eli had never known there were so many kinds of happiness, let alone so many ways to express it. When he was in captivity there was a second I thought maybe he'd turned a new leaf. Maybe he won't want to murder Victor anymore. He'll get out of prison and he can join their family! (I've been told I have a wild imagination.) Alas, my dreams were not meant to be. My poor Eli is deceased. It's taken me over a week to get over it. I am REALLY HOPING for a continuation. I don't mind open-endings, but seriously we NEEEED more. And if there's another book, I'd really love to know more about Victor's childhood and past. I think there's still so much about his character that everyone would love to know more about. ____ I am feeling so many emotions right now. This was AMAZING. Thank you to everyone on Goodreads for hyping VE Schwab. Her work is gold of a discovery for me. I'm so glad I read this series. Review to come ____ 30, Sept 2018 Pre-read Rambles My expectations are very high. Life will be hard if this isn't all that I hope it will be. Good vibes this way pleeease XD

  17. 4 out of 5

    Estefani

    VENGEFUL? OMG YES ------- Three words. MORE VICTOR VALE bye.

  18. 4 out of 5

    ❄️Nani❄️

    Calling a temporary DNF at 75% (my first ever official DNF). This was a fiasco. An absolute clusterfuck.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Crini

    I little over 5 years ago I read a short preview of Vicious via Netgalley and immediately knew I would love this book. Forward to October 2013 and I ended up having a new favorite book, my ONE favorite book. Five years later, I read the sequel and I'm just a whole big mess of emotions. I expected Vengeful to be GOOD, how could it not be, when I get to return to my favorite character, Victor Vale, when I get to read more about my precious family of broken souls, my personal heroes, when I get to re I little over 5 years ago I read a short preview of Vicious via Netgalley and immediately knew I would love this book. Forward to October 2013 and I ended up having a new favorite book, my ONE favorite book. Five years later, I read the sequel and I'm just a whole big mess of emotions. I expected Vengeful to be GOOD, how could it not be, when I get to return to my favorite character, Victor Vale, when I get to read more about my precious family of broken souls, my personal heroes, when I get to return to a city filled with people of questionable mindsets, when I get to go back to a place that makes me feel like coming home. Vengeful wasn't just good though. It was MORE. SO MUCH MORE. The plot was insanely good, had me on the edge of my seat and unable to stop reading (I did read the whole book in one sitting minus a small break to get something to eat), the characters were just as fully fleshed out and perfectly broken and HUMAN, just like they were in Vicious but with so much additional character growth, making it all the more twisted, more messed up, DARKER, and just... MORE. The new characters made it all the more interesting, certain developments made it all the more intense, stakes were higher, characters' morals more messed up... I could say so much more about it yet at the same time I don't know what to say. Not that I ever had any doubts, but that the sequel to my favorite book turned out THIS good, easily became a favorite itself, brings (happy) tears to my eyes, tbh.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    Good grief I'm finally done with this. I'm disappointed. I'm underwhelmed. I'm frankly a little pissed off. I went into this book with the excitement of a giddy child and came out a crone hardened by sheer boredom and anger (the worst kind). I was happy with the story, so very happy, but once Marcella (a new addition AKA the lady on the cover) mutinied and became the star of the show, around the 50% mark, I found myself dreading reading this. I don't want this to be a long review so I'm going to b Good grief I'm finally done with this. I'm disappointed. I'm underwhelmed. I'm frankly a little pissed off. I went into this book with the excitement of a giddy child and came out a crone hardened by sheer boredom and anger (the worst kind). I was happy with the story, so very happy, but once Marcella (a new addition AKA the lady on the cover) mutinied and became the star of the show, around the 50% mark, I found myself dreading reading this. I don't want this to be a long review so I'm going to be more brief than I usually am, especially when I have so many feelings. Here are my general feelings about the characters, the plot, and the themes of the book: I found that all the veteran characters were cardboard cutouts of their former selves. They weren't really there long enough, their feelings and thoughts weren't touched on enough, to really warrant any feelings on my part. Victor was reduced to a hand flicking, wall leaning, tired guy who did things Victor would never do; Sydney was just meh and Mitch didn't drink nearly enough chocolate milk, though I did appreciate the extra time spent on Eli (though in the present, he wasn't nearly as entrancing as he had been in the past and in Vicious). Stell was back, and I actually really liked him. He was the only person who acted like a person, and I really appreciated that. The new additions were mostly wallpaper. June had no logical motives. Both her and Marcella got their revenges way too soon and too easily to really hold any tension. While the new powers were interesting, I was constantly confused about the state of clothing in regards to June's ability. Basically, she can shapeshift into anyone living that she touches (minusing EOs) and glimpse into their most basic fundamental character aspects. And she also takes...their outfit? What about clothing she puts on separately? Can she remove the clothing? If she wants a specific outfit, does she have to go looking for someone wearing it? Jonathan, another new addition, started out as a real person and literally became a cardboard cutout (okay not literally but pretty darn close). He just stood there. He rarely spoke. He always wore sunglasses even though everyone knew where he was looking. I forgot that he even existed for a moment. Dr Haverty was okay, but a little cliche and convenient, and I wish he'd stayed around longer instead of popping up right when I'd completely forgotten he was a character. Marcella...😒 Marcella was just Aelin Galathynius if you took away the tragic backstory. She's evil for the sake of it, black and white with no trace of grey, and a straight up psychopath. She tries to use feminism to support her ridiculous and unethical behavior and somehow...people agree? Like real people? She makes little snide comments about how men are always underestimating women who are ambitious, how they always call them crazy. No, lady, you are actually crazy. It's not just men saying that. Sydney isn't crazy. Sydney has morals. No one calls Sydney crazy (except for maybe Eli, but he's even more crazy). She said and did a lot of things that undermine real misogyny. She wasn't been underestimated or abused when male characters got mad at her for not holding up her end of the deal. She was being treated reasonably under the circumstances. Yes, her power of ruination was cool, but she used it as proof she is to be worshipped when she doesn't deserved to even be liked. I didn't know if this was intentional or not because the book didn't give me any clear message. And that brings me to the general theme of this book. Or rather, the lack of a theme. It had no direction, had no point to make. There was no greyness to anything. There were the people we're supposed to see as good guys and those who were obviously villains. There was no unique and interesting philosophy, no real conflict. It was character-driven but didn't have any character tension. Scenes that were obviously supposed to be hardhitting and important character moments lacked any kind of tension whatsoever. They felt stale and boring. The first half of this book was promising, but it didn't keep that promise. Every end may be a new beginning, but every beginning had to end.

  21. 5 out of 5

    may ❀

    i've been waiting years for this book and im stuck between screaming in fear and excitement, with schwab you can never really tell buddy read with the squaf💗, 🐝, 👸, & 🐀

  22. 4 out of 5

    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    “Every end is a new beginning.” I can’t put in words how much I adore these books. I would honestly recommend this to every single person in existence. I read Vicious a couple of days ago. I couldn't control myself and dived into this on the weekend. Victoria Schwab managed to give us the most complex story about Villains there is, and I loved every minute of it! █████████████ Ignorance █████████████ Is ████████████████████████████ ███████████████████ only ██████ █████████ bliss █████████████████ If “Every end is a new beginning.” I can’t put in words how much I adore these books. I would honestly recommend this to every single person in existence. I read Vicious a couple of days ago. I couldn't control myself and dived into this on the weekend. Victoria Schwab managed to give us the most complex story about Villains there is, and I loved every minute of it! █████████████ Ignorance █████████████ Is ████████████████████████████ ███████████████████ only ██████ █████████ bliss █████████████████ If you ██████████████████████████ ███████████████████ want ███████ to █████████████ get ██████████ █████████ caught ███████████████ So, thanks to Sydney, Victor is back but not without consequence. We watch Victor struggle to find a way to fix what went wrong. A lot of failed attempts and the desperation just increases. Victor does a lot of things that could warrant someone to hate him. Truthfully, he is probably my favorite character from these books. It isn't everyday where you read a story from the villains point of view, and I love that Schwab doesn't try to justify what he’s doing. Sydney is quite grown in this one. Maybe not physically, but you can see the differences between when she was thirteen and now. Mitch was as supportive as ever. He helps Victor find EOs that could help, and is constantly worrying about Victor and Sydney. We had a lot of time jumping which was a tad bit confusing, but I got the hang of it after a while. We also switched a lot between characters, and I really enjoyed that aspect. I loved how you could tell the difference between the narration of each character. We got a glimpse of what the past was like for Eli. His upbringing and the troubles he faced. This made me love and hate him all at once, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more confused. Marcella was a new addition to the characters. I especially loved her point of view (aside from Victor of course) she was all kinds of badass. June was also a new face (literally) I admit I didn't really understand why she was so attached to Sydney so much. It got quite annoying after a while, and I wanted nothing more than for Sydney to be with Victor and Mitch. “Marcella sighed. “Men are always so impatient. Perhaps it comes from a lifetime of being given what you want, when you want it. Sometimes, Joseph, you just have to wait.” I really really enjoyed these books. I can only hope that this wont be the last we see of these characters. I would definitely love to see what happens next to them. The story became so much more complex than it was. Another battle for us to decide which side we’re on. || Blog || Instagram ||

  23. 5 out of 5

    amy

    someone: "what scares you?" me, with a horrified expression: "the last book in a v.e. schwab series" i've been putting this off for so long because schwab has too much power over me and i'm capital letters TERRIFIED of her, and that's the tea ✦ buddy read with the squad: maymay, gianna, marami

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch

  25. 5 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    Not quite as good as Vicious, sadly. I figure the easiest way to sum up my thoughts is with a couple of handy dandy lists: What I Liked -BACKSTORY. This book gave us tons of backstory on Eli, back to his childhood and his early days at Lockland with Victor. LOVE LOVE LOVED THIS. -New characters. I grew tired of Marcella after a while, but I am head over heels obsessed with June. Her power is so insanely cool, and I would have gladly read a whole book about her. I have a couple of theories about her Not quite as good as Vicious, sadly. I figure the easiest way to sum up my thoughts is with a couple of handy dandy lists: What I Liked -BACKSTORY. This book gave us tons of backstory on Eli, back to his childhood and his early days at Lockland with Victor. LOVE LOVE LOVED THIS. -New characters. I grew tired of Marcella after a while, but I am head over heels obsessed with June. Her power is so insanely cool, and I would have gladly read a whole book about her. I have a couple of theories about her, and since we didn't really get many answers, I suspect there will be a third book (I'd heard it might be a possibility, but now I'm sure haha). -This book is quite a bit darker than Vicious. The new characters (along with our old friends) introduced more blood, power, and villainy, which reinforced that this is an adult series. Lots of swearing as well, which I'm a huge fan of. What I Disliked -The non-linear timeline. This aspect is something that I adored about Vicious, but in this book, I was often confused about where we were and what was going on. There are far more points in time (4 years ago, 3 years ago, 2 years ago, 15 years ago, etc.) so I found it a bit tricky to follow at times. It made the book much slower to read, because I was constantly having to adjust my mind to where the story was currently at. -New characters. This is both a pro and a con for me, as the introduction of two new main characters (and a ton of side characters) led to less time spent with the old characters. So there was less Eli, less Victor, and less focus on Syd/Mitch/Dol. There were just too many characters. -The plot. At times the plot could be interesting, but for the most part it was quite repetitive (view spoiler)[ Victor dies. Victor wakes up. Sydney thinks about her sister. Victor finds an EO and kills them. Eli sits in jail. Marcella kills a few people. June kills another person. repeat. (hide spoiler)] . It seemed to have less of a focus than Vicious. -THE ENDING. It was a bit too open for my liking. not much resolution. Those are all of my thoughts for now! It was an enjoyable book, but nowhere near the level of the first book. It expanded on the universe, which was nice, but I don't think it will leave as lasting of an impression on me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bibi

    🤯 🤯. This book, and its predecessor, is recommended for readers of Fantasy and those who love superheroes. So, basically everyone? RTC.

  27. 5 out of 5

    &#x1f98a; Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk

    Hell, yeah! I’m so excited! 🎉

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    “You do what you can. You fight, and you win, until you don’t.” BRILLIANT. AMAZING. PERFECTION. THE BEST! I’m so in love with Victoria Schwab. RTC ** I just received my signed preorder copy more than one week before its release date!!! That has never happened to me before I am so excited to read it ahhh

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eryn

    ⇢ 4 / 5 Oh my, Vengeful was quite a ride; although not as entertaining as Vicious, it did not disappoint and was truly worth the wait. *This review will contain spoilers, here and there, so read at your own risk!* When I heard Schwab was writing a sequel to Vicious, I was enthralled (to say the least). I couldn’t wait to learn more about Victor and Eli; to read more from a favorite author... add that to Vicious being one of my favorite novels and you can hopefully picture how exited I was. That bei ⇢ 4 / 5 Oh my, Vengeful was quite a ride; although not as entertaining as Vicious, it did not disappoint and was truly worth the wait. *This review will contain spoilers, here and there, so read at your own risk!* When I heard Schwab was writing a sequel to Vicious, I was enthralled (to say the least). I couldn’t wait to learn more about Victor and Eli; to read more from a favorite author... add that to Vicious being one of my favorite novels and you can hopefully picture how exited I was. That being said, even though I liked this installment, I wish more could have been expanded on in certain areas and less in others… (Unless there is a book three coming out? Then I’d understand the vague areas; however, I haven’t heard anything). For one, we never learn more about Victor’s past, which was upsetting. He’s very much a “here and now” character. I would have liked to learn more about his life before meeting Eli—after all, Victor has his own demons, too. Which leads me to Eli—one of my favorite characters, ever. Well, he was in Vicious. There’s just so much depth to him. However, in this installment, I felt like his character wavered in certain areas. Of course, I realize this is Schwab’s character, but there were various moments were I felt certain Eli was turning a new leaf; that he no longer wanted to kill Victor; that Victor and Eli would reconcile. And maybe that was a little ambitious of me to hope for… but that’s what I felt. He's just so broken and misunderstood, I wish he could have healed somehow—(view spoiler)[but no, he had to get himself shot and killed. (hide spoiler)] Sydney and Mitch were amazing, as usual. Both characters felt real, and I loved seeing the relationship bloom between the two of them. They felt like a family. Warm and trusting. New characters introduced were decent, but a little overdone. Marcella’s character was odd (but pretty kick-butt). Her personality seemed different in the beginning (before her near-death) to her time as an EO. I found it hard to believe that because her husband tried to kill her, it prompted her to turn into a killing-machine. I understand why she hates men—but wanting to lead the mob and “take over the world” or whatever, seems a little much. Then again, I guess she was delusional; June seemed to think so. June was quite a mystery, not only because of her shapeshifting ability, but because we never really learn much about her—other than her strange need to protect Sydney. I wish more was revealed about her. Only that would take away from the whole “mystery” surrounding her character. What a shame. Maybe in book three? (Come on, Schwab…please?). Overall, this novel was worth the wait. Were there things I wished could have been added and taken out? Yeah, but that doesn’t mean this book isn’t amazing! It still is. Schwab still impresses with her killer story and writing skills. Seriously. I cringed so much when Eli was being tortured (that poor boy). Great, great story. Believable broken characters. Flawless writing. Hoping for a book three!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    no. fucking. way. P.S. I highly recommend listening to Run by AWOLNATION while reading bc it’s a PERFECT theme for this book UPDATE: apparently there’s a 5 years long time skip between book 1 and book 2 wHAT AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA is it september yet?

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