Vengeful by V.E Schwab
Published September 25th 2018 by Titan Books
“How many men would she have to turn to dust before one took her seriously?”
Eli Ever and Victor Vale were only medical students when their mutual discovery that near-death experiences can, under the right conditions, manifest extraordinary abilities.
They were best friends, and rivals, and then enemies. They were dead, then alive, and then—Eli killed Victor, once and for all.
Or so he thought—but Sydney Clarke felt otherwise, and used her own superpower to tip the scales. Now, a trio hides in the shadows, while another takes advantages of post-death life to take over the city of Merit.
If there can be life after death—will there be calm after vengeance, or will chaos rule?
It feels amazing to have finally held this book in my hands that has been in the making for five years and like both Eli and Victor has been made and remade. The taster in the form of the first chapter at the end of the special edition version of Vicious that was out this year was wonderfully tantalising and it’s fantastic to have finally dug into Marcellas story and the continuation of Victor and Eli’s world.
This book is pretty huge, at almost 600 pages compared to the 360 odd of Vicious I felt a bit daunted when I sat down to read it. I needn’t have feared though as the story moves so well and so quickly the pages fly by and when you finally look up you realise it’s dark out and you’ve not moved for a good few hours. This book is an absolute work of art that feels beautifully polished and perfected, you can almost feel all the immense hard work that’s gone into it and the result it fantastic.
We get multiple points of view including that of a couple of new characters and the return of some from Vicious, including Dominic who we had only recently met previously and is, like all of the characters in Vengeful extremely intriguing and in-depth but not uncomfortably so. We delve into the lives of these characters and the goings on of the past five years between the two books and although I enjoyed the way these were presented I did have trouble keeping track on where we were in the timeline a few times and found it easier to refer to these parts as then and now instead of trying to fit them in precisely.
It was brilliant to see more from my favourite dysfunctional family although I’m a little gutted we didn’t see more done with them, especially as a group but found Sydney really coming into her own and I hope if we get a third book that perhaps this one will focus on her a lot more. Also Mitch. I love Mitch to pieces and he was kind of relegated to just the tech guy here but I still enjoyed whenever he was around and that he’s still breaking stereotypes, no chocolate milk mentioned this time though sadly. I found Eli A LOT more interesting this time around and he actually became one of the characters voices I enjoyed the most. He really developed and getting into his back story really explained and gave a new depth to him that I think we were missing before, he was absolutely perfect and as obsessed with Victor as always. Victor himself I found more interesting but he’s even more one track that Eli and although I did enjoy the journey he went on I’ll admit I was too preoccupied with Eli and everyone else to obsess over him much.
As for the new characters, wow. We meet Marcella Riggins who is an amazing character, she’s just such a powerful, badass breath of fresh air. She’s an EO who doesn’t try to run or hide herself away, who is comfortable in her power and embraces it and the authority to demands with it and her presence. Villain or not she is was an absolute joy to read and I just couldn’t help enjoying it when she took down all the men who continued to underestimate her again and again. We also meet June the shapeshifter who is still a bit of a mystery and I’m desperate to know more. She’s a prominent voice in the book who we hear from quite a bit but we still know so little about her, just the snippets she chooses to share here and there, we get enough to know what she’s up to mostly and how some things make her feel but we don’t really know anything about her past or her real goals and I need to know more!
I could honestly go on about this book for a lot longer but it’s definitely one that needs to be checked out, much like the first book which if you enjoyed obviously you need to read this but also if you enjoy x-men and the like, especially the relationship between Charles and Erik which is echoed in a new and different way in these books. The writing in incredible, the characters are alluring and the book is addictive, you need to read this.