Book: Higher Institute of Villainous Education
Author: Mark Walden
Series: H.I.V.E (book 1)
Otto Malpense may only be thirteen years old, but so far he has managed to run the orphanage where he lives, and he has come up with a plan clever enough to trick the most powerful man in the country. He is the perfect candidate to become the world’s next supervillain.
That is why he ends up at H.I.V.E., handpicked to become a member of the incoming class. The students have been kidnapped and brought to a secluded island inside a seemingly active volcano, where the school has resided for decades. All the kids are elite; they are the most athletic, the most technically advanced, and the smartest in the country. Inside the cavernous marble rooms, floodlit hangars, and steel doors, the students are enrolled in Villainy Studies and Stealth and Evasion 101. But what Otto soon comes to realize is that this is a six-year program, and leaving is not an option.
With the help of his new friends: an athletic martial-arts expert; a world-famous, beautiful diamond thief; and a spunky computer genius — the only other people who seem to want to leave — can Otto achieve what has never been done before and break out of H.I.V.E.?
After reading it, the review at the top of the book made sense for it said: “Artemis Fowl would fit perfectly at H.I.V.E”- Eoin Colfer. This institute has it all. giant submarines, active volcanoes, the slightly off AI (But I love HIVEmind not a bad word against him!). The boy genius trend is back with this book and its one that I really like.
The entire story is set such that you can’t really relate to Otto. Some aspects such as his want to escape yes, but others seem incomprehensible. As the first book of the series, it is meant to intrigue and to capture your attention with a developed plotline, but it also needs to plant those seeds of question in your head. Why is this character doing this? Why behave in such a way? What happens if…? This book does an excellent job at raising those questions without seemingly even being there in the first place!
You can see the changes in Otto in the book from the begenning to the end, you can see the changes in his friends as well, but at the same time, when you finish the book and put it down, you’re left with a feeling that they aren’t done growing and a nagging urge (at least if you’re anything like me) to find out what happens to this gang of genii (plural for genius) next. It is impossible not to reach for the second book to find out what mischief they cause next and what trouble they land up in.
It isn’t for those who consider themselves serious adults. I still read it and I’m 19, but that’s just who I am. Ideal for those who enjoy the likes of Artemis Fowl, the “appropriate age” would be around 11+ I suppose. If you are a voracious reader you can read it in one sitting and if you aren’t you’re still probably going to read this in one sitting because that’s how difficult it is to put down. Enjoy it on a lazy afternoon or maybe take a break from the head-breaking maths to join this group on their latest mischief trip (their adventure beats math homework any day…but don’t tell people I said that!)
–As always, comment below to tell me what you think and whether or not you’ll read it…or have read it–
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