TITLE : Vengeful (Villians #2)
AUTHOR : V.E.Schwab
GENRE : Fantasy, Science-Fiction
FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 Stars
Vicious was such a wild ride and after reading it I just wanted to continue on with the series as I already had the next book with me. Victor, Eli, Sydney, Mitch, Dom, Dol were so amazing in the first book that I couldn’t wait any longer to see how their journey will turn out. Vicious was so amazing in every sense that I was worried about the second book in this series. I loved how Vicious ended and I felt it could stand strong as a standalone if that was how the author intended for the story to be. However Vengeful expands upon the world and we get to learn more about our characters and everything that makes them who they are.
We get a new set of characters in this book and they are just as morally grey and anti-hero as the original cast. Marcella after her brush with death emerges as one of the most powerful women in Merit with no fear and a lot of ambition that drives her to be on top of her game trampling on men who underestimated her. I loved how freaking badass she was with no sense of remorse whatsoever over her actions. She was simply driven by her love of power and it gave her a sense of invincibility that helped her reach heights that she couldn’t get to in her previous life before her near-death experience. She is driven, passionate, and cunning. Her plan to rule Merit with her own sidekicks of EOs was genius. She was manipulative and clever and her plan to bring together all the characters and playing them against each other to get to her goal was ingenious in my opinion.
June is someone whose powers I found to be really intriguing so far in the book. We don’t get her side of the story and her back story in detail. We also don’t get her motivations behind her actions and why she seems to have certain attachments to some of the characters. That leaves us with more questions than answers to her role in this book. I felt she was more of a plot device to create tension and also add some mystery to the plot in this book. At the same time I felt like her role and her back story will be explored in detail in the third book.
I really liked the fact that we got Eli’s backstory and that helped me understand him better as a character, his motivations, and his personality. I felt for him and at the same time hated him for the choices he made. We see the different sides of his character, his inner-demons that he hasn’t fully dealt with in this book.
Victor just like Eli gives us a glimpse into his thoughts and motivations for his horrific actions. As a morally gray character Victor definitely makes things even more complex in this book. I am sure readers would be confused by some of his actions and that would probably make them feel as if he is very different from the first book. I do agree there are instances where he is different from book 1 and how his actions reflect his state of mind as an anti-hero effectively. It was established in the first book that the EOs lack a vital part of their psyche that makes them human and losing that makes them very much distanced from conscience, empathy, and remorse. We see the emptiness of the soul reflected in almost every EO we encounter with a few exceptions. I feel like this is one of the reasons why his self-awareness makes him intriguing and fascinating as a character.
Mitch, Dol, Sydney, and Dom are still working together to help their friend. We see the friendship and loyalty blossom throughout the book despite their grim circumstances. Sydney is dealing with conflicting emotions regarding her sister and her struggles with her power. The guilt she carries on, her attachment to people whom she had helped with her power all makes her character very interesting.
Overall I enjoyed this book. I really liked the new characters and the evil side of EOs explored in this book. It also makes us question whether EOs as a group of people are safe for society and how they should be treated. I found the book to be quite a page-turner and thrilling to read. The EO concept was examined in detail and at length with each of these characters and the question of morality is also explored in this book which I loved. Having said that I feel like if you are looking for a continuation of Victor-Eli conflict in this book, then you will be disappointed. This book is more of the expansion of EO as a concept and the characters help us look at them deeply and ask ourselves questions about morality, judgment, and executing the law for people who are different and powerful in nature. I gave the book 4 stars and the reason why it was not a 5 star read for me was that we didn’t get as much time with my favorite cast from book 1 and the motivations and reasons of the characters in certain instances were not completely clear in my opinion.
I still loved the book and I think it definitely sets the stage for the next book in the series. I hope we get to see more of June and her back-story in it and also to see more of one of the characters I enjoyed reading about.
I highly recommend checking this book out if you have read Vicious and you would love to see more of these characters. I would also say that going into this book with the sole expectation of seeing Victor or Eli will disappoint you, but rather approach the book with the understanding that it expands on some of these characters and also introduces some new ones as well. The book reaffirms the fact that EOs are not good people at their core and makes us readers question morality and if there is a possibility of forgiveness and acceptance for these characters.
Magneto and Professor X. Superman and Lex Luthor. Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Sydney and Serena Clarke. Great partnerships, now soured on the vine.
But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she’s finally gained the control she’s always sought—and will use her new-found power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She’ll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other.
With Marcella’s rise, new enmities create opportunity–and the stage of Merit City will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning.
A super-powered collision of extraordinary minds and vengeful intentions—#1 New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab returns with the thrilling follow-up to Vicious.