May 27, 2013

H.I.V.E. Book 1 - by Mark Walden

There are all sorts of books out there about how to become a super hero, but how on Earth do you train to become a super VILLAIN?  You go to H.I.V.E., of course.  However, this super-secret Higher Institute of Villainous Education is not only extremely expensive, but nobody seems to have ever heard of it.  When young Otto Malpense is tranquilized and brought to the school, he didn't know what to think.  Why would someone kidnap a poor orphan?  Although he doesn't exactly get an answer to that question, he does learn quite a bit about the school as he and his new classmates begin their six year course of study to become the next generation of criminal masterminds.

Otto is an exceptionally bright and funny boy, and the book is even more exciting by the fact that Otto and three of his friends are planning a grand escape.  The mysteries and action build to an exceptional, and somewhat unexpected climax, when the teens put their plan into action.  The secretive and truly villainous headmaster, Dr. Nero, has his work cut out for him trying to tame Otto. The technology in this book is mind-boggling, and the characters are captivating.  It has elements of many of my favorite books: The Mysterious Benedict Society, Harry Potter, The Girl Who Could Fly, but it is truly its own creation. As this series progresses, I can't wait to see where the author's imagination takes us!

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