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It’s been 297 days since David died–and came back.

He may have survived the avalanche, but the aftermath has been far worse. His wife moved out, taking his son with her, and a devastated David hasn’t left his house since, terrified of the mysterious new power that followed him home from the ill-fated expedition.

After months in seclusion, David’s ready for a fresh start, and ventures out, determined to keep his power in check. But David’s power isn’t the one he needs to worry about.

15 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 20, 2013

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About the author

V.E. Schwab

67 books61.9k followers
V.E. Schwab is the author of more than 20 books for children, teens, and adults.
Alternate spelling of Victoria Schwab.

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5 stars
1,698 (20%)
4 stars
3,561 (43%)
3 stars
2,577 (31%)
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1 star
71 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,176 reviews
Profile Image for Victoria Schwab.
Author 37 books103k followers
April 20, 2016
I wrote this in an Edinburgh coffee shop called Spoon, sitting across from Rachel Hawkins. And I'm quite fond of it. I will give you a hint, though: the man who shows up at the end is one of the main characters in VICIOUS.
Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,334 followers
October 28, 2018
Several years ago I read a book by this author, and I was not a fan, so I never intended to read anything else from her.

And then, I kept seeing updates and reviews for the Villains series. It seemed like something I would very much like. But I was not sure. I kept thinking about that book I did not like. And with every new review from my friends, I kept thinking that maybe it was just the book and I should give her another chance. That I'm all in for not exactly good or positive characters. And then I found out about this and thought that it might be a good test.

And I really liked it. It's intriguing, I want more. And I really need to find out who is Victor because based on the reviews he seems like a character I may simply adore.
Profile Image for Petrik.
664 reviews41.2k followers
July 12, 2017
3.5/5 Stars

Warm Up is a prequel novella to V.E Schwab's "Vicious". After finishing Vicious, I go straight into reading this and I find it quite interesting to read. It shows the perspective through the eye of David, one of the victim to one of the main character in Vicious, . There's nothing else to talk about this novella since it's only 15 pages long and it will took you probably 10-15 minutes to finish but if you love Vicious, I really suggest you read it. It doesn't provide anything new to the world itself but it's still good enough :)
Profile Image for karen.
3,976 reviews170k followers
July 8, 2021
She went to slap him and he caught her wrist.

He hadn’t meant to hurt her. It was reflex, self-defense, a hand raised against a hand. But the moment his fingers met her skin, she screamed. He let go at once, but it was too late. The flesh had bubbled and burned, raised welts in the shape of his hand.

Samantha pulled away, horrified.

A malfunction.

He tried to apologize, tried to explain, but he couldn’t make her understand. He didn’t understand.

i'd forgotten about this story! i'd bookmarked it as a potential december short story advent calendar-story last year since i'd finally read Vicious and wouldn't be all adrift in this world but then i forgot all about it come advent-calendar-time, so it's rather a good thing that there wasn't a new tor shorty posted this week, allowing me the chance to rediscover it and get back into the spirit of the series.

silly of me, really, since TIL that this story was posted as a teaser before Vicious was released, so a familiarity with the world was not necessary. HOWEVER, i do believe this story is better to read AFTER Vicious, because it really is a tease—the character we are introduced to here does not appear in the book for REASONS, and all the sympathy schwab makes us feel towards him and his situation is for naught, a bait-and-switch serving as a means to introduce Vicious' real herovillain.

as a standalone, the ending is too abrupt and inconclusive to be satisfying, but if you know who this guy is, showing up at the end with his mumbo-jumbo, i reckon it's a lot more rewarding.

i really need to read Vengeful before i forget the finer points of Vicious. that's what i get for only writing an all-caps placeholder review for it; i don't remember enough of the book's connective tissue, so i hope one-a-you goodreaders did a more thorough job reviewing it than i did, because i'm going to need your beautiful brains!!

read it for yourself here:


come to my blog!
Profile Image for Lara.
169 reviews62 followers
February 1, 2019
It feels embarrassing to add a 15-page novella for my challenge since I read books with 800+ pages I guess we're even xd
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
522 reviews34.4k followers
June 7, 2020
I could have sworn I already wrote a review for this.
Guess it fell victim to another one of goodreads glitches. >_<

This said: I love V.E. Schwab's writing style. <3
"Warm Up" is just a short story yet it still managed to capture my interest.
The atmosphere, how David is portrayed. You get an instant feel for his character and you want him to succeed. You want him to go out and to see the world again. To be a part of it.
You pull for his character and then... well we all know what happens to EO's that cross Eli's path.

This might have been short,
but it was still brilliant.

V.E. Schwab truly is a master of her craft! ;-)
Profile Image for Warda.
1,123 reviews17.7k followers
October 13, 2019
Bloody hell, I didn’t realise how much I missed Schwab’s writing and world.
This short story had me completely hooked.
Time to reread Vicious and finally get to Vengeful!
Profile Image for Lauren Lanz.
649 reviews244 followers
May 1, 2021
For such a short novella, it’s amazing how much V.E. Schwab was able to do.

I felt for David within a few pages; his backstory was told wonderfully and in brief time. Although it may not relate directly to the rest of the Villains series, I think this was a good introduction to ExtraOrdinaries and their powers.

Also, I loved the appearance of a certain someone we’ve seen much of in the rest of the series! >.>
Profile Image for Riley.
424 reviews20.8k followers
January 8, 2016
This was excellent. I don't necessarily think it adds anything to the story, but if you enjoyed Vicious then this is a nice addition. I am planning on rereading Vicious soon so this helped me want to do that sooner!!
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 5 books13.5k followers
November 7, 2017
Have all my love. And more.

Again, Schwab wrote exactly what I wanted, without me even knowing that I wanted it in the first place.

I just got the feeling that I really need to reread Vicious. And I also a really need the movie adaptation. And the ADSOM TV-show. And more Victoria Schwab books. Soon. Now.

Find more of my books on Instagram
Profile Image for Lucy Tonks.
436 reviews703 followers
August 23, 2021
I decided to pick this novella up on a whim. I love the world of Villains and I love both books a lot. Vicious and Vengeful are my favourite books from V.E. Schwab. I love her works, but Villains for some reason is my favourite. This was a really great story, I loved being back in this world, and even though we don't really follow any of the characters that we know from the books, it still felt like coming back home for me.

A better review may come in the future, that is not written by a sleep deprevived person, but for now if you love Vicious and you love V.E. Schwabs writing and you just want something more from her, I highly recommend you pick this up. For just a novella, this is an amazing story.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,157 reviews97.9k followers
February 20, 2017
You can read this short story for free on Tor.com.

I knew from the beginning of this short story that I would love this world. The author's writing completely captivated me, while I was being immersed in this unique and complex world. I've been on the fence about reading Vicious forever, but this completely sold me.

This is about a man that is rescued from a tragic ice climbing trip, which the rest of his crew did not survive. He narrowly escapes his death, but now has a side effect; He emits heat from his hands that does not cause fire, but burns whatever he is touching. He doesn't know how to control it, and refuses to tell anyone about it, so his family leaves him. He hasn't left the house in almost three hundred days, and this is the story of what happens when he finally does.

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Profile Image for Mon.
236 reviews218 followers
June 26, 2022
No entendí el propósito de este relato, pero el universo de Villanos me encanta, así que no me quejo. No es para nada necesario leerlo, es como un relato para quienes quieren más.

Nos cuenta la historia de un tipo llamado David que obtuvo poderes de la misma manera que todos los demás, cuando decide vencer su agoraphobia se encuentra cara a cara con la peor persona con la que pudo haberse encontrado.

Y ya (?
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
848 reviews447 followers
May 23, 2016
3.5 stars

You can read this story here.
An interesting story. I seriously need to read a V.E. Schwab book as soon as possible. I really enjoyed reading this and I'm probably going to read her A Darker Shade of Magic as soon as the third book in the series comes out. Guess who likes to spoil themselves if the ending is good? This girl.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
August 3, 2016
Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature.

I read V.E. Schwab’s Vicious, a dark fantasy about superpowered antagonists, a couple of weeks ago, and found out that she published a Tor short story set in the same universe at about the time Vicious came out. “Warm Up” follows a day in the life of David, an EO (Extra-Ordinary; i.e., a superpowered person), who’s had a rough time with life since he was resuscitated from clinical death, after being caught in an avalanche while mountain climbing. Fittingly, since he had temporarily frozen to death, he had a new superpower when he was revived: his hands burn anything he touches, despite the fact that David always feels cold … no matter how high the thermostat is set.

Unfortunately, it was difficult for David to learn how to control his power, and his wife left him when he accidentally burned her badly a few days after he was revived. He’s been a recluse ever since, refusing to leave his home, but now, nearly a year later, he’s finally ready to venture into society again.

The title “Warm Up” amusingly references the fact that it was a warm up act to the full novel (I’m assuming this was a deliberate allusion by Schwab), as well as the main character’s superpower. It’s well-written but bleak. Eli’s religious ramblings, a substantial component of his character in the novel, still grate.

“Warm Up” doesn’t stand particularly well on its own; there’s not all that much of a story here. It’s more a character study of a person who (if I recall correctly) very briefly appears in Vicious. But as an introduction to the world of Vicious, or viewed as an outtake from the novel, it’s reasonably interesting, and sheds some additional light on that world.

Free online at Tor.com.
December 24, 2022

“The line between accidental and intentional meant everything”.

Esta es una historia corta del universo de Villains de V. E. Schwab. Aquí nos encontramos con el relato de un hombre que sobrevivió a una avalancha. Sin embargo, murió por unos minutos y cuando volvió lo hizo como un ExtraOrdinario, un EO. Desde entonces, este hombre ha vivido absolutamente aterrorizado de sus poderes y de no poder controlarlos con su familia o la gente normal, así que no ha salido de su casa.

La cosa es que un día, cuando por fin decide que ha recolectado el control necesario, sale de su casa por primera vez… y se encuentra con la persona con la que menos debía cruzarse en todo el mundo.

Si bien este relato es cortísimo, tiene la energía peligrosa e intrigante del mundo de los EOs, de la obsesión de cierto otro personaje por acabar con todos y de los miedos que pueden tener estas personas cuando vuelven de la muerte siendo algo más que humanos.
Profile Image for rin.
411 reviews490 followers
March 17, 2017
how does schwab do it

this 15 pages are more intense than some books

Profile Image for bookellenic.
226 reviews81 followers
December 30, 2018
I really loved this little addition to the world of Vicious, and I would suggest reading it after reading the book, the way I did. I understand that one might want to try out the writing style and this world before picking up the book, so Warm Up can be a good introduction; however, I think that it could potentially lessen the blow of a really important plot point of Vicious.

I also really want to underline that if you're going into this story expecting impeccable character development and plotline, then I think that it would create unreasonably unrealistic expectations. After all, it is a very tall order for 15 pages to showcase an author's potential in all their glory. I personally love stories that present themself as glimpses into people's lives, more like windows to their soul and behaviour, and this novella totally delivered.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,694 reviews702 followers
October 4, 2019
Okay, this was amazing and didn't go the way I expected it to. I definitely need to read Vicious again because I have missed that world.

For anyone who wants to read this story, you can find it here.
Profile Image for Sara.
369 reviews319 followers
February 4, 2019
This didn't add very much to the plot but it was nice to read something else from this universe.
Not bad, very short though!
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,089 reviews6,598 followers
July 18, 2020
representation: anxiety and agoraphobia.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


This was honestly pointless and didn't add anything to the original story at all in my opinion :/

trigger warnings: anxiety, agoraphobia, alcohol, murder.
Profile Image for Carrot :3 (on a hiatus).
253 reviews74 followers
May 10, 2021
As always, the short is great.

I buddy read this with Orla! ♥️

Total time spent: 16min.
Profile Image for Vanessa J..
347 reviews597 followers
August 3, 2015
Incredibly atmospheric and well written. I think this should be read before reading Vicious. I'm 25% done with it, but ehhh, it still doesn't count as read, does it? And that ending tho... I'm glad Vicious is already published.

Superpowers + death themes + mystery = Vane like.
Profile Image for Kalena W.
589 reviews244 followers
December 14, 2021
4/5 stars, a quick but captivating novella set in vicious’ dark world

This was available for free on tor.com and it's a short (15-page) novella set in the Vicious world. I read this immediately after I finished the first book in the series because I desperately needed something else to feed my new obsession with this series. And I have to say I am not disappointed.

While it's not a super in-depth story about a character or any of them we knew, but I really enjoyed it. It houses an individual story about a man who has a near-death experience, and both the effects on his life and how it ends (if you've read the book I am sure you can assume what happens).

I want tons more novellas and stories like this, as when it was revealed how people obtained their powers I wanted to see tons more. Seeing the types of powers and people who have them is something that is really fun! So I am really happy that I picked this up fast after, giving me a bit more ExtraOrdinary characters in the world.

[TW: death of a friend, divorce, loss of family and friends]
Profile Image for Katerina  Kondrenko.
498 reviews826 followers
January 1, 2021
7 out of 10

ревью на русском/review in russian

I didn't know that I had to read this short-story before Vicious, it could help to understand a few things sooner than I did while reading the main book, but I could be spoiled on a few things too . So it's ok if you like me would read this bonus after Vicious.

In this story, we see a man whose life had changed. He nearly died and got a power: now he can warm up everything or even burn it to ashes. His wife left him and took their son. The MC didn't know how to control himself so he didn't try to stop them. He had spent about 300 days inside his house and finally decided to move on, to leave his 'prison', to be normal again. But he had no idea that someone was already waiting for him to come out...


Vicious (Порочные):
Warm Up (Разогрев) #0.5/2
Vicious (Порочные) #1/2
— Untitled (Без названия) #2/2
Profile Image for Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura).
501 reviews714 followers
October 5, 2018

1- Vicious ★★★★★
2- Vengeful

“Some people forget, he thought. A bad thing happens to them and their mind sweeps in and buries the bad thing deep, and all that’s left is a stretch of white in their heads, like fresh snow. Looking at it—at them—you wouldn't even know anything was trapped beneath

I’m planning on reading Vicious and Vengeful this year (hopefully) and I though I might as well read this short story before starting. It didn't exactly give anything away but I assume I’ll know more when I start the books. Victoria Schwab’s writing is so on point though!

You can read this short story on Tor.com here!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,176 reviews

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