Review: V is for Villain by Peter Moore

V is for Villain
Peter Moore
Series: None
Released: May 20th, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: the cheesy goodness
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Brad Baron is used to looking lame compared to his older brother, Blake. Though Brad's basically a genius, Blake is a superhero in the elite Justice Force. And Brad doesn't measure up at his high school, either, where powers like super-strength and flying are the norm. So when Brad makes friends who are more into political action than weight lifting, he's happy to join a new crew-especially since it means spending more time with Layla, a girl who may or may not have a totally illegal, totally secret super-power. And with her help, Brad begins to hone a dangerous new power of his own.

But when they're pulled into a web of nefarious criminals, high-stakes battles, and startling family secrets, Brad must choose which side he's on. And once he does, there's no turning back.

Perfect for fans of The Avengers, Ironman, and classic comic books, V is for Villain reveals that it's good to be bad.

If you're looking for a book that somewhat resembles what the love child of Sky High and Marvel would be, V is for Villain is the way to go. It's got all the cheesy goodness and snark of Sky High (and is actually pretty similar to it in plot and structure towards the beginning), and all the superhero/villain badassery of Marvel. Main difference is, with V is for Villain, we're not exactly following the perspective of the hero, which should intrigue you if you're anything like me. 

Right off the bat, you should know that V is for Villain is driven more by plot than by character. The characters and relationships are interesting, and some are met with development, but it's clear from the beginning that it's in regards to the plot where V is for Villain focuses and, quite frankly, shines. We've got this world in which superheroes live among humans, and fight the mutant villains: Phaetons. Not only that, but one of the most famous superheroes is the brother of our MC, Brad, which is cause for a lot of resentment and conflict throughout the novel. There's the relatively typical conspiracy theories you're wont to find in stories like this, and although some plot twists may become less original and more convoluted as the novel wears on, the main story of V is for Villain is fun and engaging. However, a downside to the great amount of plot and world is the info-dumping, of which there is quite a bit in here. Moore tries to make the info-dumping in V is for Villain fresh, through the use of footnotes and snark, and although I thought it was at first a success, after a few hundred pages it grew tiresome. Not only that, but it threw me out of the story more often than not; I'd have been entirely engaged in the story only to see a little footnote coming, at which point I had felt the need to stop the real reading, read the little footnote, and go back to the reading with less engagement that I had had before. In the end it just proved counterproductive to what it was trying to achieve. 

On the other hand, with more positives, Brad's character is an interesting one to see develop from ordinary, non-powered teenager to villain, and it's something I haven't seen before in YA. It's not often that an author tackles the concept of writing a novel from the perspective of someone gradually becoming more of a villain, and it was a nice change that's done very well. However, although I thought the points made about motivations and morality were great, I would have liked for there to be a stronger basis behind Brad's radical change in character. It's kind of a straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back development, and  even then there's reason enough for why he is the way he becomes, and all are fairly reasonable. With that having been said, I think there was a lot more that could have been done with Brad's character psychological conflicts, rather than him going from someone who is okay terms with his surroundings, to someone who resents it entirely. 

Also something I thought could have had more development was the central romance, which, honestly, isn't so integral to the novel. But, coming out of the V is for Villain, I definitely thought the romance was uninspired as a whole, and moved quickly. It wasn't exactly insta-love, but I think since I wasn't able to connect with the relationship between Brad and his love interest or really the love interest herself, none of the relationship development really stuck out to me. 

Most of this review seems to be more negative than positive, unfortunately, but I really did enjoy V is for Villain. There's not much more you can say about how fun the plot is without trespassing into spoiler territory, and the fun plot was really the main element of this novel I enjoyed. If you're a very character-focused reader, it may not be perfect for you, but if you're a fan of superheroes, snark, breakneck action and some cheesy goodness, I'm fairly certain you will have a fun time reading V is for Villain.


Here, have some Wreck It Ralph and Sky High gifs; they relate to the story so I'm using them, and I do what I want. Take the gifs! Take them all!


  1. Oh man Blythe, I love Sky High! It's one of my favourite films in the entire world; I am so happy I read this review because it's so on my radar now. I've been looking for a story that follows a villain for so long, and I've found one, yipee! Your review is fair and honest, and I'm glad, not every book is perfect. Now I need to go and watch Sky High, woo! :D

    1. Me too! Such a fun movie. Glad that my review put this on your radar! I love it when a review brings a good book onto someone's radar. :)

  2. Sky High is such a fun movie!! Anyways, I have this for review and I am looking forward to reading it. Even though there are a lot of things that didn't work in the book, it still sounds like I will enjoy it. I originally was drawn to it because of the fact it doesn't follow the hero. I love the reversal. Great review!!

    1. It is! I can't wait to see what you think of this, Amy. I really think you'd enjoy it. It's a lot of fun.

  3. Hmm, I was curious about this one, because superheroes, but I'm not sure if I will love this. I mean, okay, so I like the superhero/villain badassery bit, but I'm not sure I'm in the mood for the cheesiness. Also, if the characters aren't that great, then eh. So I'm not saying no ever, but I'm not in the mood for this right now.

    also, I think I saw Sky High, but I have no memory thereof.

    1. Yeah, I'm not sure this is a Christina-book, if only for the shaky characterization. The MC's is pretty well written, what with him becoming a villain, but no one else is too fleshed out.

  4. What an interesting review...I'm always looking for books for my son to read and he loves Sky High....the focus on plot is definitely a good thing for him. thank you ~Sheri

    1. Oh, I think this may be something he'd enjoy, then! Would be a fantastic read for teen boys, I think.


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