Vengeful (Villains, #2) – V.E. Schwab

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Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️💫

Synopsis:

A super-powered collision of extraordinary minds and vengeful intentions―#1 New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab returns with the thrilling follow-up to Vicious.

Magneto and Professor X. Superman and Lex Luthor. Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Sydney and Serena Clarke. Great partnerships, now soured on the vine.

But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she’s finally gained the control she’s always sought―and will use her new-found power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She’ll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other.

With Marcella’s rise, new enmities create opportunity–and the stage of Merit City will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning.

Review:

This review contains some spoilers.

What an epic sequel! Victoria Schwab once again delivered an incredibly creative and addictive story! Vengeful was a terrific follow-up to Vicious and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Vengeful was suspenseful, intense, and fun!

Like Vicious, Vengeful is told using flashbacks that vary in time range. This was one of my favorite parts of Vicious and I am so happy to say that it got even better in Vengeful. I love how the timeline is not told chronologically from start to finish. The story jumps back and forth in the timeline throughout the story. It is all leading to the present which is the last part of the book. It could be confusing, but I did not find it hard to follow at all.  I think it’s a super cool way to tell the story and to provide insight and history into the characters’ actions.

Vengeful follows Eli, Victor, Sydney, Mitch, Dominic, and Detective Stell, but also adds some new characters into the mix. Marcella Riggins, June, and Jonathan are all EOs. Marcella is crazy!! I started out the book rooting for her. I was like yes girl you go and kick that scum husband’s ass! But, wow, Marcella took it a bit far! She went absolutely crazy. She actually seemed unbeatable because she was so powerful. I will say that I did love several of Marcella’s quotes. She’s all about the girl power. . .

  • “But glass is only brittle until it breaks. Then it’s sharp.”
  • “How many men would she have to turn to dust before one took her seriously?”
  • “Men are always so impatient. Perhaps it comes from a lifetime of being given what you want, when you want it.” 

She is a badass, but she took it way too far. She became extremely violent and power-hungry. Her POV was super fun to read though!

June is another new character in Vengeful. WHO IS SHE!?! I have so many questions. Who is she? What is her real name? What was her near death experience? Why doesn’t she want to look like her true “self”? What happened to her to cause her to have a kill list? Why is she obsessed with Sydney? June is a huge mystery and Schwab ended Vengeful without any answers. I need the next book! Sydney and June become friends in Vengeful. Sydney is in an interesting place. She is struggling with her grief for her sister, Serena, but she is fiercely loyal to Victor and Mitch. Sydney’s presence was definitely lesser in this book, but one of my favorite parts of her story was seeing her experiment with her power. It was so interesting and super creepy! Schwab’s writing is so good that I was picturing a small blonde girl reviving dead birds in my head for days! Again, I want to know why Sydney is so important to June! I can’t wait to find out more.

In my review for Vicious I talked about how despite some of his actions, I loved rooting for Victor. He was the perfect anti-hero. However, in Vengeful, I had a much harder time rooting for him. Victor has become even more violent and ruthless. I understand his thought process, but his actions were excessive. I am very curious about what is next for Victor. At the end of Vengeful, Eli is dead (is he really?) and Victor has set off on his own. Victor’s plan and focus was Eli for the past 15 years. What’s next for Victor?

In Vengeful, we get to learn more about Eli and his past. It was implied in Vicious that Eli was abused during his childhood, but we did not get to hear about his history. Vengeful dives right in and shows Eli’s past and why he is the way he is. I truly feel for him because of his father’s abuse, but Eli is 100% a psychopath. In all of the chapters focused on Eli’s childhood, Eli constantly points out that he is shaping himself to present what is considered normal. He is constantly altering his persona and presenting an act to his peers. He doesn’t seem to have any real feelings or remorse. He is very superficial and charming. Maybe I’ve been listening to too much “My Favorite Murder” podcast episodes, but reading Eli’s history reminded me of hearing Karen and Georgia talk about serial killer’s childhoods and personalities. As we saw in Vicious, Eli obviously becomes a serial killer. He is totally a psychopath. I can totally imagine the episode of “My Favorite Murder” where Karen or Georgia tells the story of Eli. He fits the “mold” of a serial killer so well. It was fascinating to read! Also. . . is Eli REALLY permanently dead? I know he had the power suppressant in his system so he actually died, but I just don’t buy it!! I have a feeling that this is not the last time we see Eli. One quick side note about Eli. . .HOLY SHIT WITH THE DISSECTING SCENES! Absolutely terrifying!!

The ONLY reason I gave Vengeful four and a half stars instead of five is because it was a little slow to start for me. Also I want answers!! It was a great ending to the story, but it is killing me not knowing more about June, Eli, Victor! Victoria Schwab has done it again!

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