Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dual Review: Warm Up and a Vicious Sneak by V. E. Schwab

Yesterday Vicious began its world domination tour by hitting book shelves everywhere. A few weeks back, V. E. Schwab released a free short story through Tor.com called Warm Up. It has served as a sort of introduction to her little problem child. (The story is still free at this link.)

Warm up intrigued me. David drew me in with the force of his sadness. His voluntary isolation tugged at my heart. I couldn't imagine the pain he'd gone through, realizing his body could hurt others without his consent. I was wary, but hopeful for David the entire time. There was too much calculation and irony surrounding the story to expect a happy ending.

I'd call the Warm Up a successful introduction to Vicious, meant to whet reader's appetites. While I won't give specific details, I will divulge that two major hints are in Warm Up which relate to Vicious. However, you won't see them until you read Vicious.

Warm up Teaser Lines: "Some days David told himself that if he found control—when he found control—he’d make it right. Piece that part of his life back together. But he knew he wouldn’t. No matter how good he got, it would never be good enough..."


Netgalley, my greatest friend and foe, offered up the first one hundred pages of Vicious to reviewers. Naturally, I requested it the day the title went up and kicked myself every one after that I didn't get to read it. As stated on Twitter, Vicious is absolutely nothing like any of Schwab's past novels. This one is dark, full of blurry morality and just a hint of sickness. Yet, every page vibrates with her signature blend of beautiful and poetic prose. I want to know how she can turn digging up a body from an act of sacrilege to an almost... necessary one.

I'm in love with Eli and Victor. They're such fabulously monstrous and broken things. They fascinate me. I want to craw inside their world and learn everything. The side characters are just as compelling. I'm dying to know how Sydney got into her predicament and how Mitch ended up in prison. I need to know so much more!

There is only one thing I marked off for Vicious. It isn't told linearly. Past and present are instead mixed together. Victor as the primary narrator is the only consistent. The time jumping made me stumble a little, but it wasn't hard to follow at all once I got used to it.

From what I've been able to read, Vicious is a love letter to every awesome comic I've ever read. It's darkness is all Gotham City and Arkham Asylum. This is a book I can easily imagine devouring in one night. (If only I had the rest of it!) If you're a fan of superheros, science, morally dubious characters, action and EOs, this book is for you.

As a small side note, that cliff hanger was cruel Netalley. CRUEL.

Vicious Teaser Lines: "All Eli had to do was smile. All Victor had to do was lie. Both proved frighteningly effective."

Happy Reading,

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