Review: Vicious

Vicious (Villains, #1)Vicious by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As always my review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS so if that bothers you stop reading now and just know I rated this book 5 stars.

If you are continuing I assume you’ve read it already or spoilers do not bother you.

I am starting here to give you enough lines to contemplate if spoilers bother you. Anyway, yeah, I loved this book. It’s the first book since January I’ve read and instantly knew it had to be five stars. No debate or hovering over the starts, certainly no wishing there was a half star button; this was five stars through and through.

Let’s start with the style. It wasn’t that long of a book. The edition I read was like 360 something pages, which is a fair amount but certainly not long. Yet, despite being the kind of book you can toss in your backpack on a long train ride, it was so full of backstory. Sometimes I hate jumping around of perspectives, and it could’ve been messy with all the flashbacks, but the fact that they were so clear about when and where the flashbacks took place made sure nothing fell out of place and really built up the depth of characters. By the end of the book, I knew Eli’s, Victor’s, Serena’s, Sydney’s, and Mitch’s backstory and motivation to be there. I liked how the first half of the book it jumped to flashbacks every other chapter, but once it reached the first deadly fight between Eli and Victor, where Victor ends up incarcerated for 10 years, the book is mostly linear.

The powers themselves were cool (yeah, I wanted to sound smarter and pick a different word but cool is the best way to describe it). I mean, who would’ve thought the EO who could heal himself at rapid speed would be the most powerful of them all? It really created an interesting dynamic because almost all the other EOs had powers they could use as a weapon and Eli’s reflexive gift could only protect him, but it was to such an extent that he was basically immortal.

The villains were amazing (I mean it is the villains series right so what do you expect?). Eli truly believed he was the hero, and that final scene hovering over Victor’s bloody body and shouting he’s saved them all and he’s the hero while the police only saw him as a murderer, was such a brilliant visual. Serena was all-powerful and again created the sort of dynamic most people really need when reading a story like this (villains that are more powerful than the protagonists). I also really appreciated the perspective of the reader vs the outside world. In the beginning if anyone would’ve guessed who would grow up to be a super villain most of the students and Lockland would’ve probably picked Victor over the incredibly charming Eli, but as readers we got to know better.

Finally, I am so happy with the final fight scene, but it made me so nervous when I was reading it. Poor Mitch! We were led to believe he was dead twice! That was so rude. I remember reading his death the second time and before he could pull the trigger I was thinking “I swear to god if he dies I’m DNF’ing this book, I don’t care if there are only twenty pages left, it’s done. Wow, that was an amazing climax. Especially since, I truly didn’t know who was going to win, since a second book is coming out it could’ve been anyone.

Anyway, I loved the book (obviously) and I’m excited to read book 2 when it’s out.

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Beds Are For Flowers Author Note

Beds Are For FlowersBeds Are For Flowers by R.K. Gold

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, yeah, I know it’s not always kosher to rate your own book but so far the Goodreads community hasn’t minded. For those unfamiliar with my ratings, I like to give a kind of letter from the author in the review section so people can gain a bit of personal insight into what my work means to me.

Beds Are For Flowers was originally going to be a middle-grade book. The main character was going to be nine and his father was going to turn into a tree in the end. I had this beautiful idea in my mind that becoming one with nature was the highest level of enlightenment a person could achieve and Clarence would be able to climb his father’s tree every day and feel connected to him.

I didn’t go in this direction. Since the book deals with reapers, monsters, and death I thought it might be better to make Clarence thirteen. I put a lot of thought into what makes life so beautiful, and I know even a book couldn’t come close to an answer, but when I think of beauty I obviously jump at low hanging fruit like color and sound. So, when the world lost its life in this story, color and sound were among the first casualties. I imagined a gray, twisted, shell of the world we all know, sort of inspired by Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi “you paved paradise, put up a parking lot.”

Balance is one of the main themes in this book. Paradise and the mortal realm are two sides of the same coin and when one gets sick the other suffers. This is going to make me sound like such a hippy but I guess I wrote this as an ode to the innocence of nature. It doesn’t try to be beautiful, it just is, and we turn our backs on it too often for our own convenience, preferring a road to a forest.

I hope this insight makes some sense. I’m worried it sounds like a ramble.

Anyway, I hope you like the book and I’m always interested in more ARC readers.

Thanks for your interest.

-R.K. Gold

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