VIcious - Victoria Schwab, V. E. Schwab *I received a 100 page preview of this book from netgalley. To state the obvious, I have therefore not read more than the first 100 pages.*

And this fact makes me very sad. I am reluctant to come out waving brightly-coloured banners and singing love ballads dedicated to this book just yet, seeing as I've read less than a third of the whole thing. But, let me tell you this, what I did read was more exciting, gripping and beautifully twisted than I ever imagined. To tell you the truth, my expectations were low. In the past, I have started and quickly put aside Schwab's [b:The Near Witch|6931344|The Near Witch (The Near Witch, #1)|Victoria Schwab|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1299080471s/6931344.jpg|7162375] and [b:The Archived|10929432|The Archived (The Archived, #1)|Victoria Schwab|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1338729878s/10929432.jpg|15846509] for no other reason than I simply couldn't get into them. It was very easy to spot how incompatible we were from the start. So, though I wanted to try [b:Vicious|13638125|Vicious|Victoria Schwab|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1362495700s/13638125.jpg|19250870], I fully expected a repeat performance. Well, colour me surprised when I found myself hooked from the very beginning.



This is nothing like Schwab's other books. It also falls into the adult/new adult category as opposed to young adult. To break it down simply, this is a story about superheroes and supervillains and how it isn't always so easy to tell which is which. Victor questions at one point (paraphrased because I lost the quote): "people are calling Eli a hero. If he's a hero and I want to destroy him, what does that make me?" It's all about the ambitions, the betrayals and the jealousies of people who are far too clever for their own good. People who work together to obtain power but whose friendship is torn apart by said power. The characters - including the protagonist - all have dark sides hiding beneath their calm, collected exteriors. Perhaps this will put some readers off, but I was absolutely fascinated by the exploration of the fine line between the good guys and the bad guys.

The story is split between the present and ten years ago. The present tells of Victor, an escaped convict, who is determined to find his old friend-turned-enemy and deal out the revenge that is burning inside him. Flash back to ten years ago and Victor is a bright, young university student who is practically inseparable from his best friend - Eli. When Eli proposes a plan to discover whether EOs (Extra-Ordinaries) exist, he and Victor become partners in a scheme that will take them to hell and back and maybe, just maybe, grant them supernatural abilities. I adored the complex friendship between the two men that hovered somewhere between love and bitter jealousy, I cannot wait to see more from their relationship when I get my hands on the rest of the book.

Hopefully, the rest of the novel is just as engaging and brilliant. But maybe it isn't. I have only read 100 pages, after all, and a lot can change. Maybe I'll be disappointed. But one thing is for certain: in September, I'm going to be finding out.