Sydney Clarke once had Serena―beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she’s 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. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.
From Standalone to Series
When I first heard that Vicious, was going to have a sequel, I wasn’t all too excited. After all, it had been published as a standalone. I didn’t think it needed a sequel. Plus, I didn’t want to be disappointed by yet another title shoved into a series that it wasn’t supposed to be a part of.
On the flip side, this a V.E. Schwab book. Of course, I was still intrigued by what she would bring. What she delivered with Vengeful was a book that took the original premise and multiplied its brilliance.
Precision in Prose and World Building
Vengeful was an absolute treat to read. No doubt, Schwab has a very strong track record with words. Her prose in Vengeful, however, absolutely blossomed. No matter how sinister things got in her story, her lines remained beautifully poetic. Her characters’ wits were first-class. Honestly, even if nothing happened in a book she wrote, I’m sure I’d enjoy it just for the writing.
It’s our good fortune that Schwab isn’t just a great wordsmith but also a creative and precise author. Vengeful contained several characters and multiple timelines among which the chapters jumped to and fro in a suspenseful lead-up to the end. They fit together like intricate puzzle pieces. The world building expanded as the ExtraOrdinaries became even more powerful than in Vicious. At the same time, it was firmly anchored in a logical order of their world.
New Characters, More Conflicts
As for the characters, I was completely engrossed in their lives. I was reluctant to put down my copy of Vengeful because whenever I had to, I felt like my mind as being spliced from theirs.
Vengeful seriously upped the stakes with three groups of villains, a highly conflicted law enforcement, and questionable researchers. Marcella, June and Jonathan especially added to the already antagonistic relationship of Eli Ever versus Victor Vale, Sydney and Mitch. In fact, their introduction wrought so much delicious havoc. With so many motivations, it was hard to predict what would happen. Still, everything fell into place as their actions unfolded.
Marcella sought to take charge of her own destiny. She revelled in not just having power but in being a woman with power. I loved that she flew in the faces of Victor, Eli, and all the other EOs. They did their best to lie low. Instead, Marcella lived for the theatrics and displaying her power. She offered such an interesting contrast and skewed the conflicts in Vengeful.
Trust V.E. Schwab to create the most ambiguous and complicated characters whose encounters can only go up in flames.