Released: September 24th, 2013
“The paper called Eli a hero. The word made Victor laugh. Not just because it was absurd, but because it posed a question. If Eli was really a hero, and Victor meant to stop him, did that make him a villain? He took a long sip of his drink, tipped his head back against the couch, and decided he could live with that.”
(I need to drop the whole blurb here, because no description I give will do this book justice.)
"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?"
See what I mean?
I’m going to try and eloquently express my opinion, but it’s probably not going to work.(Also it’s so hard to talk about this book without giving anything away. And honestly, this is a book you want to go into without spoilers.)
I went into this book not knowing much about it. (I tend to do this; I don’t like look up a book before I read it.) I saw it floating around the internet attached to phrases like “morally grey superheroes” and “best book I’ve read”, and I knew I needed to get this book. And so I did. The second I saw it pop up on Book Outlet (I usually go with Book Outlet for authors I haven’t read yet, just in case) I grabbed it, not even thinking twice about it. And then I let it sit on my shelf for a year, almost completely forgotten, pushed aside for newer, shinier books. I regret taking so long to read this book. It was amazing. No, it was beyond amazing. This book might just be my favourite read of 2016.
One of the things I really liked about this book is the way the story is told. The chapters go back and forth between past events and current events, where every past event is followed up by something that is currently happening because of those events. I also liked the multiple narrators used. I’m not usually a fan of multiple narrators, I find it tends to get messy when there’s too many people to follow (I just have a hard time following multiple narrators/story lines). But it fit this book so well, because everything comes together so beautifully. Also, I love nice, short chapters and this story was structured perfectly in that sense.
What I absolutely adored about this book were the characters. No one was perfect, no one was entirely good; everyone was flawed. They were messed up, they had struggles, and fears; and secrets of their own. Every single character had to face obstacles, and the best part is that every one dealt with their obstacles in completely different ways. The characters were hauntingly real because of their imperfections.
Another thing I loved about this book is the way it poses questions about morality – about how what you think is good isn’t always what’s actually good, and about the consequences of dealing with death and whether anyone has the right to decide when a life has to end. (All because you think what you’re doing is what’s right). What I can tell you is that this really is one complex book.
This book was a roller-coaster from start to finish, and I loved every second of it. It was an addictive and a compelling page-turner. This was such a great book, with such a great concept. This was really different from what I usually read, but in the best way possibly. I loved the writing style, and I can’t wait to read more books by Schwab.