Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
THIS REVIEW IS SPOILER FREE FOR VENGEFUL BUT NOT FOR VICIOUS. SO IF YOU HAVEN’T READ VICIOUS AND PLAN TO, CLICK AWAY NOW 😀
From Goodreads: Eli Ever and Victor Vale were only medical students when their mutual discovery that near-death experiences can, under the right conditions, manifest extraordinary abilities.
They were best friends, and rivals, and then enemies. They were dead, then alive, and then—Eli killed Victor, once and for all.
Or so he thought—but Sydney Clarke felt otherwise, and used her own superpower to tip the scales. Now, a trio hides in the shadows, while another takes advantages of post-death life to take over the city of Merit.
If there can be life after death—will there be calm after vengeance, or will chaos rule?
V.E. Schwab has done it again. Honestly, I can’t remember ever picking up one of her books and not enjoying it. A while ago, before starting this blog, I read Vicious, the wonderfully dark story of two anti-hero like characters with ExtraOrdinary powers who duke it out for most of the book.
I couldn’t remember much of how Vicious ended, except for the fact that it was good and how things with Victor and Serena went down. So it made for an interesting read when I first opened up Vengeful. The book starts with a brand new character, Marcella, but it didn’t seem like a very big deal for me because so many books start with secondary characters in a prologue-esque way. Marcella is such a great character, too. I loved every one of her chapters and her backstory was just brilliant. In less than a page, I already knew exactly what kind of person she was, and it was amazing. The same holds true with every new character Schwab introduces throughout the book. She has this great way of letting you know the most essential parts of a character’s personality through actions and setting and how their thoughts work. It really is masterful.
My only slight problem with the book is that this did sort of cause me to lose some of a sense of the original characters. Victor and Sydney and Mitch are brilliant in their interactions, but it almost seems like they don’t get enough screentime in their own book. They’re there, but sometimes whole chunks of the book go by without much of a mention. It would have been nice if we checked in with them more frequently.
That being said, one of the best bits about the introduction of new characters is the learning all the powers they possess. You might remember from book one that everyone’s abilities come from how their thoughts go when they’re dying. Initially, I thought this might be kinda limiting, but Schwab approaches it with such imagination that it totally pays off. I actually gasped at some of the ingeniousness of these magic-like abilities. There’s definitely some that would have me running for the hills.
The pace is a little slow, and it took me a while to get through this book, but it was worth it. The ending is really something, and packs a harder punch than The Incredible Hulk. Honestly, the language and wit in this book absolutely sparkles, and I loved every page of it. It’s so gritty and dark, but it’s also just a very stunning book in every which way.
Overall, I’m giving Vengeful a 9.5/10 stars. I loved the new characters and powers, and that ending was breathtaking, but I do wish we’d gotten a bit more of Victor’s and/or Syndey’s POV throughout the book.
Has anyone else read this book or plans to? What did you all think of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings on what I read and review, so feel free to share anything in the comments section below. Until next time, everyone ❤