Published by Tor Books on September 24th 2013
Challenge Theme: A book about a villain or antihero
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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 wasn’t overly thrilled with this prompt so I randomly picked this book to read because it was highly reviewed and boy am I so glad I did. I absolutely LOVED this book! It reminded me a little bit of the show Heroes, which I loved. It was well written, the hoping back and forth between time & characters was well done, and it kept me hooked from beginning to end. I never wanted to put it down. The whole time I was trying to decide which power I would want and I think I would have to choose Serena’s. To be able to make people do whatever you want, man that is tempting. I, of course, would use it for good. 🙂 While Victor is meant to be the villain I was on his side most of the book. I usually am for people doing bad if it is for the greater good but the lengths that Eli went to made me mad time and time again. Plus I love the relationship between Victor, Sydney, & Mitch so much. I can’t wait until the second book comes out next month. I already have it on hold at the library. I really want to see where the story goes.
“But these words people threw around – humans, monsters, heroes, villains – to Victor it was all just a matter of semantics. Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone else could be labeled a villain for trying to stop them. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”
“He wanted to care, he wanted to care so badly, but there was this gap between what he felt and what he wanted to feel, a space where something important had been carved out.”
“The absence of pain led to an absence of fear, and the absence of fear led to a disregard for consequence.”
“When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.”
“There were some people you had to stay away from, people who poisoned everything in reach. Then there were people you wanted to stick with, the ones with silver tongues and golden touched. And then, there were people you stood beside, because it meant you weren’t in their way. And whoever Victor Vale was, whatever he was, and whatever he was up to, the only thing Mitch knew was that he did not want to be in his way.”
“The moments that define lives aren’t always obvious. They don’t always scream LEDGE, and nine times out of ten there’s no rope to duck under, no line to cross, no blood pact, no official letter on fancy paper. They aren’t always protracted, heavy with meaning.”