Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.
Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.
Vicious was one of my favorite books that I read in 2018, so of course I was excited about a sequel that was being written. This was also the book that made me fall in love with VE Schwab and her writing.
The book picks up a little after the events of Vicious and the sort of battle between Victor and Eli, two people who started off as friends, but then grew into bitter enemies. With Victor sort of living and dying back to living again, and Eli being in jail for his crimes in Vicious.
This book was very character driven, and Eli was the character I thought was a lot more fleshed out. You see a lot of backstory with him going from foster home to foster home without anything close to coming to a real home. Even though it seems pretty much like a super villain origin story, it makes him a very complex character.
Sydney and Mitch also returned for Vengeful, and Mitch’s backstory was definitely a lot more fleshed out, and he had some great bits of character development.
Then there is Marcella. Oh boy, Marcella. I feel in love with her from the very first page. She is a mob wife, who was “killed” by her husband and then starts to come into her power. She was one of my favorite characters of the book. She kinda has the sort of “evil is sexy” trope and I love how after her “death” she begins to take control of her own situation, and basically being a mob wife with super powers.
I also liked how in Marcella’s story she recruits sort of her own band of lieutenants. There is June who is a shapeshifter and could transform herself into anyone she comes across. She was also another badass character.
While I wouldn’t say this is plot driven like her other works. This book is very character driven in every way possible. All of the characters are all complex in their own way, and I like that the title of the series, is called Villains. Because it is very hard to pin point who are the villains of this story. It made me hard to choose sides between Victor and Eli because they are both such great and compelling characters.
This book also plays a lot with time. It uses flashbacks, to further flesh out the characters of the book, mainly Eli and Marcella. It may have been a bit confusing at first to figure out where in the timeline you are, but it is very worth it and has a lot of good build up, especially towards the end.
She also took a story about people with super powers and made it very exciting, and took full advantage of its premise. Some books dealing with super powers that I have read never really ran with the powers concept, but VE Schwab, took that concept and ran for a 100 yard touchdown.
In the end, Vengful, solidified why VE Schwab is one of my favorite authors. Her characters are rich,vibrant and complex. It was such a page turner that I was captivated from the first page. I know its suppose to be a duology, but I just want more.