Title: Vengeful (Villains #2)
Author: V.E. Schwab
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?
Vicious (Villains #1): ★★★★★ [see review here]
“Maybe we are broken. But we put ourselves back together. We survived. That’s what makes us so powerful. And as for family – well, blood is always family, but family doesn’t always have to be blood.”
I was so looking forward to this book after just finishing Vicious right before it’s release. I gave Vicious 5 stars, and absolutely fell in love with Victor Vale, possibly my favorite anti-hero of all time. I grew to love Sydney and Mitch, and loathed Eli Ever with every fiber of my being. Luckily, these characters all return with a powerful punch in Vengeful, with some new favorites thrown in along the way. This sequel did not disappoint.
While Vicious was the ultimate revenge tale, Vengeful’s plot line is a little more subtle. It didn’t hook me quite as hard as the original, and I devoured it more slowly, but didn’t love it any less. In this book, Eli and Victor’s roles have somewhat reversed: Eli is locked up while Victor walks free. However, Victor is having his own troubles: something is wrong with his power, and he’s on the hunt for something – anything – that can save him. Sydney and Mitch, my favorite two teddy bears, are back as well. This bunch of misfits is one of my favorite found families of all time, and I was so happy Sydney got her own POV in this book.
We meet two more EO’s along the way, and I absolutely loved them. Both are powerhouse, independent women out with scores to settle; what’s not to love?
June: June’s power is that she can become someone else; so completely that if she dies, that person dies. June befriends Sydney, and tries to look out for her at all costs. I have to admit, while I loved June, I found these correspondences slightly odd. They meet once in a park, and then text and call back and forth for 3 years. I’m not sure what was in it for June, other than that possibly she was looking for a replacement family? It made me a tiny bit uncomfortable, and I felt like Sydney was being taken advantage of – again.
People had tried to bend June. Tried to break her. Tried to make her feel small. Perhaps it was time for them to understand how small they were.
Marcella: This is one badass chick. Snubbed by her husband, Marcella comes back with one thought on her mind: ruination. Once she gets him out of the way, she goes after the power she feels she rightfully deserves. She gathers other powerful EO’s along the way, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
She was done playing by other people’s rules. Doe hiding. 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.
I did have some minor complaints with this book as compared to the first one. I desperately wanted more June and Marcella – their storylines were definitely the most intriguing to me, and I feel like we only got little snippets for the first 2/3 of the book. Also, like I already mentioned, Victor’s and Eli’s storylines weren’t nearly as gripping as they were the first time around.
Ultimately though, this book was a solid follow-up to Vicious, and definitely left it open for a third installment. The first chapter and the last 100 pages had my stomach in knots and blind to the world around me. If you love morally grey characters, stories of revenge, and plot lines full of action, pick up this series. You will not be disappointed.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a human versus a human or a human versus an EO or an EO versus an EO. You do what you can. You fight, and you win, until you don’t.”