A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers. Victor and Eli started out as college roommates?brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognised the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find?aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge?but who will be left alive at the end? In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.
I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I’ll admit, I’d not read anything of V.E. Schwab’s before Vicious and I had heard wonderful things about it. I knew it was an adult book, but I didn’t expect the back and forth “flashbacks” as it were, with the characters Victor and Eli. It helped me, because I think if it had been purely “adult” I might have struggled. I don’t know. It usually has nothing to do with the writing style, but more because I generally PREFER YA.
In any case, Vicious was a great tale of super heroes gone rogue. Or something like that. Eli and Victor didn’t always start out as enemies, but something happened when they both took on an experiment. How were EO’s (ExtraOrdinaries) created? Were they born or made to become through death? It was truly fascinating the research that went into this on the characters behalf. Please humour me, it felt like Victor and Eli were REAL. It’s such a thrill to find a book that does that to me. To make me so invested in the characters lives. I don’t usually like superhero stories, either. Not like this, anyway. It had an element of ‘Steelheart’ by Brandon Sanderson to me, but at the same time, the story was SO much better than that.
I had liked Eli and first, but then after a while he started getting a bit too…I wanna say preachy? I think my non-religious mind was getting too “eye-rolly” of his attitude. The whole “He made me like this for a reason.” nonsense. Um…no. Sorry but that got annoying. He did nothing. YOU did this. Anyway, my ranting apart, it was nice to have a bad character have their reasons, as opposed to just being ‘evil’. He thought HE was the hero of his own story, and he really wasn’t. Neither, admittedly, was Victor. They both had their reasons for doing what they did, and it intrigued me. At one point I was getting restless, I just wanted to know what was going to happen. But I didn’t want to skip any pages. I was HOOKED!
Sydney and Serena were like opposite ends of the pole. I instantly became attached to Sydney. I felt for her on every level, I understood her (though not from personal experience, but because she was so well written) and I stuck by her when her sister, Serena, became someone to be feared.
Serena irritated me. She seemed to think she was the exception and though she apparently hated her power, and wanted people to fight back, she still continued to do bad things. It bugged me to no end.
Every other character was so…well done. Mitch was a person I didn’t expect to like so much, but like with the others, he made a mark. Same with the investigators. They all became important to this story. I was left stunned at the ending. I was like “What? That’s it? No!” Because of how it ended, I thought there might be a sequel. I thought this WAS a series, or something.
Anyway, I am so glad I gave this book a shot. I think it’ll be one to reread in the future. I give this 4 stars. 1 star knocked off because of the irritating Eli and Serena. Everything else was perfect. 🙂
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
Not gonna lie, I didn’t think I was going to finish this. I’d initially sort of given up at around the 75% stage. I set it aside, read something else, and then y’know what? I wanted to finish it.
It had nothing to do with the story that I put it aside, no. It was more..the writing style? To me it felt quite stiff and fancy, like it wouldn’t flow well enough for me to imagine. I had trouble imagining the scenes sometimes, so I’d have to read it aloud and that got a bit tedious after a while (mostly because I ended up losing my voice! lol) But I pushed through.
The story was great, I loved the idea of a girl named Alice being the inspiration for the original Alice in Wonderland and that after her initial visit, things changed, warped to become something gruesome. Like the flowers looking like zombies and the White Rabbit being all skeleton and “rabid.” And that things aren’t as simple as you think they are. Generations down the line and the secrets get deeper.
The Caterpillar was human-ish and was charming and clever. Complete contrast to the original, which is probably a good thing. Haha. I kind of felt he was a mix of caterpillar and the mad hatter. I know the Hatter was someone different but he wasn’t in it as much so…Yeah.
Now despite all the likes, I have some dislikes. Which is mostly why I only rated it 3/3.5 stars. Jeb. Ew! Jeb! What an arsehole! He might be all “You’re my everything” toward Alyssa but seriously? He was obnoxious, controlling, patronising, and just over all ugh. I’ll admit, I liked him at the beginning. I thought he’d be a decent love interest, but no. His true colours shone bright and skewed to become something hideous. Now, Morpheus. Let’s just say he won me over in the end, but I did have my doubts. Yes he’s manipulative and sly, deceiving and deceptive, but man was he charming. I think he could have charmed the pants of a grasshopper. Maybe he even has. (inside joke.)
In any case, it was a real war between controlling and deception. Which one would win? I don’t know, I kinda wanna read the sequel just because I did like Morpheus. Alyssa wasn’t as much of a flake as she could have been, but she wasn’t exactly warrior princess, either. She stood her ground but she also let Jeb walk all over her and treat her like she was a child, and with zero respect, yet she was all “oh i love him” like seriously girl, where’s your reality check? Anyway, I guess she’s one character I don’t dislike, but I’m not exactly loving her. The banter between Morpheus and Jeb was golden, though.
I liked the whole madness aspect to her mother and how it was all in the ‘genes’. I know people claim it was portrayed wrong, but sometimes fiction is fiction and there’s a certain element of interpretation involved, so y’know…suck it. Never the less, it intrigued me, and it’s just a shame all that didn’t last.
The truths come out in a flurry of angst and flirting and it’s so…fun. I just, have I said how much I love Morpheus? No? Well I do. I mean, yes he was everything I said above but at least he was INTERESTING! The secondary characters were fun but didn’t really stick with me, though Gossamer nearly came close, she wasn’t what we expected.
I wish I could have rated this higher, and maybe I would have if the writing hadn’t kept me from getting sucked in as much as I’d liked. Maybe the sequel will be better? Who knows.
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team
Book I’m reading: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Pages read: FINISHED! (I continued from page 127 to the end at 370 or something. I took turns between reading and listening via audiobook. Rated it 4 stars.
This book was a whirlwind. Seriously. Just when you thought you knew what was happening, something changed and you were back to square one. I was seriously starting to hate Theo, and then something was revealed and I didn’t hate him so much. And then other stuff happened and man, I can’t wait to read the sequel. I like books that keep me on my toes, although it can get annoying because I don’t like surprises. So there’s that…
As for my next read, I’m getting to a point where I might have burned myself out, reading so much in such a short space of time. I had hoped to finish another book by the end of Sunday. Sigh. I’ll let you know tomorrow what happens.
Gramps always said that when the crickets were quiet, something bad was coming. And the crickets have been as silent as the dead. It started with the murdered deer in the playground with the unmistakable purple of a foxglove in its mouth. But in the dying boondock town of Emerald Cove, life goes on.
I work at Gramps’s diner, and the cakes―the entitled rich kids who vacation here―make our lives hell. My best friend, Alex Pace, is the one person who gets me. Only Alex has changed. He’s almost like a stranger now. I can’t figure it out…or why I’m having distinctly more-than-friend feelings for him. Ones I shouldn’t be having.
Then one of the cakes disappears.
When she turns up murdered, a foxglove in her mouth, a rumor goes around that Alex was the last person seen with her—and everyone but me believes it. Well, everyone except my worst enemy, Jenika Shaw. When Alex goes missing, it’s up to us to prove his innocence and uncover the true killer. But the truth will shatter everything I’ve ever known about myself—and Alex.
To most people around here, even before the rumors started, I was what Amber called me—Diner Skank. The cheap kind of pretty. Boobs too big for my frame, skinny legs, and what Josh Byers called blow me lips. He’d sit behind me in Trig every day, whispering it over and over. I could still feel his hot breath on the back of my neck, his chewed-up pencil eraser poking at my spine. I was that cliché girl destined to grow old waiting tables, hoping to catch some Sugar Daddy’s eye. Fuck that and fuck them. I was the girl destined to prove them all wrong.
Welcome, welcome. So it’s been a few weeks. Can’t believe it’s gone so quickly. Bah! Feels like just last week I was posting about going away. Anyway, here I am. I have LOTS of new books I can’t wait to show you. For this, I decided to do a video as writing it all would kill my hands.
p.s. Still getting the hang of editing so please excuse any hiccups along the way.
Funnily enough, as soon as I’d finished all the recording, my mum came home with more packages and two books I’d forgotten I’d ordered. Those were:
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor.
So there you have it, I am officially bogged down with books. HA. As if that’s even a bad thing. As I said in the video, I’d love to know what books you’re looking forward to reading or have read, whether I mentioned it or not.
The giveaway will be announced officially on Thursday so keep an eye out because there are more than just 2 books going. Why yes, I am feeling generous.
And have a good Tuesday, wherever you are. 🙂
Grieving, shaken, and feeling very much alone, Rory’s life as a member of the Shades of London has changed irrevocably. It’s only been a matter of hours since Stephen was taken from her, possibly for ever. Her classmate Charlotte is still missing, kidnapped by the same people who tried to take Rory. Rory is no longer a schoolgirl haplessly involved in the dealings of a secret government unit. She is their weapon in a matter of life and death.
With hardly a moment to think for herself, Rory is back to work. Charlotte must be found — as must Stephen, if he is even out there. Lines must be drawn and forces rallied. Something is brewing under London, something bigger and much more dangerous than what has come before. The Shadow Cabinet holds the key to everything, and it is up to Rory to unravel its mysteries before time runs out…
Damn, the ending to The Madness Underneath…how awful. If you’ve read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Okay, that’s enough. I had to know what happened next. It was a need, a need I’ve felt I’d waited decades for. But when I got The Shadow Cabinet, I devoured it. I loved it. I…couldn’t get enough. Maureen Johnson has such a fun way of telling a story, and there’s witty humour in there, even with a sad or serious premise. I found myself laughing while wiping tears away in parts.
I need to say how much the new mysterious characters – Sid and Sadie and Jane (who briefly appeared in book 2) – annoyed me. SO. MUCH. They were just….*throttles the air*
And I know, I KNOW, they were a major part of the book this time, but god, how I was glad when things came to a…DAMN I can’t spoil. Okay, well, I’ll try not to.
Rory, Boo, Callum…I love these people. Though we see less of Boo and Callum because Rory is being held under protection by Thorpe who is ‘sort of Police’ and after the demise of Stephen, he’s taking charge. He gets on my nerves sometimes, but I understand why he’s being that way. He’s upset as well, but he has to be responsible. Rory just wants to forget, but she can’t, and she’s got so many reminders.
Some things happen and they are quite…sad. I mean, within the bounds of not spoiling, I found myself heartbroken at times.
Jerome is back, and kind of…weird. He’s one of those people who hover and don’t really contribute much, always asking questions and just…in the way. But I guess he did step up near the end. If I say anything more about Stephen, it’ll ruin it, but let’s just say…it’s not the end. There. Take that how you want to. Lots of ghostly shit goes on, and man, do I love a ghostly story. hehe.
There are a few trippy moments, where I was just as confused as the characters.
Mostly, I just felt so bad for Rory. Not that I could ‘relate’ as such, but she made me feel. And that’s enough.
I’m so SO glad there’s a fourth book, especially with that ending. Not quite a cliff hanger, but it was weird enough to want more. I need more. I need it NOW!
Grace can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.
Now, at age sixteen, she’s come back to stay – in order to solve the mystery of her mother’s death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.
Disclaimer: I was given a copy off Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Also…I explain at the end about what happened. 😛 Also, there may be the odd spoiler. It’s hard to tell what’s classed as a spoiler or not. Sorry in advance. If anyone spots one in time, tell me and I’ll cut it. Also, sorry it’s long. I may have gone over board on the padding thing. >_<
Forgive me, it’s been a while since I’ve written a review, so I may be a bit rusty with words. All Fall Down has been the first book I’ve managed to finish in 2015, and that’s both great and sad, because I’ve been reading about 5 books… I wish I was one of those monsters that has lots of eyes. Maybe an octopus? Yeah. Then I could hold lots of books as well. *sigh*
Without sounding too basic: I really liked this book.
Now, I guess I need to…what is it you people say? ‘pad it out’? Well, alrighty then.
I’ve been a fan of Ally Carter since I first picked up I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You. Which, now that I think about it, was maybe about 5 years ago? Wow, how time flies. I fell in love with the Gallagher Girls series and its characters and the basis that a girl can be a terrific spy without a dudes help!
I then followed Ally with The Heist Society, and there’s just 3 books, but I don’t care. ( I’m really hoping there’ll be more!) Because we all know Ally has something else up her sleeve.
Yeah, like Embassy Row. Jeez, it feels like forever ago since she was talking about writing it, and now it’s HERE, and I’ve READ IT, and it’s EVERY BIT AS AMAZING AND COOL AS I EXPECTED IT TO BE!
*breathes* How’s THAT for padding out? Oh, you want more?
Grace is the main character in this fabulous tale of politics, mystery, murders and teenage rebellion. Oh and spying. There has to be spying and espionage. (Wait, isn’t that the same thing?)
There’s even a line in the book that made me squeal, where Grace thinks “If only I knew a spy.” I just instantly thought “CAMMIE!” but that’s me going off on a tangent. ha.
The secondary characters are just as awesome. You’re first introduced to the ever elusive Alexei Volkov (I instantly thought of the evil guy from Chuck, but again…tangent) and he’s Russian (duh!) and he’s cute. I think. I can’t always trust my imagination. He’s also sworn to keep Grace out of trouble because he’s her brother, Jamie, best friend. Confused yet? No? Good.
Then you have Noah, who runs into Grace’s (and our) life like a gust of wind, and he never fails to keep us on our toes. He’s been assigned as Grace’s best friend by Ms Chancellor (who we’ll get to in a bit.) and he’s every bit the friend. He’s trusting, caring, eager to lead Grace into trouble (or is that the other way around?). I wasn’t sure about him at first, to be honest. I much preferred to see more of Alexei. Noah seemed too..one sided. Not much to him besides acting like puppy. I don’t know.
There’s Megan and Rosie, who are pretty cool, though we don’t know much about them besides they are good at stalking and hacking into things (computers, mostly).
Now, where was I? Grace witnessed her mothers death when she was 13, and since then she’s been haunted by the image of what she saw there, a man with a scar on his face. She’s accused of making it up, and everyone says it was “an accident” but Grace doesn’t believe that, so when she has to move back with her Grandfather on Embassy Row, she sees the scarred man and plots to take him down, so to speak. Little does she know…literally. There’s so much plot twisting in this it almost gave me whiplash. The hidden tunnel system under the ground was genius, I must say, and made me want to know more.
Grace and Friends go on a quest to find out what the Scarred Man is up to, after hearing some things, and finds herself caught in a web of lies and…maybe a bit of brainwashing. I’m still trying to figure it out.
I didn’t think much to her grandfather, and I had liked Ms Chancellor up until the point where I didn’t…and then I did…see what I mean by the ‘whiplash’? It’s like “woah there slow down!” lol But yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed getting jolted here there and everywhere. I heard there was a cliffhanger, but in my opinion, I’ve read much worse. It was an ending that certainly makes you want to know what the hell is happening! But it’s not one that’s left me screaming off the rooftops. If that makes sense?
I take half a star off because, mostly, I had started reading this off an ARC I recieved off Netgalley, and if you know me, it takes a long time to read ebooks, until I got the paperback and read it much swifter. There were the odd moment where the pacing could have been better, but 98% of the time, I had no trouble. 🙂
Can’t wait for book 2. I hear it’s set in the Med? Oooh…sweet. Anyway, that’s it from me. Go add this to your goodreads, if you haven’t already.