Book Review: VENGEFUL by V. E. Schwab

Genre: Sci-Fi
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Series: Yes - book 2



Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


The highly anticipated sequel to VICIOUS was every bit as deliciously dark – in a hypnotic, glittery way. I enjoyed VENGEFUL more than its predecessor, probably in part because I knew what to expect – tight writing, a lot of grey line and several crossed ones too.

I usually dislike non-linear stories, but here it adds to the atmosphere, setting you further on edge. It made me feel like the world was ours but slightly skewed – that something (i.e. the creation of EOs) has knocked the world off its right path into this wrong alternative.

The plot rattles along at breakneck speed again, hardly giving a moments pause as it pulled me deeper and deeper into the world. I knew it’s hurtling towards a showdown between Victor and Eli from the start, but what that will be is impossible to guess. This almost magnetic draw hooked me from the first page.

There is an impressive cast of characters, all of whom are beyond the morally grey line. However, Schwab portrays them so humanly, with so many flaws and all scarred by gaining their power, that you’re rooting for them all despite knowing their on a collision course.

The books spends 15 chapters following one character around through time, then jumps to another to show what they’re doing. I’d have liked their stories to be more interwoven as it was a bit of a shock when the story finally moved on – and it made me think that Marcella wasn’t important at all. She was the first chapter, then didn’t turn up again for 250 pages.

You’ll notice, if you click the Goodreads link, that the synopsis there is very different to the synopsis above. The link is to the UK edition, and the synopsis is from the US hardback because I felt like it fits the book better. The UK blurb is all about Marcella setting Eli and Victor against each other, and she doesn’t, which disappointed me.

She’s on a path to gain power, to take revenge against the world that’s always shoved her down because she’s a woman. She manipulated and cows a lot of people to get her way, but not the two guys.

The climax has two distinct parts. I liked the first more, becuase it involved more characters and was a little flashier. The second balanced on the importance of a guy we had seen sporadically, but never felt all that crucial. Not to mention I didn’t understand some of his inventions, but I loved what they allowed. I’m surprised by the ending, and excited to see what the next book brings.

Read my reviews of other books by V.E./Victoria Schwab:

Young Adult:

The Archived:


Middle Grade:

Cassidy Blake:

Everyday Angel:

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