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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Review: A Conjuring of Light

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3)A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As always my reviews will contain spoilers so stop reading here if that bugs you.

This was a very satisfying ending to a very entertaining series. As a trilogy, it felt more like book one introduced us to the world with a quest that made the big bad guy possible and then books 2 and 3 were just one massive text that was split in two out of courtesy to the reader.

Osaron was a fantastic big bad guy, he had a believable motivation, a clear weakness, which was still difficult to target, and you could really get the sense that he could break the world. He was treated with the respect a villain capable of ending the world should have.

The interparty rivalries was where the personalities of characters came out and kept the human element of the story intact and each goal in the plot had its own minor conflicts for the characters to overcome so it wasn’t just a clean arc but a volatile one. I appreciated hearing more of Holland’s backstory, he really was a tragic figure and probably the one I enjoyed hearing about the most, however all the characters had an interesting backstory. While some revealed more of themselves to the readers than others each was clearly the protagonist in their own story and could have a book written about them.

All in all, this was my favorite book in the trilogy. I loved it.

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Review: A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As always my review contains spoilers:

This wasn’t quite a 4 star book but I’m rounding up to 4 instead of down to 3.

The first book was easily 4 stars, maybe a little higher. This book was tasked with the very important duty of creating the world. While the first book introduced us to the four Londons we only saw the London cities. In A Gathering of Shadows, we begin to see just how vast the red world is, while getting glimpses of the recovery in White London.

While this book did a phenomenal​ job with world building it was not nearly as engaging as the first. The plot was–well there really wasn’t a plot. It felt like it existed to show us how powerful Lila was and to introduce the big bad guy for the epic series finale. Again, this is obviously important, but that doesn’t mean it warrants as high of a review as the first book.

It’s a necessary bridge novel setting up what I assume will be an unbelievable third novel. I enjoyed the introduction of new characters, the expansion of the world, and the establishment of the main villain. I wished the tournament was a bigger deal, we only got to see it in the final 30% of the book and even then it was underwhelming (except when Lila was the participant). As usual she stole every scene she was in and was by far the most interesting character. Alucard Emery was second.

Yeah, I think that’s all I have to say about this one. It was a bridge novel, but it didn’t feel like it was filler. Everything was necessary; it just felt more like part 1 of the final book and not the 2nd book in a trilogy.

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Review: Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As usual, there will be some spoilers in this so don’t read if that bothers you.

Well, that was fantastic! I was shocked at how quickly I read this book. The chapters weren’t that long so I fell into the “just one more chapter” syndrome and next thing I knew I said “just one more chapter” six or seven times. I am really happy this is a series because, though the plot was AMAZING I really wanted to dive more into the characters themselves.

Like Kell was cool, and the book did a great job at the beginning establishing what his responsibilities were and how he has strayed from them for some time. I just, I wanted more! And obviously Schwab wanted to give us more since it’s a series, but, I don’t know maybe I’m just rambling, I just really wanted to see more brotherly moments in the kingdom, actually see the king and queen a bit, hear more about the revolutions in white London, I guess I just loved the world so much I never wanted to leave.

Obviously, Delilah stole the show. Every scene she was in she made it hers. It was impossible not to pay more attention to her than everyone else and I liked how Schwab blatantly wrote how much she changed at the end when she was fighting the Queen in White London.

I thought Rhy had SO much potential and I really hope to see him more in the next books cause that dynamic between him and Kell is fantastic. He is loved by his people and doesn’t realize how strong he is because he’s constantly comparing himself to Kell’s magic.

All in all I loved this book and cannot wait to continue the series.

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