Special thanks to Hanna, a new BSR contributor who wrote this great recap! Visit her Tumblr page to keep up with what she’s reading.
***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****
What happened in Vengeful?
The book opens with the death of Marcella Riggins. Marcus Riggins, her husband, is involved in the mob in the city of Merit. When Marcella discovers her husband has been cheating on her for the better part of twelve years, she attempts to kill him. Unfortunately, Marcus kills her first, and her last thoughts are that she will ruin him. Luckily for her, she is rescued by Officer Perry, who has been following them, searching for enough evidence to arrest them. Marcella flatlines and is eventually revived by medical personnel.
Chapter one returns to Victor Vale, five years after the events of Vicious. Victor kills a man who claims he cannot help Victor with a mysterious task. Victor kills the man to cover his tracks. Victor seems to be suffering from a lot of pain; his previous ability to control his own pain and that of others doesn’t seem to be working. After several moments, as his pain turns to currents of energy—the cause of his first death—Victor dies. The scene flashes back, and we return to where Vicious left off. Sydney resurrected Victor from the dead. With that, Mitch, Sydney, and Victor flee Merit.
The story begins to flash back and forth from the past to the present, showing that a side effect of Victor’s second resurrection is that he continues to die and return. Each time, he stays dead for longer and longer amounts of time. For the last five years, Victor has been searching for people to help fix him, to prevent him from dying because if he stays dead beyond the medical limit, he could face severe brain damage. Meanwhile, Sydney has been searching for a way to resurrect things that have been dead for a long time. She wants to bring her sister Serena back and actually has a few of Sydney’s remains saved for when she is ready to try.
With normal doctors unable to help him, Victor turns to drugs to stop the effects of pain that lead up to his deaths. One year after the events of Vicious and four years before the events of the present, Victor goes to a strip club and bumps into a female there. She seems to recognize him, but he doesn’t know her. He proceeds to steal a lot of drugs from a dealer at the strip club. Victor eventually realizes that he shouldn’t be seeking out ordinary doctors to fix him; he needs to find an ExtraOrdinary (EO) with the ability to fix his problem.
The scene flashes to June, the woman who bumped into Victor at the strip club. June is masquerading as a stripper in order to kill a man. June is a paid assassin who also has a list of her own. June is also an EO who can shapeshift to appear like anyone she has touched. Her touch also gives her a small insight into that person’s life to make her masquerade more accurate. June kills the man, then follows Victor. She gets a glimpse of Mitch and Sydney and wonders who they are. Then they disappear.
Two years in the past, Dominic Rusher is offered a job to work at EON, ExtraOrdinary Observation and Neutralization, run by Director Stell, Victor’s old enemy. Victor finds out he is being tracked thanks to Dominic’s connections. This is why he starts going back to kill everyone (human or EO) he has sought out to try to fix his dying problem. Victor orders Dominic to take the job at EON. EON does not know Dominic is also an EO, although Stell does ask Dominic if he is one. Rusher puts on a convincing show, insisting he’s not an EO, and continues to work in the facility for years at Victor’s request. He works alongside other employees such as Agent Rios, Bara, and Holtz.
The narrative flashes back to three years ago, when June happens to find Mitch, Sydney, and Victor again. She gives Sydney her phone number because she was glad to have found a fellow EO and wants to be her friend. The two begin texting and eventually calling each other, developing a bond that leads to Sydney confiding in June on more than one occasion. Sydney later finds out Victor was the one who ordered Serena’s death. The two argue before Sydney moves past this. Victor gives her a gun and teaches her how to use it.
Finally we return to Marcella, only four weeks in the past, who awakens chained to a hospital bed with a police officer monitoring her. Marcella quickly discovers she has special abilities. She can ruin things, causing them to disintegrate at her very touch. She escapes the hospital with this newfound power and sets off in search of her husband.
Throughout the next section of the book, it is revealed that Marcella and Marcus met in college and were drawn to each other because of power and looks. Marcus’s family is in the mob, and a few years into their marriage, Marcella encourages Marcus to join in on the family business. He does so, thrilling Marcella, who has always been taught to aim high. Her ambition and cruelty seem to run deeper than Marcus’s, although she hides hers. At business meetings, her husband pushes her aside and speaks about her as though she is his plaything, an object he owns. He does not let her participate in the “business”, something that continues to bother Marcella.
Four weeks in the past, Marcella finds her husband playing cards and uses her powers to disintegrate him and a few of his friends.
The narrative turns to inside EON, where it turns out Eli Ever is being held. Stell is using him to help track down EO’s, although he insists Eli will never be let out of the special unit built to hold him. Eli has been working on finding The Hunter who, unbeknownst to him, is actually his old enemy Victor Vale, but Stell puts him on Marcella’s case. When he discovers Marcella’s power to erode, Eli plants the seeds in Stell’s mind to allow him to personally hunt down Marcella.
The scene flashes back to right after Vicious, telling of how Eli was brought to EON and tortured by Dr. Haverty in the name of science until Stell found out what was happening and had Eli moved to the special holding unit he currently resides within. Stell fires Haverty, who has a disturbing obsession with EO’s.
We also learn about Eli’s past. His father, a pastor from whom Eli developed his love for religion, would whip him on the back with a belt as a punishment. After Eli’s mother died, Eli pushed his father down the stairs and claimed he fell. His father died as a result, and Eli was moved around from foster home to foster home. He learned to perfect his ability to appear “normal” so kids his age would accept him. Finally, he ended up with Patrick and Lisa Cardale, who actually provided him with a family home and a somewhat stable life. They encouraged him to study medicine, and Eli’s interest in the field quickly grew.
When he was in his late teens, though, they died in a car accident, and Eli stays in an apartment until he attends a community college. There he enjoys a loveless relationship with a young girl until her father bribes Eli to break up with her. He funds Eli’s education at Lockland in return. Here Eli meets Victor, who seems to be the first person who does not mind if Eli isn’t the carefully cultivated normal he has been for so many years. We also learn how Eli’s interest in EO’s developed through Internet searches, the interest quickly devolving into an intense obsession.
Back to only a year and a half in the past, Eli figures out that The Hunter is sick and must be Victor Vale. He decides to save Victor for himself, not telling Stell he has figured out who the perpetrator is. He wants revenge on Victor.
Marcella, now three weeks in the past, isn’t sure exactly what to do next after killing her husband. She obtains a gun and heads back to her apartment in Merit, where it turns out various EON agents are waiting to take her down. She defeats them soundly with the help of June, who learned of Marcella’s name and alleged abilities while searching for Marcella’s husband and his associates.
June’s personal list of people to kill includes Tony Hutch, one of Marcus’s compatriots. The trail led her to Marcella, whom June wants to team up with because of their powers. June needs Marcella to get her close to Tony Hutch. In exchange, she’ll help June defeat the agents. Marcella agrees. Stell and EON discover the wreckage in their hunt for Marcella, noticing she did not try to hide her abilities. They suspect she did not work alone.
Marcella and June quickly find and dispatch Tony, discovering June is a “living voodoo doll”. If the body she shifts into is killed, that person dies, leaving June intact. Marcella tells June she does not want to hide; she wants to use her abilities to gain power and greatness and take over the mob. June knows of another EO, Jonathan Royce, because of her assassin ventures. His wife died during a bad run-in with some of Marcus’s crew. Royce is a shield, unkillable because he died with the desire to save his wife. He can give that shield to anyone he’s looking at. Marcella and June recruit him to their cause.
Three weeks in the past, Dominic reports the existence of Marcella to Victor. Meanwhile, Marcella kills the heads of the other mob families in Merit and decides with June and Jonathan that she wants to stand out, to throw herself a party. She continues to evade capture and death at the hands of EON.
Two weeks in the past, Sydney, Victor, and Mitch are slowly backtracking, with Victor killing all the people he’s come into contact with asking to help fix him. Sydney finally manages to resurrect the skeleton of a bird. Now she knows she’s ready to try to raise Serena as soon as she can get to the site of Serena’s death in Merit.
Meanwhile, the rich board of directors at EON tell Stell he needs to use Eli Ever to capture and neutralize Marcella Riggins. They present Stell with a collar, which at the press of a button can collapse to form a vicious spike to lodge in Eli’s spinal cord, paralyzing him until the spike is retracted. Stell is reluctant to try this.
Marcella calls Stell and sets up a meeting with him just after this meeting with the directors. She tells Stell she wants to ally with him and offers him a deal in order for Stell to leave her alone. He tells her he wants her to find The Hunter and gives her a list of the last five known locations of this killer. Neither of them yet know this is Victor Vale. He tells Marcella she has two weeks to find Victor or else Stell will renew his efforts to kill Marcella. Stell returns to Eli and tells him he has two weeks to discover a new way to neutralize Marcella.
Marcella tells June to track down The Hunter, and June quickly realizes from the list Marcella gives her that The Hunter has been in all the same places her friend Sydney has been. June asks Sydney for her current location, then heads in that direction. June follows Victor for days and finally witnesses one of his dying episodes. She almost kills him in that moment, but her friendship with Sydney stays her hand.
One week in the past, Marcella continues to make killing scenes in Merit. Stell is getting antsy as he discovers these and contacts Marcella. She tells him she has found The Hunter.
Sydney checks the search database Mitch has created. They discover a new EO has popped up in Merit, a doctor named Ellis Dumont. He apparently has a wonderful ability to heal people. She tells Victor, and the group leaves for Merit immediately.
Now only two days in the past, Marcella has sent out invitations for a party at The Old Courthouse to begin “the future of the city”.
June oversleeps and realizes Victor, Mitch, and Sydney have packed and left the hotel. She speeds back toward Merit thanks to Sydney telling her that’s where they were going.
The day before the present, Victor, Mitch, and Sydney hole up at The Kingsley Hotel. Victor heads to Merit Central Hospital to find Ellis Dumont. June freaks out, having realized EON must have lured Victor to the city. She does not want EON to kill him. She cares for Sydney and wants to keep Victor safe now. She calls Sydney, insisting she needs to know where Victor is. After a moment’s hesitation, Sydney tells her.
Victor quickly realizes Dumont was a trap. After a lot of tactics to avoid the armored and gun-carrying EON soldiers, he escapes with the help of June. Stell, angry at his failure to neutralize Victor, finally accepts the fact that he will have to let Eli out if he wants to capture Victor, Marcella, and their respective bands of EOs and accomplices. Victor refuses to lead the EON soldiers following him back to The Kingsley, so he goes to a bar. June finds him there, tells him Marcella wants to talk to him, and invites him to the event at The Old Courthouse.
Mitch tells Sydney they’re leaving after Victor gets back. Sydney sneaks out because she has to try to raise Serena.
Victor meets Marcella at an art gallery, and she asks him to join forces with her. Marcella has discovered Sydney has abilities, too. After Victor tells her he doesn’t want to work with her and leaves, Marcella reveals his hotel and his whereabouts to EON. June finds out and is angry, turning her against Marcella, because she doesn’t want Sydney put in danger.
At the site of Serena’s death, Sydney realizes Serena had never once saved her from the ice or Eli. She still misses her, but she does not try to bring her back. She checks her phone and realizes Mitch, Victor, and June have all been calling and texting her. She starts to run. June tells her EON knows her hotel. June finds her after a moment and says they’ll think of a plan to save everyone. June takes her back to a hotel and drugs Sydney to keep her safe and away from the action.
Victor, who has been following Stell while EON follows him, confronts Stell and tells him to keep Eli locked up. Stell shoots Victor with some sort of dart connected to a vial, and Victor passes out.
Eli is taken to a hotel in Merit, where he’s allowed to shower and plan for Marcella’s party. In the shower, he digs out every tracker Dr. Haverty placed inside his body. He plans his escape.
Victor wakes up inside a unit in EON. Dominic Rusher is his only chance. Dominic wakes up cuffed to a table after trying to prevent Eli’s release. After evading Agent Rios, whom he suspects is an EO herself, Dominic escapes and opens every cell in EON. He then goes to find Victor. He saves Victor in the nick of time but takes a bullet. After helping Victor get close to outside EON, Dominic dies.
Sydney wakes up and heads for the Courthouse.
Mitch finds Victor, and they head for the Courthouse. Eli is also headed there, as are Marcella, June, Jonathan, Stell, and Sydney.
Victor, Marcella, Jonathan, Eli, and June begin an enormous fight in the Courthouse. Jonathan shoots Victor in the shoulder, and Victor tries to get past Jonathan’s shielding abilities. Eli and Marcella get locked into battle. Marcella’s power isn’t strong enough to defeat Eli’s regenerative abilities. She continues to work on disintegrating Eli, but she ends up weakening the marble floor they stand on. The floor collapses, and Marcella and Eli fall through it to a stone floor below. Marcella dies in the fall, Victor kills Jonathan, and Eli heals and escapes. He is ambushed by Dr. Haverty, who had been experimenting in his private time on another EO in order to develop a drug that would work on Eli. He uses the drug on Eli, who passes out.
How did Vengeful end?
Victor tracks down Eli. Haverty has taken Eli to a lab and is experimenting on him again. Eli cannot move because of the drug Haverty developed. Victor finds the lab and tries to use his pain power on Haverty, but Haverty has put the drug into the air, neutralizing Victor’s abilities. Eli slips free while Haverty focuses on Victor and kills Haverty. Eli and Victor, both without powers, grapple hand to hand to try to kill each other.
Eli is about to slit Victor’s throat before Sydney arrives. She shoots Eli, and he dies. Victor tells Sydney to meet him 23 miles outside of town so he can gather Haverty’s drugs to use to keep his death episodes at bay. Victor uses the serum and goes to find Stell. He kills Stell, then walks out of Merit.
Sydney lost her phone and tries to call Victor. He never shows up to their meeting place, so Mitch and Sydney set off on their own. Sydney knows she has time to track Victor down. She also realizes she does not have June’s number anymore. But she doesn’t even know if June is trustworthy anymore.
Eli’s body is placed in cold containment at EON. June, disguised as a pretty woman, seduces an EON soldier, takes on his likeness, sneaks inside EON, and erases herself from EON’s records. She then sets off on her own in a car.
There you go! That’s what happened in Vengeful, the second book in this series.
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