This is the first book of the Villains series by VE Schwab. I haven’t read the second one yet, and I have only read one of the Magic series, but I liked it.
This book I also liked, but I am not entirely sold on it in ways that I thought the opening book of the Magic series was incredibly rich and detailed.
So the premise here is basically a few medical students figure out that maybe superheroes/supervillains are real or could be real, and tap into a scientific/medical process to make them. They figure out that the adrenaline released in near death experiences, a specifically strong will to live, and factors of the person’s personality can bring people back to life and equip them with some kind of power. Our two figures here, Victor and Eli, friends and rivals, make themselves into powerful beings and take diverging paths in how they understand and process those powers. And in the process, they become adversaries.
My argument of course is that any superpower, no matter how employed, is inherently evil. And given that this book has some very specifically evil ones like the ability to inflict pain and mind-control, they’re all evil. But that’s ok, because once they have the powers, nobody is pretending they’re not evil.
So over all, I enjoy the novel and will continue reading. I hope part two is better (I didn’t like the tone or structure of this novel particularly) and I really hate doing this, but I thought the audiobook reader was very ill-suited to this book.