Okay. So maybe I exaggerated a little bit. Maybe it isn’t the best last line in a book, but it was pretty amazing.
“A moment later, the cold ran up her arms, and caught her breath, and beneath her hands a heartbeat fluttered, as Victor vale opened his eyes, and smiled” (Schwab 364).
Oh! I forgot! You haven’t read it, so let me back up a step. SPOILER ALERT!
This is the book with the two different timelines, Vicious. And as you may (not) know, the main character, Victor, is plotting revenge against his college friend, Eli. Why? Because Eli turned Victor into the police and tried to kill him. (Note: there’s more back story here with tons of details and nuances but read the book for that.)
Anyways, Victor and Eli both have super powers, calling themselves EOs. Eli has regenerative healing, and Victor can manipulate people’s level of pain. And Victor finally tells his group, I have a plan to take down victor, never revealing what it is.
It leaves you wondering. Here’s a man who wants to take murderous revenge; you can’t kill the character; and the whole city is against you – thanks to Eli’s persuasive girlfriend.
So how does he win?
“Pain swept over the three like a current, like a breath, something held back and now returned. And then, one by one, the realized what that meant” (Schwab 358).
He died. And lost. But not before his team takes out the girlfriend, leaving the city to turn against Eli. Which they do. Realizing Eli killed Victor, that he had actually committed dozens of murders before this, they arrest him and take him to jail.
And Victor, with the help of a bring-back-to-life sidekick, wakes up in his grave smiling.
I liked this. This was one of the few times I think withholding information was well done. Why? Because it didn’t flaunt the withholding of information. Maybe because it continued the story under the assumption the plan works. I’m not ejected from the story, and while at first it seems as if he lost, I’m pleasantly happy when I realize he actually won. It didn’t work out as bad as I thought. That this was the plan, and a brilliant one as a matter of fact.
This could be a technique for when you want to withhold information: Omit the details and then show the omission through scene and action with reflection at the end.
Ps. Anyone else realize the that the winner, or victor, in this book is Victor? Play on names, you think?
Schwab, V. Vicious. New York, NY:Tor, 2013. Print.