Thursday, January 10, 2019

[Book Review] Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

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.

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This is for the sequel of Vicious, so some spoilers about Vicious may come up in this review. However, it will be spoiler-free for Vengeful. If you haven't read Vicious yet I highly recommend it! My Vicious review will be listed below.

 "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."

It took me far too long to finally read this book. I was super busy around the release and then all the hype surrounding it made me a little weary. What if I didn't like my favorite's author new book in my favorite series by her? I know how much work went into this book from all her updates and talk, and a five year gap between book one and book two is a long one. It was a bit scary, although obviously not as scary as I imagine it was for her, but I couldn't wait anymore. I am so glad I decided it would be a book I read this month, one of my first books of 2019! So far reading wise, my 2019 has been pretty great.

We were reunited with a lot of our favorite characters from Vicious like Sydney, Victor, and Mitch. I love the three of them so much, but I especially love the connection between Mitch and Sydney. I do think there was a bit of a distance between Mitch & Sydney and Victor. There aren't many moments with Sydney and Victor and I felt their connection a bit lacking. I don't think this is a fault or con of the story I think it had to happen for other things to occur but I did miss their bond. I like that Victor cares a lot about them, and I think it often shows in his actions. We are also introduced to new characters that I ended up liking a whole lot. Marcella, June, and Johnathan. I especially loved both Marcella and June. We don't get a lot of Jonathan compared to them so I didn't feel like we fully got to know him, but I definitely found him intriguing. Marcella had some of the most badass quotes ever and I cannot explain how much I loved her confidence and power. She is one of the most badass characters I've read and I am already dying to re-read this book just to read about her again. June is a character I am excited to get more of in the next book (whenever that will be!) because I still have a lot of questions about her past but also her power. I was happy that we got more of Eli, because his character was definitely one I really enjoyed, but one thing confuses me. While everyone was reading this book during the release when  I was super busy I did see so many people saying that they felt for Eli and almost sympathized with him. And although I see that in one aspect when it comes to what's been happening to him the last five years, I don't really empathize with him. I still feel mostly the same way about him I did in Vicious. Maybe when I re-read Vengeful that will change, but for now I'd love to know if you read this book and felt differently for Eli. 

"Perhaps she was glass. But glass is only brittle until it breaks. Then it's sharp." 

The plot moves all over the place timeline wise like Vicious did, and like Vicious it is a little daunting because you want to get the timeline straight in your head but we bounce around so much it can get difficult. However, it all clicks and makes sense in the end, once again like Vicious. I really like this format I think it works really well with this story and I think Schwab has mastered it beautifully. It makes the story not only more suspenseful but even more powerful. I did mention earlier that the connection and bond between Victor, Mitch, and Sydney. We had a few cute incredibly short moments and the tension between them was needed for some things to go down the way they did. But it also made me a little bummed. This isn't really a negative comment on either the book or the plot, because like I said it was necessary, but it definitely made me sad. I expected it, this isn't the kind of story where it'll be any percentage of sunshine and rainbows. But dang did I want to scoop up Sydney, Dol, and Mitch and carry them the heck away from all of this. 

The writing is haunting and gorgeous, as always, it's Schwab. However, it was also incredibly witty and sharp. From Marcella and June with their female empowered snark, the cute "domestic" scene with Victor, Syndney, and Mitch, and the overall sarcasm that everyone seems to have in this story. I knew Schwab was good at this kind of sarcastic humor, I mean I've read the Shades of Magic trilogy, but I always love reading it. I feel like I will always be advocating for everyone to read Schwab's books because she's an amazing writer and storyteller. 

"How many men would she have to turn into dust before one took her seriously?" 

Overall, I highly recommend this book. If you read Vicious and want more from the story and characters this is the perfect book to pick up. I know I am a bit biased with Schwab because she's my favorite writer but I honestly think this was a perfect sequel to Vicious. It is obvious that so much time and hard work went into this book. I already cannot wait to re-read it because I know I will pick up new things about it each time I do. If you've already read it I'd love to discuss. 

Thanks for reading!