But with culinary stardom, shop talk takes over. After nearly 20 years, what I remember best about that trip was a tasty Chinese dinner at a place called Now and Zen. Yet she seems to make out the contours of their story only vaguely. At length. But there you are: Marcella Hazan has never pretended to be a pushover. The tone of her books was enough to keep me from even daydreaming about enrolling in her classes.
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You agree to receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times's products and services. Thank you for subscribing. An error has occurred. Please try again later. But the sacrifices they hade to make in order to achieve this transformation took something away.
Their fear. Their conscience. Victor went to jail because of Eli, but he escaped with one goal in mind. Destroy his nemesis. His best friend. While Eli dedicated his life to the eradication of EOs, since he considered them as something unholy, Victor dedicated his life to revenge.
The ultimate fight is inevitable. The question is, who will survive? Vicious was a delicious surprise , the perfect way to start Schwab another try, and I am so glad I did. I dived into a gripping and wicked tale of revenge and superpowers , with characters who were, well, psychopaths but extremely fascinating , and while the concept reminded me of X-Men and the rivalry between Magneto and Professor X, V. Schwab followed a different path.
Eli wanted the extermination of his kind. He fancied himself as a hero, a crusader blessed by God to rid the world of these unnatural beings and protect the innocents who were endangered by this lack of balance.
Victor, on the other hand, could not care less. He was fixated on his desire to make Eli pay, using his cunning and devious mind, and a young girl with an ability that rattled Eli. A girl also hunted and betrayed. In Vicious , I relished this detachment. Victor and Eli were morally grey borderline black , so I could not actually empathize with them.
They were victims of their ambitions and the circumstances, villainous masterminds who, instead of being repulsed, they embraced all the ugly things that had to be done. Even Sydney, the young EO girl, lost her innocence. And so, I savored every time they outmaneuvered each other, every plan and move that led to the final confrontation, mesmerized by the twists and turns, the action, the suspense.
"We are here now, and in your time of need"
And I have to admit that Victor intrigued me in an I-know-you-are-a-bad-person-but-still-I-root-for-you way. View all 27 comments. Vicious is the story of a villain and a hero. Or, that's what it disguises itself as. It's really the story of five different morally grey characters, all out for themselves, battling it out.
Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone could be labeled a villain for trying to stop that person. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play Vicious is the story of a villain and a hero. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human. I love books that subvert and explore tropes. Vicious sets itself apart from Schwab's other adult releases with a far faster pace. My main complaint about Darker Shade of Magic was the lack of character-driven plot; events happened to the characters rather than because of them.
That's not true here. Every single plot twist is due to an action by a main character.
In terms of characters, this book absolutely rocks. Schwab's characters have such clear motivation for everything they do.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Summary | GradeSaver
Not a single character here is particularly good; everyone is a solid chaotic neutral except for Eli, who's one of the best lawful evil antagonists I've ever read. Eli is a believable, well-developed character, but his cruel fanaticism isn't a well-sold brand. Maybe Eli has a moral code and Victor doesn't, but Eli is lying to himself about his motives.
Victor is evil, but he's absolutely aware of his place in the narrative, which made him easy to root for. Schwab's development of these characters makes the book's main conflict even more high-stakes. She also shows off her talent for relationship building here; the conflict between Victor and Eli is so dynamic and interesting. The difference between Victor and Eli, he suspected, wasn't their opinion on EOs.
It was their reaction to them. Eli seemed intent to slaughter them, but Victor didn't see why a useful skill should be destroyed, just because of its origin. I'm always ready to read about friends-to-enemies relationships, and Victor and Eli's is especially cool. Even more so because they have genuinely touching moments. Serena and Sydney are two incredibly compelling characters, and their sisterly conflict makes them ever more interesting. Sydney is a year-old girl who can raise the dead.
Serena can make everyone around her follow her suggestions. I hated Eli, yet I rooted for Serena, despite her being on his side. The other side characters are equally as developed.
I especially loved Mitch; he's a criminal down on his luck. Possibly my favorite thing was the odd familial dynamic between Mitch, Victor, Sydney, and Dol the dog. The dynamic between Victor and Sydney is totally awesome. Safe had ceased to be a place for Sydney. It had become a person. Specifically, safe had become Victor. Tell me you didn't cry reading that. Mitch and Sydney and Mitch and Victor's relationships both stand out as well. Victor let out a cough of a laugh.