Vengeful by V. E. Schwab
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.
I think I can safely say that I was lucky enough to read both Vicious and Vengeful for the first time in the same month. People had to wait quite a long time to read the sequel. When I read Vicious, I absolutely loved it to pieces. There was something addictive about the prose, the simple but incredibly powerful scenes that set up the whole story. I think appreciated Schwab’s writing in Vicious more than in her others works that I have read (Shades of Magic).
If Vicious was a dark, past-paced and delicious read, then Vengeful was, in some areas at least, its upgraded edition. The same level of absolute gorgeous writing was present in Vengeful and I am so very, very glad that I got to read it immediately after Vicious.
Vengeful had the cast of characters from the previous book but it also had a few new faces and what characters they are! The introduction to Marcella and June was an absolute treat, their powers are pretty freaking incredible and scary at the same time just like Victor’s. I am glad that this time, the original characters were given even more flesh than in the previous book. I really loved Sydney’s perspective, her relationship with June, her thoughts on Victor…ugh, I just love Sydney, okay?
Then there’s my darling, my poor Mitch. He just needs some chocolate milk and an infinite number of good days, okay? Just please, give him that. I was also so very, very glad that Dol is still alive and kicking, dogs shouldn’t die in books (or anywhere else, for that matter) is all I am saying. I also feel bad for Dom, he never signed up for the shit Victor continuously pulls, I mean, imagine being in his position! Gosh.
Then there’s Eli. God, I really hated Eli and admired the way Schwab wrote him in Vicious and I was so very pleasantly surprised to feel bad for Eli in this one. Once again, Schwab showed me that nobody in this universe is entirely good or bad, there’s always far more to a person than that. I mean, I knew that objectively but after reading my opinion of Eli was sort of coloured by his actions in Vicious, in Vengeful, oh, man. I felt bad for the guy, I was literally just not ready for that.
I think I felt the loss of Victor in this one despite him featuring in it quite a lot. The laser sharp focus on Victor’s quest to bring Eli to his knees was lost because he had already accomplished that and now, Victor was sort of aimless. Of course there was that problem with his…shall we say, death? Him trying to solve this problem is making his relationships with Mitch, Sydney and Dom crumble and he’s unable to stop it. His character suffered a bit, I think but I still absolutely love the domestic scenes between Victor, Sydney, Dol and Mitch, okay?
Now come new characters, Marcella. Man, what a firecracker! (Get it?) She’s ambitious, absolutely driven and not a woman to cross under any circumstances. She leaves dead bodies in Merit like one would leave a messy pile of clothes in one’s bedroom. She’s unapologetic and almost certainly mad but she’s also so fascinating in her rage, in her powers, in her very being. She suffered at the hands of men, often by their underestimating her and not really taking her seriously, well, she showed them just how very wrong they were, didn’t she? Her personality is so vibrant and violent and almost as if something that can’t be contained within herself. She upends every game that men around her have been playing and then she ruins them.
June and Jonathan. June is such a weird, weird character. Her powers are absolutely scary and Jonathan the human presented such a different side of being a villain. I would absolutely love to know more about June but I think there are things I am better off not knowing, sometimes a mystery is just what we need, right?
If there was something I didn’t necessarily love, it was the length of the novel. It could have been more tightly packed, maybe. Also, I just wanted more Victor & Eli, okay? I also wish that the side plots/characters that were introduced weren’t given this much time on screen, if you know what I mean? Vicious was such a tightly packed action novel whereas Vengeful meandered a bit and that wasn’t something I was expecting from this series. Still, the way Schwab left it makes me think there’s going to be more this series. (I hope so. With more focus back on Victor & Eli, please.)
Overall, this was an absolutely amazing read. If you loved Vicious then you would definitely enjoy Vengeful. After all, who doesn’t like stabby people being stabby and precious people (I am only looking at Mitch and Dol at this point) being precious? Just go and read it if you loved Vicious.