Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab
Publication: September 25th, 2018
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi
The sequel to VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab’s first adult novel.
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.
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Victoria Schwab has DONE IT AGAIN!!! Vengeful is just as vicious and villainous as book one but even BETTER. We get to see so many old faces but we are delighted with new ones as well. In the followup of Vicious, Victor Vale is alive and well with Sydney, Dom (though he has a secret mission), Dol the dog, and Mitch. Well, maybe he’s not doing too tell. For all intents and purposes, Victor is dying…again…after the again he did at the end of Vicious. When Sydney brings people like an EO back they don’t come back the same. Victor is teetering the line of life and death and he must find a cure. So, he and the crew go on a race against his ticking time clock inside his body to find someone who can fix him. Meanwhile, Eli Ever is caged like an animal inside of EONs gates. EON is a special prison that is “hush hush” where they hunt EOs to contain them, headed by none other than Director Stell. It’s not so easy at first, because of a mad scientist named Dr. Harverty has been dissecting and experimenting on Eli to test the limits of his ability to regenerate. While Stell was against it and fires Dr. Harverty, he is facing pressure from the Board to make the EO prisoners useful while in containment. One EO that needs to be contained is mob wife Marcella Riggins. She is introduced (and murdered by her husband) in the prologue. We learn that her husband Marcus was her college sweetheart through flashbacks and they had big plans. Her final words in the prologue—“I will ruin you”— to her husband is what forms the thread that tethers her to life and shapes her powers when she’s revived. Marcella literally develops the power to bring any object to ruin with a touch and she is hell bent on revenge but also power. With June, and EO that can shapeshift and Jonathan, and EO who can’t be harmed and can shield others if he watches them, Marcella sets out to bring her city to its knees. Victor, Eli, and Marcella meet in a showdown that brings this book’s ending to one epic finale. The ending is open and leaves room for more and I love that so much.
My love Victor is sick and dying but he is just as ruthless and vicious as before. But, we see some new and more complex sides of him. Syndey is now older but because of her power still looks young. She is more outspoke and her power is getting stronger. Mitch is still the dad and I love his loyalty to both Victor and Sydney. They are a dysfunctional family that I love. Dominic is working for EON to give Victor and the crew inside information. He is such a good person and I love him. We learn so much more about Eli in this story and why he is the way he is. Schwab said she would make me feel for him and damn it I did. He is just as merciless and wild as before. Marcella is a badass who is hell-bent on bringing the world to its knees. She is done letting men walk all over her and she is going to be seen. June doesn’t let the world see the real her and she walks around in a skin that is never her own. She is a living voodoo doll and can see flashes of peoples life by touch and where their body. I loved all the EOs and I wish they would all become a weird team like the Avengers but bring the world to ruins instead. But alas, they all want to fight instead. Sigh.
Schwab never fails to amaze me with her writing. It is amazing and takes me on a spin. The writing has multiple points-of-view and unfolds across different timelines. The story demands your attention and requires you to pay attention to every detail. And the thing is? You will. I couldn’t look away or put the book down because everything was so intense. All the plot twists and all the depth in the novel and characters held me captivated. I wanted more and the ambiguous ending leaves me breathless and I question so many things. I love it because there are so many ways the story can go and who knows if Schwab will write it. But, it’s ok because it leaves me to take the story in my imagination. We go through a lot in this novel with the characters and each ends in a different place from where the novel starts. I will never be over Schwab and her writing because her writing takes my breath away. This is one of the best books of the year and I am so pleased with it.
People called her a natural beauty, but nature only went so far.
Once he’d come home with blood on his hands and she’d f****** him right there on the marble island, the metal shaft of his gun still in its holster, the steel hard against her ribs.
“I will ruin you!” She screamed the words until her throat burned, until the smoke stole her vision, and her voice, and even then it echoed in her head, her last thoughts following her down, down, down into the dark. I will ruin you. I will ruin. I will. I—
“If you were planning to rob me, you could have at least bought a gun.” “Oh I did,” said Victor, holding out his hand. Slowly, as if performing a trick, he curled three of his fingers in, leaving his thumb up and his index extended. “See?” he said, pointing the finger at Jones. Jones no longer seemed amused. “You some kind of—?” “Bang.”
…but June from experience—when people saw something they didn’t understand, the couldn’t hold on. I saw became I think I saw became I couldn’t have seen became I didn’t see. Eyes were fickle. Minds were weak.
“People have an idea of pain,” he said. “They think they know what it is, how it feels, but that’s just an idea. It’s a very different thing when it becomes concrete.”
“I don’t want you to save me,” said Sydney. “I want to save myself.”
“They may think they’re kings,” said Grace, “but we’re the power behind the throne.”
“With me,” she snapped. “I wanted us to do this, together.” He tried to cut in, but she didn’t let him. “I’m not a f****** coat, Marcus. You don’t get to check me at the door.”
The last two men stayed seated at the card table, their hands up and their faces frozen. All Marcella’s life, men had looked at her with lust, desire. But this was different. This was fear. And it felt good.
And then he began to cut. Dissect—that was the word for it when the subject was dead. Vivisect—that was the word when they were still alive. But when they couldn’t die? What was the word for that? Eli’s faith had faltered in that room. He had found Hell in that room. And the only sign of God, was that, no matter what Haverty did, Eli continued to survive. Whether he wanted to or not.
After all, his mother thought Eli was an angel, even if his father said he had the devil in him.
He prayed that the pastor would stop seeing whatever he saw, while he carved new feathers into the torn wings of Eli’s back…Eli didn’t know how he was broken, but he wanted to be healed. He wanted to be saved.
“Our abilities are complementary. She ruins. I regenerate. There’s a cosmic elegance to it, don’t you think?”
“Never underestimate an angry woman.” “Never underestimate a woman,” amended Rios.
Amazing, thought Marcella. Hutch had obviously seen her handiwork at the poker game, and still he treated her like a prop, a pretty but powerless bauble. How many men would she have to turn to dust before one took her seriously?
And ambition plus power was a very dangerous combination.
If you lived in the dark, you died in the dark. But stand in the light, and it was that much harder to make you disappear.
Run, thought Victor, and he could see the response in Eli’s coiled frame. Chase me.