• Vicious

  • Villains, Book 1
  • By: V. E. Schwab
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Arthur
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (349 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $25.51

Buy for $25.51

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

V. E. Schwab's New York Times bestseller Vicious is 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 bestselling 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

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    204
  • 4 Stars
    104
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    201
  • 4 Stars
    80
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    176
  • 4 Stars
    91
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

captivating

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Masterful!

V.E. Schwab has such a way with words. Everything she writes is so lyrical and really transports you into her worlds! I kind of hate myself for letting this book sit on my shelf unread for so long! I absolutely LOVED Vicious and can't wait to read Vengeful! Viktor and Eli are the perfect arch enemies with a complicated past, believing they're the only person in the right. Morally gray characters are a favorite of mine, and I have to admit that I adore Viktor, as I'm sure many do. I loved Viktor's relationship with Sydney and Mitch as well, which shows the depth of his character. He can be calculating one minute and then fiercely protective another. He doesn't ever really feel quite right in his own skin, and as an introvert and an INFj, that's 100% where I live most of the time. I was also a big fan of the way Schwab told this story in the back-and-forth time jumps. It set up an atmosphere of intrigue that I believe worked in favor of the narrative.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow burn

Was a bit slow at first, but absolutely addicting after a few chapters. Wish it went a little deeper. Performance was good.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A few chapters in

and the narrator sounds bored out of his mind. It makes me bored out of my mind.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Dull

I didn't hate the book, but I also didn't find myself itching to hear more. I suffered a bad habit of zoning out to the drab and dull scenes that when I would come to, I didn't bother rewinding.

I was curious enough to finish it and make it to the end because I enjoyed the darker shades of magic series but this is not a book I would recommend like I would for the other series.

Every time I believed there to be some sort of action or suspense it always ended up falling flat, so despite their being a death, it was told with less dramatics than picking flowers.

Not a good commute book, since it made me zone out.
maybe a better sitting by the pool relaxing book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

it is not the worst book ever?

there's a certain broodiness here that is mildly entertaining, but the premise is just so amazingly stupid but I can't really recommend it? like no one noticed that people who have near death experiences are all evil people with superpowers? it took these two dudes who obviously want to make out but are going to try and kill each other the whole time to crack that case?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

LOVE IT

I liked this narrator very much. his acting was so good.
wanna reread this book someday

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

.