I know that some people aren’t crazy about Vengeful, the sequel to the vastly celebrated Vicious, but this is *exactly* the kind of Schwab fare I sign up for.
Yes, it was missing the simplicity of Vicious, yes, it took things further than its predecessor, HOWEVER it was that complexity which meant I ended up liking it even more. And I frickin loved Vicious. Not only did it have the stellar concept from the first book, but it raised the stakes, pushed the boundaries of sympathy and challenged the already established ideas. Schwab didn’t rest on her laurels with this book; she didn’t just reproduce the first book. She did something different and that’s why I think this has been somewhat of a divisive sequel.
For me, it ticked all the boxes. There were so many strokes of genius that I was blown away time and again. The plot was intense from start to finish; the twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat. I loved the layered element of flashbacks and timejumps- which served to make it ever more intricate. It was thought provoking and thrilling in equal measure. The intensity was such that I couldn’t stop reading. As it heated up towards the finale, I was on tenterhooks.
Naturally, this was in large part thanks to the fabulous voice employed throughout. The writing was as composed as an orchestra, each instrument, from word choice to pacing, was perfectly on beat. Its overall effect was exquisite. Needless to say, my kindle ended up as colourful as an impressionist painting 😉
What added to this masterpiece was the characters. The return of Victor Vale was, as expected, something to behold. It’s no secret I LOVE this character- a visionary villain who is almost a hero. It was fun to see the others return as well- even if I wasn’t crazy about all of them. And of course, it wouldn’t have been the same without the enigmatic Eli and his horrifyingly manipulative ways. I did like the main antagonist, Marcella, since she created a nice sense of drama too and added to the themes, however she wasn’t my favourite.
Evidently, I adored this book. The Villains series, for me, is the very best of Schwab. I can’t wait to see where it ends up!
Rating: 5/5 bananas
Have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!