CW’s: Violence, Murder/Death, Gore, Torture/Medical Experiments
Representation 🌷 Asexual MC
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.
- You Might Also Like ➽ Review: Vicious (Book 1)
Finally reading Vengeful was honestly such an amazing experience! I have been putting off reading it for a long while as I was scared it wouldn’t hold up to my excitement for the first book, but gladly I was wrong! Buddy-reading this with Caitlin @ caitlinalthea was a fantastic idea because we both ended up loving Vengeful and could chat about everything that was currently going on – that made reading the book so much more fun! 🥰 Obviously, Vengeful ended up being another 5 star read for me, so behold my gushing 😈
Guess What? I Still LOVE Victor Vale 🥺 I’ve talked about how much I love (1) questionable favorite in my review of Vicious and as soon as Victor appeared on the page again, I was reminded by how much I love this character 💗 Victor still isn’t (never has been, never will be) a kind or even nice person, but that’s what makes him so interesting. He is a powerful, calculated sociopath who is always looking out for himself yet he also shows that he has the capacity to care for certain people that he is close to. That’s what always makes me go soft on him. Victor cares greatly for Mitch and Sydney, though he would never admit it and justifies his decision to stay with them with ridiculous excuses. There are so many amazing scenes that show that Victor can be hard and cruel, showing that he’s still sharp as ever and never under the impression that he is a bad person, but then the also acts protective of his family and my heart metals. Basically, he is such a well-written character with many layers that now faces a different challenge in the sequel, driven by his death in Vicious and the absence of Eli, who is currently locked away. [The ending broke me a bit. I’d like to fight Victor when the third book comes around, how dare he mess with my feelings 😥]
The Found Family Vibes are everything! 💕 I loved Mitch and Syndey so much in the last book and the little family they have formed with Victor resurfaces in Vengeful. The little domestic scenes that we got melted my heart and I honestly love their dynamic so so much! Mitch is definitely the caring Dad who is always there for Sydney and attempting to make the best of their situation and tries to make her grow up as good as it possibly can be given the circumstances. We all know that Mitch is a big softie and while he’s the kind parent who’d spoil you, Victor is definitely the strict parent who doesn’t deal with your nonsense. I really love their partnership and how well they work together!! And then there’s Sydney herself trying to come to terms with the complicated relationship she had with her sister and her sudden death. Now a teenager, Sydney hadn’t aged like normal people and still looks like a child, so it was interesting to see the contrast between body and mind. She went through so much in her life already and being kind of on the run has made her life constructing when she wants to own some freedom as a growing teen.
The plotlines are masterfully told, focusing on both old and new characters 📕 Vengeful is set 5 years after Vicious, yet employs the same anarchonic timeline that the first book also used! It’s like one big puzzle, leading up to a certain point in time that constitutes the climax of the story. I loved uncovering the different characters’s lives and decisions that all converge into one point. The longer the book went on the more you could piece together what was happening and who knew what. I felt like the book skipped between focusing on one character and their insight, bringing it all together so you could see the plot from all the sides. This was so well done and definitely one step up from Vicious, as all the characters and timelines are more complex.
We explore old character’s stories like Dominic – who is heading into danger – and Eli – who is currently locked up in EON. I always preferred Victor, but I thought that it was super interesting to finally get Eli’s background story and see his Lockland years, as well a the fallout with Victor from his perspective, as it made his character so much more interesting! Out of all the new characters I liked June the most. She’s a shapeshifting EO and a hitwoman bent on getting revenge for herself. She was definitely interesting, as June has left her old self and life behind, made possible as she can turn into anyone and therefore evade unwanted attention. Level-headed and way more cautious than Marcella, we also see a softer side of June when she takes interest in protecting Sydney. Now June is not a good person, she’s just as morally grey as everyone else and can also be very selfish and calculating, but I liked seeing the different layers of her character. As for Marcella, a new main character, I didn’t really care about her that much. I liked seeing her want to be visible and powerful as an EO instead of hiding, but I never connected to her character that much.
I also loved seeing Schwab expand the EO Universe 👀 I loved seeing the origins of becoming an EO in the first book but now we’re getting to see many more EO’s and what they can do. It was interesting to see the new characters’ powers and their limitations and of course take into account that they still have to hide. That’s something Marcella brings up, as she wants to be seen and use her newfound power to gain visibility and respect for her kind, while others like June and even Victor stay in the shadows to not get caught. Vengeful also brings up EON again, the police branch that deals with the neutralization and study of EOs, currently being led by Detective Stell, the officer who put Victor in jail. He’s built up EON and expanded its reach in the 5-year time jump that occurs between the books. Now EON has successfully captured EO’s and has more employees who deal with monitoring, catching, and dealing with EOs, depending on their powers. It was very interesting to see and opens up a lot of potential to be further explored in the next book!
IN CONCLUSION ➽ Vengeful was a fantastic sequel to Vicious and everything I could have hoped for. The plotlines and worldbuilding are even more complex than in the first book and let you slowly piece together what’s happening with everyone involved. I’m honestly very glad that we’re getting the third book – though sadly we’ll have to wait a long time – because this series honestly has SO much to offer! Oh and I’m still obsessed with Victor 🥰
Have you read Vengeful? What are your favorite books about antiheroes, heroes and villains? 💖