Friday, July 31, 2015

Vicious by V.E. Schwab


If my memory serves me correctly, this was a book recced by horror/sci-fi/fantasy author Chuck Wendig. I already had the author's A Darker Shade of Magic on my 'to buy when the price goes down' list so when Chuck recced this and indicated that it was on sale for $1.99 (I think it was), I trotted off to check it out.

Vicious is not my usual fare, but the blurb sounded interesting. It didn't lean towards YA (the author also writes YA novels and I'm SO not a fan of YA these days) and hey... who can resist superhero type stuff! Not this comic-lover! So I bought it and read it and by God, it DOES read like a comic... graphic novel, maybe I should say to differentiate. It reminded me of Garth Ennis' The Boys in its darkness and moral ambiguity. And I really, really enjoyed it. More than I thought I would if I'm being honest.

So we're not talking superheroes exactly, or mutants, we're talking about EO's - Extra-Ordinaries. Yeah, they have superpowers, but oh man, do they come with a price. The main character, Victor Vale... is he a hero? Is he a villain? Or is he somewhere in between making him all the more human? He's a fascinating character and his inner ruminations on good/evil, hero/villain etc... are thought-provoking. And he has side-kicks/friends/strays who are equally as conflicted and multi-faceted.

So I mentioned comic books... and yes, this felt like one. One of the good ones, with all its layered story-telling, focus on the characters themselves, the moral and societal dilemmas. The words and phrases that Schwab uses drew pictures in my head, beautiful, artisty pictures. And you know... it'd make a great movie or limited run TV show too. Think of the recent Daredevil from Netflix. It has that kind of feel.

And the end... oh, I LOVED the ending!

It was a really good book. Really good.

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