About Convince Me To Read Reviews
While we all have fairly similar tastes, sometimes we need a little push to read a certain book. The Convince Me to Read Review will be a review of the novel plus a section on why we think the others would enjoy it. It may lead to a Two Peas in a Pod Review!
Published by Tor on September 24th 2013
Amazon ♡ Chapters ♡ TBD
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
Okay so I am on a book buying ban until 2017. Everyone knows this. But I made a slight variation from this plan because I was meeting Victoria Schwab! I knew I would be buying this one anyway since I loved her writing in A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC. Since I obviously have nothing else to read (/sarcasm), I immediately dove in so that I could have completed it before I met her. And boy, am I glad I did so.
I thought all the characters were really well rounded. One of the things Schwab does best is to make her characters feel like they are sitting next to you telling you their story. You get so engrossed in what is happening that you forget they are characters and not real people. I had to remind myself time and time again that this wasn’t happening in real time. This is supremely written, much like ADSOM.
Eli and Victor were both masterfully crafted by Schwab. Eli is the kind of character that you can understand his motives and sympathize with him but still be scared shitless of. He has such a black and white way of seeing things — except when it is in relation to himself, which makes it 100 times scarier. And yet you still feel for him because you too see that ~something is missing from both him and Victor, so you understand where he is coming from. I just couldn’t get behind what he does to … rectify it. And I mean, if I did, we should probably get me some help.
At the same time, Victor was just as relateable and messed up as Eli for a completely different reason. His reasons for wanting to become an EO were so disconnected from reality and yet it seemed like he became almost more of himself after he turned. I loved seeing how his plan was laid out, but still trying to figure out certain pieces as the story progressed, and the genius he was to keep ahead of Eli while also ensuring the safety of those he cared about. It was a nice change of pace that both Eli and Victor were the hero and the villain because, as it is mentioned in the book, sometimes we are the hero of our story but the villain in someone else’s.
I loved the mixing of the theoretical with the practical. I didn’t specialize in Theory for nothing here folks, so I loved seeing how Victor and Eli took what should have remained in the theoretical and brought it over to the practical. Because they were geniuses and while they both didn’t think that they were initially setting out to harm people, I would argue that they knew all along that they were going to do some damage by trying to make this a reality.
I liked seeing the past and the present collide as I thought that added depth to the story that we wouldn’t otherwise have gotten. It was a good choice to have the past relevant to the present be told at that time. It added to the suspense and intrigue that I had when learning about EOs and how Victor and Eli came into their powers. Because of the time switches, VICIOUS had a good pace that kept you moving forward while what you learned about the story even while it was in the past. I think something would have been taken away from the story had Schwab written this in chronological order. I feel as though I wouldn’t have sympathized with either Eli and Victor as much as I had if I had learned their past before seeing their present. Which is what makes this one so interesting!!!
The world-building was immaculate as I could see this explanation as being a plausible way of gaining EO abilities (BUT PLEASE DO NOT TRY IT AT HOME). I was a little put off that Eli and Victor chose suicide for their near death experience, but I think it added to their characters: they were willing to do whatever it took to be something they were not meant to. However, if that triggers you please move forward with caution.
If you haven’t read a book by Schwab yet, you are really missing out. Her books will be forever favourites and I will continue recommending them to people until the cows come home. These are some of the best written books out there. Honestly, throw away your TBR pile and just starting reading this book right now. You will not regret it.
Well I have already taken care of Iris since I bought her the book for Christmas. I think she will get really into the story because, like me, she will see things from both Victor’s and Eli’s points of view. I think she will sympathize more with Mitch than anyone (because he is pretty much an innocent bystander…ish). Dani won’t take much convincing since I’ll just tell her that there are broody guys who think they know what’s right (and end up being wrong — both of them) and she will jump right on it! Dani loves when stories have more layers than they initially appear to and I think she will really like Victor.