Book review: Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab

Published: September 25th 2018 by Tor

Annotation:

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.

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.


My rating:

“Every end is a new beginning.”

Vengeful was one of my anticipated releases, but it took me months to actually start reading it. Why? Because I really enjoyed Vicious, which was a kind of iconic book and described villains outside the concept of good and evil, but somewhere in between the grey lines of morally ambiguous people. And I honestly did not know what to think about the sequel announcement. I was excited and also weary, but, at the end of the day, I am more satisfied with Vengeful than not, though I had my issues.

Vengeful follows its predecessor’s style and jumps between two timelines: past and present. We get to know what happened to our beloved characters during those years we missed them, and how they found themselves tangled in a different kind of trouble. I would presume that Vicious felt more like a personal book about the conflict of two main characters – Victor and Eli, and on some psychological level, it rounded the narrative to the point where readers felt personally involved in the conflict. Vengeful, on the other hand, distances itself from the personal drama and rounds on the topic of current interest: what happens when EO (extraordinary) go public and open themselves to the world. Do they deserve to be heard? Or will they usurp and dominate this world? And it’s a rather complex question I am still reeling from because it got me thinking that I am indecisive when it comes to taking sides in this book.

As for the characters I am a little bit disappointed in Victor. He was my favourite in Vicious – the center of the gravity, but here I couldn’t match myself to his agendas and thoughts. Eli, on the other hand, told us his backstory and made us come closer to understanding his character, though, I am still distant from his zealous philosophy, I could sympathize with him. Marcella and June were two refreshing ladies I found myself thoroughly enjoying following. Though Marcella did disappoint me in the end, it was still a very cool feeling to follow one woman’s path of revenge. I supported her vengence full time! Overall, I can add that secondary character – new and old ones – were more interesting to follow than the main ones.

If I am reading into the message correctly, we are going to get more books in the Villains universe, and probably Victor’s and Eli’s stories are not over? I have these questions about the finale.*

All in all, Vengeful was not as ‘scary’ as I imagined it to be, and, mostly, turned out to be a decent continuation of book 1. But the electrical buzz of satisfaction from Vicious is gone; the novelty is wearing off, and I am not sure I’ll be waiting for the sequel or sequels with open arms, but more as a curious passerby who is not waiting for revelations but for something aking to a comfortable duvet.

* – spoiler part is on page 2.

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