This is a September 2018 release sent to me by Macmillan.
Author: V. E. Schwab
The second in Schwab’s Villain series, Vengeful gripped me tight and wouldn’t let go. I loved Vicious (Bk 1 in the series). It’s marketing lines were aimed right at me, and everything I love about complex villains (Leonard Snart, Loki, Killmonger, etc.) was there from the start with Victor Vale and Eli Ever.
In Vengeful, everything I loved returned and intensified. Each additional character blew me away. Even characters who Schwab could have introduced and thrown away were given an immense amount of personality in the scant lines dedicated to them. Strong women abounds. Sydney comes more into her own, and the complexities of her powers dive and surface though they’re a continued focus in her sections. However, she’s joined by two main women (and at least one secondary lady) who are determined to get what they want. All are powerful and know how to use their talents, which don’t end with their EO abilities.
My favorite for a while was Marcella; however, there’s a character which I won’t name which I ended up loving more. An EO that has an extra part at the end. Don’t name them in the comments, but please tell me what you all thought in the comments. It filled out more of my alignment chart for the book, so I was pretty happy.
Victor Vale, my favorite in the first because I’m a cliche, kept me on my toes. He is such a complex and well-rounded character. I can’t help but compare him to Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Angel and Kincaid of the Dresden Files. For all his underhanded methods and self-preservation, Vale has arguably noble intentions. While I would add Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller iteration) to the mix, he debuted after Vicious, and although the original Citizen/Captain Cold dynamic works well, I haven’t read enough Flash to comment. Either way, all my favorites rolled into one compelling character.
If you yearn for more scenes between Victor and Eli, there’s a few, and the intensity of their entanglement filters into their dealings with other characters, but while the characters place each other at center stage, the book doesn’t. Victor has other problems – other people. Like a homage to Eli’s power, his chapters stick fast to the same lines of thought we saw before, but we get a bit more detail about his back story and how Eli became the megalomaniac we’ve known. This also feeds into his particularities about Victor, but again, as I saw it, not a main focus until maybe the last quarter or so of the book, and even then, it was more so important in how it influenced their handling of others and other situations.
All in all, a fantastic read. As I with all my 5-stars, I’m purchasing this one to support the author. If you want to pre-order, check the links!
Pre-order Link (Buy Sept 25th 2018):