Vicious (novel)

Vicious is a 2013 novel by V. E. Schwab, focused around two college students who learn how to create superhuman abilities and who later become archenemies.

First US edition cover
AuthorV. E. Schwab
Cover artistVicto Ngai[1]
CountryUnited States
PublisherTor Books
Publication date
September 24, 2013
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)

Plot summary

Victor and Eli begin as college roommates and discover that near-death experiences, under the right conditions, can create superhuman abilities. When Victor tries to create his abilities, things go wrong and people take a fall. 10 years later, Eli has started a crusade to kill EOs and Victor has broken out of jail.[2]


The Guardian called Vicious "a brilliant exploration of the superhero mythos and a riveting revenge thriller".[3] It received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which called Schwab's characters "vital and real, never reduced to simple archetypes" and praised the book as "a rare superhero novel as epic and gripping as any classic comic".[4] Publishers Weekly also named Vicious one of its best books of 2013 for SF/Fantasy/Horror.[5] The American Library Association's Reference and User Services Association likewise awarded it the top fantasy book in their 2014 Reading List.[6]

Film adaptation

In late 2013 the rights for a film adaptation of Vicious were bought jointly by Story Mining & Supply Co and Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions.[7] In May 2014, Alexander Felix was hired to write the screenplay.[8]


The sequel for Vicious, titled Vengeful, was released on September 25, 2018.[9][10]


  1. Obeso, Dionne (September 20, 2013). "The Art of the Future". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  2. "Vicious". Tor Books. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  3. Brown, Eric (January 9, 2014). "Science fiction roundup - reviews". The Guardian. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  4. "Fiction Review: Vicious by V. E. Schwab". Publishers Weekly. 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  5. Deahl, Rachel (February 10, 2014). "Book Deals: Week of February 10, 2014". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  6. "RUSA's 2014 Reading List winners revealed: Librarians' top picks in genre fiction". American Library Association. January 26, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  7. Fleming, Mike, Jr. (December 17, 2013). "Ridley Scott's Scott Free Teams With Story Mining & Supply On Vicious Deal". Deadline Hollywood.
  8. Barnes, Madison (May 20, 2014). "Hit List Scribe Alexander Felix To Adapt Vicious For Scott Free And Story Mining & Supply Co". The Tracking Board. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  9. @veschwab (21 Dec 2017). "It does! September 25, 2018" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  10. "Release Dates". 10 June 2013.

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