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Publisher's Summary

A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

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?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn't automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

"A dynamic and original twist on what it means to be a hero and a villain. A killer from page one…highly recommended!" (Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of Marvel Universe vs The Avengers and Patient Zero)

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Fantasy Books of 2013.

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Books.

©2013 V. E. Schwab (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

Entertainment Weekly's 27 Female Authors Who Rule Sci-Fi and Fantasy Right Now

"Fresh, merciless, and, yes, vicious. Wow." (Mira Grant, New York Times best-selling author of the Newsflesh Trilogy) 

“Schwab's characters feel vital and real, never reduced to simple archetypes.... In a genre that tends toward the flippant or pretentious, this is a rare superhero novel as epic and gripping as any classic comic. Schwab's tale of betrayal, self-hatred, and survival will resonate with superhero fans as well as readers who have never heard of Charles Xavier or Victor von Doom.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) 

“A fun, morally-flexible revenge tale...Vicious methodically ratchets up the tension as Victor and Eli circle each other for the inevitable kill.” (Daniel H. Wilson, NYT best-selling author of Robopocalypse

What listeners say about Vicious

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captivating

from tension building to character pov's and the great job of Arthur, every moment was a joy

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So far so good!!!

Theres just not enough reviews for this book yet, but I wanted a thriller so I went for it. It's got a touch of sci-fi it it. I'm halfway through and find myself sucked in every time I start listening. Narration is really good. Story goes back and forth with past and present, but it's all pretty juicy stuff. I'll update when I'm done but so far this book has been great with how it doesnt lag and keeps you coming back to listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Narrator ruined this story for me

honestly I loved the writing and I loved the plot. The narrator however was monotonous and lacked almost any type of character or personality in this book. It was so hard for me to finish this book because I had such a hard time listening. But otherwise, I loved the story enough to trudge through the narration.

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Great tense story

I enjoyed the story, kept me wanting more. The narrator does a good job. Would definitely recommend the listen.

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Excellent!

Wow. I’m a huge fan of this writer’s work (Loved Addie LeRue and the “Darker Shade of Magic” series). And for some reason this book has not been available on Audible until yesterday (it’s been out for a few years—you could get the sequel, but not this one!). Thank you for finally coming through!

Schwab writes consistently complex characters who grapple with ideals, failures, imperfections, and resilience. This text disrupts some sci-fi and comic-book conventions in an unusual and interesting way—especially the concept of what makes a “hero” and what makes a “villain.” I will root for authors who resist cliches!! I’m really looking forward to reading the next in the series. Highly recommend.

File Under: Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely