If you pay any attention at all to me on Twitter, you'll know that recently, I read a couple of books by Victoria Schwab and as a result, I now class her as one of my favourite authors. I thought that instead of (or maybe as well as) reviewing her books, I'd just write a long, gushy post about why she and her books are so awesome, and why you should read them.
I first discovered Victoria Schwab in 2011, when I read an eGalley of The Near Witch (review here). I loved it, and was sad that it wasn't going to be published in the UK! I then saw that Victoria was releasing a second book, The Archived, which I thought sounded amaaaazing. But, by that point, I had made it a general rule to not buy US hardbacks of a book I hadn't read and so, with no UK publisher, despite all the temptation, I didn't buy it.
Naturally then, I was THRILLED when I saw Vicious had found a UK home with Tor! *Excellent*, I would finally get to re-experience a Victoria Schwab book. I once again resisted all temptation to buy the US hardback, despite preferring the cover and despite being almost-100% sure I would love it. I ended up borrowing it off my friend Daphne and yes, I loved it. I bought a UK copy. And a US hardcover. And I bought The Archived (IN HARDBACK), thus breaking one of my only book-buying rules. And it was so worth it. The Archived was everything I expected and more.
Victoria's books are so unique, so imaginative. They fit in genres, but they defy convention. They remind me of books by Maggie Stiefvater; with beautiful, elegant prose that seems both natural and yet so carefully cultivated, characters that you're convinced must exist, somewhere, because they're so full of life, and plotlines that aren't driven by trends or fads, but are a result of the stories spilling out of an incredibly talented individual.
Every single book is different, in terms of the characters in it and the plotline of it, but they're bound together by a ribbon of creativity and atmosphere; all her books feel the same. I don't mean they make you feel the same way, they just...feel the same. Different from anything else, absorbing, imaginative, genuine.
Victoria is one of those rare authors I've found where her books are, somehow, larger than the sum of their parts. Yes, the books are about what the blurb says they're about, but no blurb could ever capture the sheer magical nature of these books, nor the captivating experience they provide. I absolutely urge you to pick up any of Victoria Schwab's books, and I defy you not to enjoy it.