A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world.
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?
This is a dark book, nothing like the YA series that Victoria Schwab has out right now. This is more of an X-Men meets Clive Barker style of book. What starts out as a story between 2 college roommates, turns into something much darker and deeper than most friendships can go.
Eli and Victor are in a class discussing what their thesis papers will be about, and Eli chooses to do his paper on EO’s (Extra Ordinary’s), where Victor’s choice is more level minded and dealing with adrenaline effects on the body. During the research phase of their papers, Eli discovers that EO’s are “created” from NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) and a traumatic event. Victor starts to egg Eli on about actually testing the theory out to see if this is in fact true.
The end results are somewhat surprising; since it seems that your last thoughts before you die is what triggers the EO ability. Each person that does survive the NDE will show the signs of different EO abilities which vary per person. Some can carry bad luck with them; some can have the power to manipulate others thoughts and actions and others can bring the dead back to life.
Eli has taken it upon himself to be the one to choose who is worthy to stay alive and use their new found abilities, and those who should be killed due to being an abomination of God. Victor has found a way to trigger his own EO abilities, but at the expense of a colleague, which in turn places Victor in prison. Victor has time to think about what he did and how to get back at Eli.
The timeline of the story I found highly interesting because it was broken down between the past and the present day, all leading up to the final confrontation between Eli and Victor. There were some side characters that were along for the story which I found very likeable.
There is a quote at the end of the book that I feel speaks volumes for this story and just how human thought process works when it comes to choosing if you are doing things for the right reason or for the wrong reason. “When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.”
If you are looking for an adult book to read with no romance, very little profanity, and a lot of action and violence this is the book for you. I will most likely be reading this for a second or even third time later on this year or going into 2014.