The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Book Review: 'Vicious' by V.E. Schwab

Sadie Quimby

Posted on September 13, 2020 21:08

4 users

'Vicious' is a sharp little knife of a book that will drag you under into its dark world.

This review is safe but just to let you know: this book has suicide and self-harm, so it's not suitable for everyone.

Vicious focuses on two friends, brilliant college students Eli and Victor, who work on a thesis about EOs, people rumored to have extraordinary abilities. The two then decide, in true mad scientist fashion, to experiment on themselves. They succeed, of course, but not without casualties, the biggest one being their friendship, which turns into a bitter rivalry.

The book takes you back and forth through time. Near the beginning, it alternates from ten years in the past, when they were at college, until the near present.

The first half of Vicious is told mostly from Victor's point of view. He's not the kind of protagonist who's easy to root for, but fortunately, some chapters are from the perspective of another person who's a much more sympathetic character.

In the second half of the book, there are some chapters from the perspective of Eli, which also take place 10 years ago, and in the near present. These are interesting because up until then, you see Eli as solely a villain: seeing his point of view helps uncover his motivation and shows why he became who he did.

What I loved the most about this book was that there were no villains and no heroes. Instead, there's a swirling mess of gray. It makes you question not only what makes someone a "good" or a "bad" person, but also if those categories even exist in the real world.

Victor is less obvious of a villain since he's just pursuing a personal vendetta, but as soon as he starts to seem almost heroic he'll do something cruel or manipulative and show that his moral code is very flexible. Eli, by comparison, seems like an obvious villain, but unlike Victor who only works toward his own self-interest, Eli genuinely thinks he's doing the right thing.

That's the fascinating difference between the two. Eli thinks he's the hero, just like some people think of themselves as the heroes of their own stories; while Victor knows he's not a villain or a hero or anything other than a person who wants revenge.

Another interesting theme explored in Vicious is the concept of what separates humans from monsters. Which qualities make us human, and therefore make us something inhuman when they are stripped away? Both Victor and Eli notice that since they became EOs, something about them changed. They feel they're missing something important, and their separate reactions to that are often behind their motivations or actions.

In Vicious, like in the real world, the choices people make define them, and even a small decision can change their lives forever. Now you have a choice, to read this book or forget about it. It's up to you, but I'd definitely recommend it if you enjoy thinking about the darker side of human nature and don't mind some gore.

Sadie Quimby

Posted on September 13, 2020 21:08

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: Comedy News

The World's Best to feature global contestants

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest