The second book in V.E. Schwab’s Villains series, Vengeful is an engaging read that weaves several threads together, providing the right amount of intrigue and suspense while dropping clues and answers along the way.

Vengeful finds Victor, Sydney, and Mitch on the run after the confrontation with Eli. A new ExtraOrdinary Observation and Neutralization force has been established, and even as Victor works to keep one step ahead of them, he runs toward other EOs, hoping to find the solution to the sickness wracking his body. Meanwhile, a new EO is rising in Merit, and she has no intention of hiding her power. Marcella Riggins has no qualms about creating chaos and taking what she wants. And she is the magnet drawing Eli and Victor to their final showdown.

In similar style to Vicious, Schwab jumps from scene to scene, in and out of her characters’ timelines to gather the necessary information for readers to follow the story. While this isn’t always my favorite style of writing, Schwab makes it work really well, not over complicating the signals of time and character jumps. She also makes sure to tie the jumps in to the surrounding chapters, letting readers know intuitively how it fits together.

Once again, Schwab makes her characters make impossible moral and ethical decisions, some motivated by survival, some by power and desire. This makes her characters real and layered, allowing readers to see bits of themselves even in the characters they are rooting against.

Schwab wraps it all up at the end with hints at another book, leaving some threads of the story loose. So, naturally, I’m desperate for another installment in this series. But that’s going to have to wait, as I’m not even sure she’s got it in the works right now. I’m willing to be patient, though. Good authors need time to produce satisfaction.

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