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.
There’s going to be another book in this series, right? Right? Right? It can’t just end like that. It just… can’t! There’s so much I still need to know!
Vengeful is an excellent follow-up to Vicious. Not only are our precious crime babies, Victor and Mitch and Sydney, back, but we’ve got some new precious crime babies! Their names are June and Marcella and they’re amazing Rage Girls, which is just what I needed to read about right now.
Now if some of us real Rage Girls could also go out there and kill some bad men too, that would be great.
Everyone’s favourite murder family is back — and yes, they are a family, with Victor and Mitch being the two dads and Sydney being their teenage daughter who just happens to look thirteen. And we love them all. Victor is still… Victor, except he’s more aware that he is actually attached to Mitch and Sydney and every moment when he accidentally shows some affection for them is my favourite moment. While the story is much less focused on him than last time, he’s still a cunning, entertaining bastard and I’m so glad I got more of him.
Sydney’s role is also really expanded. She’s aged, although not physically, and it’s really nice to see more of her and more of her depth as she struggles with feeling trapped, both inside her body and by her inability to live a normal life. We also get more of a read on Eli, which really gave more nuance to his actions and made him a much more gray-morality character than I felt he was before. (Is it weird I want to give him a hug? But also want to see him rot in jail?)
Marcella is a really interesting new character. She’s one of the Angry Girls I talked about earlier. It would have been really easy to make her a very typical Woman That Was Wronged and, as well all know, Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman That Was Wronged! Luckily, this is a V.E. Schwab book, and Marcella isn’t just here because she’s angry at her husband. She’s angry at the world that denied her power and agency, seeing her instead as an ornament or an accessory, and she’s going to tear it down. She’s a villain that felt real and relevant and very empowering.
June is similar, although we don’t know all of her story. (Yet? Please, please, please, I want a sequel.) She’s slippery, surviving by hiding, and harbours a soft spot for Sydney. (Don’t we all?) We get enough of her background to know that, like Marcella, she’s suffered in this world for being a woman, but, unlike Marcella, her revenge is sneakier.
These two women are just what I needed to read about right now. So rarely in fiction are women allowed to be angry and broken. When we’re bad, we’re not Bad in a scary, intimidating way. We’re bad girls, seductresses, bad because bad is arousing. Neither Marcella nor June are bad for anyone’s reasons other than their own and their unapologeticness for their anger was great to read. One aspect of Marcella that I really liked was that, despite what I just pointed out about her character, she never abandoned her femininity. If she comes to kill you, she comes to kill you in heels and dresses, and she looks damn good doing it.
Vengeful is the book so many people wanted it to be. And it’s the book I needed it to be, with angry women and complex characters and, of course, a classic page-turning Schwab plot. More, please.
Verdict: borrowSydney 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. it