Vengeful read to satisfy every need

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With the second installment to the brilliant “Vicious” series comes a second, heart-wrenching journey featuring vicious villains with vengeful intentions. “Vengeful” is an absolute must-read for the fans of “Vicious.”

Grace Maneein, Staff Writer

Vicious minds and vengeful intentions collide in a way never before seen in V. E. Schwab’s riveting duology. Featuring a thrilling revenge plot and filled with complex anti-heroes that will  transcend time, “Vicious” has been met with critical acclaim from devoted bibliophiles all over the world. It has racked up an impressive average of 4.3 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. Now the sequel, “Vengeful,” is here to deliver a fantastic continuation to the story.

After “Vicious,” Schwab’s first adult novel, set up extremely high standards for the sequel, many, me included, couldn’t help but wonder if “Vengeful” would measure up. Vicious was, after all, a  very self-contained book. Its ending wrapped up the plot nicely. It didn’t need a sequel, for there were seemingly no loose ends to tie up.

I admit that I wondered anxiously if “Vengeful” would be a flop. Many have mirrored my sentiments. Sometimes authors decide to add sequels to their books, not because they’re necessary, but in a thinly-veiled expenditure to maximize profit. For example, Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments began as a trilogy, but then expanded into a six-book series when it became obvious that the series was doing well. The plot reflects that. The only connection between her first three books and her last three books in the series were a series of thinly-procured lines in the third book to link plot A to plot B. The fourth book of the series was achingly slow compared to the thriller suspense of the third book with only the protagonists’ romance to keep it moving. I hoped the “Vicious” series would not fall into the same fate.

Needless to say, the anticipation on the eve of her release was positively towering after a five-year wait.

The verdict? The day I received my copy in the mail, I pulled an all-nighter reading “Vengeful” cover to cover. That ought to speak for how I felt about it.

“Vengeful” is personified in two words: absolutely brilliant. The plot is executed faultlessly yet again, and the addition of a new character seeking revenge, Marcella, as well as the insight into Eli’s backstory really makes the second book great. The continued character development of all her characters, especially Sydney, makes her characters come to life. V. E. Schwab has a gift for creating tension that subsequently makes the readers’ urge to find out what’s next unbearable. That was definitely a massive contributing factor to my sleep deprivation the following day. “Vengeful” is a book that reads itself.

Every single character has a motive or a reason completely understandable to the human mind that prompts them to do horrible things.”

— Staff Writer Grace Maneein

Once again, readers are forced to consider what it is to be good and what it is to be evil. This is not a book of carbon-copied villains, evil for no particular reason except to push the plot forward. Every single character has a motive or a reason completely understandable to the human mind that prompts them to do horrible things. The justification every character possesses makes them faultless.

Or does it?

That’s the age-old question that V. E. Schwab asks throughout her series that is entirely applicable to our real-life choices and our real-life motives. Nothing is ever as clean cut as we’d like it to be, and Schwab’s universe makes that an inherent truth. It’s this that makes her characters real.

However, as stated before, “Vicious” was an entirely self-contained book. “Vengeful”  is an excellent book, but one doesn’t need to read it for closure’s sake. Think of “Vicious” and “Vengeful” as two separate seasons of the same show, starring the same, developing characters. But there is a clear ending in between, a point where the season ends and the next begins.

“Vengeful” is a wonderful book that satisfied my every need for a thrilling plot with a gray moral undertone. I strongly recommend reading it, even if it’s not vital to the plot of “Vicious.”