Format: Hardcover, 364 pages.
Thoughts: I wasn’t sure what to expect before starting this novel and after reading the synopsis I knew it would be a dark tale, but this book ended up being borderline insane. I loved it.
Goodreads Summary: Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
I have never read any other book by Schwab and to be honest I was never really interested in her other books. However, now I may just give them a shot. What I loved most about this book was the way it portrayed superheros and villains, that it isn’t that easy to distinguish one from the other. Throughout the book Victor questions this and never really comes to a conclusion. This novel is an excellent representation of humanity at its worst. Jealousy, betrayal and the tendency to become self-absorbed can tear relationships apart. This is exactly what we see.
The story is split between the present and ten years ago. Victor recalls his younger years in college before the chaos started and we get to see the slow transformation of the friendship he had with Eli. Readers will fly through an intricately woven timeline until the inevitable reunion of these two characters. We are also introduced to a cast of secondary characters that enhance the story and make it come to life.
This is one of those books that I simply can’t give away much information about, but know that it ended up being a great start to my reading year. The story is addictive and I can’t stop thinking about how beautifully messed up it is.
Next Review: The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson (ARC)