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Evil Genius (Genius #1)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,654 Ratings  ·  700 Reviews
Cadel Piggott has a genius IQ and a fascination with systems of all kinds. At seven, he was illegally hacking into computers. Now he's fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, misinformation, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. Although Cadel may be advanced beyond hi ...more
Hardcover, 552 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2005)
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Psyren Hello, I just finished reading this and in my opinion it isn't a good book for a ten year old, the plot and content is really teen oriented.

If you…more
Hello, I just finished reading this and in my opinion it isn't a good book for a ten year old, the plot and content is really teen oriented.

If you liked the summary about a young kid/teen doing very smart things I suggest the Artemis Fowl series instead. It has a very well written story with fun and lovable characters. I read it when I was much younger and loved it, sadly I have been unable to find other books as well written where the character was a genius and the plot being plausible enough to convince.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 16, 2007 Betsy rated it it was amazing
Few pleasures are quite as sublime as reading a book, enjoying it, and only afterwards realizing that you're familiar with the author. Ask me who Catherine Jinks was before I read "Evil Genius" and you'd have met with a blank stare accompanied by some rapid-fire blinking. Only after I read and enjoyed her latest did I put two and two together. Catherine Jinks = "Pagan's Crusade" = Catherine Jinks = "Evil Genius"! The "Pagan" series is probably one of the best too little appreciated historical f ...more
Mary hoskins
This book is a book that I really liked and have no idea why. The plot was confusing, Cadel dressing up as a girl should have been weird, most of the characters at the school were disturbing, and yet I loved it. Admittedly the beginning leading into the middle was a bit boring, and I did skim read a little, but I found the end leaving me with that warm fuzzy feeling of "just right". Not many books do that.

I think what sold me was the character's development. The main character Cadel, who I was w
I'm not sure why I picked this audio book up, but I'm glad that I did. It was a lot of fun & the characterization of the main character, a child, was very well done. His motivations, extreme intelligence in some areas & complete blindness in others was excellent. It was quite an adventure, too.

The reader was perfect for me. Her accent & high voice fit the book well.

On the downside, the author obviously doesn't know much about computers & they are a major part of the story. Her te
Aug 18, 2015 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cadel Piggett is a smart boy with a genius IQ and loves computers of all kinds. He can hack into other systems and do other atrocious things and his psychiatrist Thaddeus is guiding him through life. When he finds out that his father is an evil criminal mastermind and runs a school for evil known as the Axis institute, he goes not knowing of his father's dark intentions. Can he stop his father's dark plans before it is too late? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good YA audiobo
Eh. It was ok, but it seemed like it might be too long and a bit boring in parts for the intended middle-grade audience. At least I think that's the intended audience.
Sort of reminded me of Artemis Fowl...but not as good. Still, I love the idea of an Evil Child Genius. There's a good chance I'll give the next book a shot for that reason alone.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2015 Steve rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
I am horribly conflicted by this book. While the first part was interesting, watching a young child struggle with his intellect, learning as well as school, it got rather boring when he enrolled in the school for evil geniuses. Which wasn't really what was advertised on the tin. It slowly managed to get to a climax with a few twists and turns, when the action finally got started and the book got interesting, and then it ended, with no real resolution. I am unsure if I will read the next in the s ...more
★ Jess
I picked up this book after a recommendation from a friend.
The one i picked up had the black cover-very enchanting, and a gripping blurb.
I read the first page (as i usually do when testing a book) it was gripping and very descriptive-so, i purchased the book.

The start was superb. Very visual-and the characters where very believable as well.
After really enjoying the first chapters, the story dragged on.
Some times there would be a very quick change, but then back to its dragging.
I must admit
Rick Cole
Dec 11, 2011 Rick Cole rated it really liked it
Did I like this book?: This book is unique. This book is very, very unique, like, I have never read a book quite like this one before, and I am very happy about that. I am a guy who normally likes the bad guys in books and movies better than the heroes because being evil is so much more fun. This book is about a special school designed to train villains. So yes, I liked this book a whole lot.

Summary: Again, as with all my reviews, this summary will be short and sweet in order to avoid major spoi
May 04, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2009
Cadel Piggott isn't your typical kid. For one thing, he's extremely gifted intelligence wise. And for another, he's the son of the evil Dr. Darkkon, who is being held in prison for various crimes.

When Cadel's adopted parents take him to see a psychologist following Cadel's attempts to illegally hack into various computer systems, Cadel falls under the influence of Dr. Thaddeus Roth. Unknown to his adoptive parents, Roth is actually part of Darkkon's league of evil and instead of helping Cadel w
Jean Tatro
Jun 14, 2009 Jean Tatro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Dr. Horrible
Recommended to Jean by: Summer
This is a book I probably wouldn't have picked up on my own. Partly because I'm just not in the habit of giving books without plot blurbs much attention, and partly because I don't pay much attention to the YA section.

It was absolutely wonderful to read a book written on this level - this is seriously not a book for people who have trouble with simple html formatting, and technobabble (serious and humorous) abounds. The plot is solid and complex, and even when I felt like I had a grasp on what w
Apr 07, 2010 AH rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adult, boys
This is a book that boys would like. My husband was intrigued by the cover and the inside cover made him laugh. The bad guys are deliciously evil and our hero Cadel is just as bad.

Evil Genius is the story of Cadel Piggott. At a very young age, Cadel was able to hack into any computer system. He was an outsider, but studied human behavior and interactions. As a result, he developed a dating matchmaking site. He engineered the failure of his senior class at high school as well as the collapse of h
May 29, 2011 Steph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What. An. Amazing. Book.

Seriously, I finished this book after feverishly reading it for about three days, and I just sat there thinking about it for about two hours before I could go to sleep. It was brilliant.

Character development, amazing plotlines and twists, brilliant originality... all things that went into Evil Genius. I spent today driving around to multiple bookshops to try and find the sequel, but so far I've only found the third in the series and I'm DYING TO READ IT!

Highly, HIGHLY rec
Oct 04, 2015 Saskia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Uff, was eine schwere Geburt. Ich bin recht lange um das Buch herum getigert einfach weil es so superlustig klang und genau meinen Geschmack trifft. Das grelle Pink hat mich aber ein wenig abgeschreckt, ganz ehrlich, was soll das?
Habs dann aber günstig bekommen und mir gedacht, dass es definitiv ein Versuch wert ist. Zu dem Zeitpunkt wusste ich auch noch nicht, dass dies ebenfalls eine Reihe ist ... Viel kann ich nicht sagen bzw weiß ich auch nicht was genau ich sagen soll, es ist halt ein wenig
Wow, completely forgot I read this, but that cover brought it all flooding back. I must have read it when I was about 14, and I remember feeling kinda poor to neutral about the book. I think half the trouble was that I found the main character both annoying and uninteresting, up until he makes a new, way cooler friend. I also remember the main character going to some "School for Young Crime Lords and Ladies" where he meets other evil geniuses, but the bulk of his time there must have been pretty ...more
I can't be bothered wasting my time with this book. I'm a fan of evil, but this story hasn't done anything for me at all. This book dragged on too much and I don't have the patience for it; too many other books out there to read, so I won't waste my time on a book I'm not enjoying.
Feb 03, 2015 Austin rated it really liked it
Shelves: form-1
In the book Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks the theme is that with hard work anything is possible. This book takes place Australia, the home of a seven year old boy genius named Cadel. Caden's foster parents are worried about him because they have received multiple calls from his school about him hacking into their computers. His foster parents decide to take him to a therapist, named Thaddeus, who Cadel begins having private meetings with. Thaddeus then sets Cadel up with video conferences with ...more
Stuff I Read - Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks Review

I thought I knew what I was getting into when I picked up this book. There's a manga I've seen, Hollow Fields, that has basically the same (what I presumed was the) premise, that there's basically a school for evil geniuses. That's what I got from the synopsis and the inside cover and so that's what I was prepared for, something fast and with lots of explosions. Now don't get me wrong, there were explosions, but this book sets up a much slower
Sep 16, 2014 Noelle rated it it was amazing
Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks is a fictional story that I would highly recommend to anyone who likes books with slower plots but more complex characters. I would definitely rate this book five stars! The main character in Evil Genius is a young boy named Cadel Piggot. Cadel is a computer genius, and at a very young age, he is capable of creating so much mayhem with his unusual skills that the police refer his foster parents (the Piggots) to Thaddeus Roth, a child psychologist. During Thaddeus a ...more

Cadel ist eigentlich ein ganz normaler Junge, der aber einige Eigenschaften hat, die man für genial hält: Er knackt selbst die verschlüsselsten Portale und hackt sich die die Daten großer Firmen. Seine Eltern erkennen sein Potential, haben aber Angst, er findet sich in der normalen Welt damit nicht zurecht. Aus diesem Grund schicken sie ihn auf das AXIS Institut, wo er in diversen Unterrichtsthemen ausgebildet werden soll. Mit nur einem Ziel: Cadel soll nach Abschluss seiner Ausbildung di
Mar 06, 2012 Kat rated it it was ok
Not for me. Other people seem to love this book, but I couldn't get myself to care very much at any time over the several arduous days it took me to complete this novel. Were I not reading the title for an assignment, I would have given up.

The first 200 pages are incredibly tedius. The narrative was descriptive and detailed, but boring to me. It wasn't particularly clever or especially intriguing. It felt like standard fare and the effort put into explaining every detail weighed down the story.
Nicolas Healey
Sep 13, 2010 Nicolas Healey rated it really liked it
I first started reading this a couple of years ago, when I was only about 9 or 10. I stopped before I got too far however, not because it was too hard for me, but it touched on topics such as social exclusion, sex, and, well, pure evil. Being 9, I went back to my copy of Artemis Fowl.

But just now over the summer, while in the Czech Republic on holiday, I picked this book up again, and I am so glad I did. The actual quality of writing is not amazing; there are no Tolkien-like descriptions or Sali
D.L. Morrese
Sep 10, 2012 D.L. Morrese rated it really liked it
School stories have been popular since at least the 19th Century when Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes was published in 1857. I suppose that once school, and therefore childhood literacy, became common, young people wanted to read, and the one setting they all shared and could relate to was school. Such stories became a sort of genre, which I’ve heard labeled ‘English Schoolboy Stories’ or, alternately, ‘British school novels,’ although they can take place in any part of the former Britis ...more
Sanel Basic
Jun 04, 2010 Sanel Basic rated it it was amazing
Thirteen year old genius Cadel Piggott lives in Sydney (Australia) with his distracted parents. Unfortunately, his advanced intellect makes it hard for him to understand how other people think, and he has no social skills, so he spends his time in corners by himself. Bored out of his skull, Cadel quite naturally gets into some mischief (in this case some computer hacking), by causing mass transit and such. As a result, he's taken to see a psychologist, who, treats him like an adult. The psycholo ...more
Kat  Hooper
Nov 09, 2014 Kat Hooper rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Cadel Piggott doesn’t really fit in. His genius IQ and his peculiar obsessions seem strange to his classmates. He’s not a malicious child, but his boredom drives him to challenge himself by hacking into computers and designing intricate pranks. It doesn’t help that his parents are constantly busy and don’t spend any time with him. The only person who really seems to care about Cadel is Dr. Thaddeus Roth, his psychologist. Thaddeus even encourages Cadel’s o
Apr 04, 2012 Darien rated it really liked it
Darien Munden

Cadel Piggott is a boy with a baby face who has an IQ that's off the charts. His parents, excuse me, his adopted parents, refuse to let him have access to a computer because he loves hacking into government systems and messing with encrypted databases. Cadel has always wondered who is real parents are, but no matter how hard he looks it seems like any information on them is impossible to find. That is until his adopted parents take him to meet a therapist, Dr. Thaddeus Roth. Fr
Nov 01, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Evil Genius starts out simply enough and we are introduced to Cadel Piggot, a seven year old genius who has a habit of dismantling his adoptive parents’ security system, hacking into high-security computer networks and bill pay services. This unusual behavior lands Cadel in trouble with the law. As a result, he is referred to Dr. Thaddeus Roth, a well-known psychologist for troubled kids.


Dr. Thaddeus Roth, being an out of the ordinary psyc
Jan 29, 2012 Ebehi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I don't really want to give this a 5, but maybe I do, especially since I've been in the throes of some horrible YA recently. So, maybe my rating of this book is entirely comparative. But I don't think so.

When I started reading about Cadel, I wasn't sure why the book was so big. I expected it to be childish and maybe Roald Dahl-esque tale about a gifted boy in hands of smart & dumb adults - charming, straightforward, with a 50/50 chance of being memorable. By the time I had spent a who
Feb 22, 2010 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2010
Cadel Piggot is smarter than the average boy... Well, he's smarter than the average anyone really. He's so smart, that he started hacking into computer systems and disabling security systems at the age of 7. This bout of mischief led to him meeting Dr. Roth, a court-appointed psychiatrist, who seems to encourage his mischievous ways rather than discourage them. Soon enough Cadel is entered into the Axis Institute and studying for a World Domination degree. But is this what Cadel wants? Evil Geni ...more
Amery Xu
I didn't think the book was that bad at first. You get a teenage boy who happens to be very intelligent and unintentionally mischievous who attends a school where one learns the handy skills of deceit. Only problem is that Cadel has to fend for himself there. Sure, the various technological terms may be a bit overwhelming to some people but I was able to let that go due to the creativity put into the book. It was only about 200 pages later that I began to realize that the book could have been a ...more
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Should this book become a movie? 2 8 Dec 03, 2013 02:02PM  
Cliche Storylines: Rich Adopted Geniuses and All-Knowing White Males 9 85 Mar 18, 2012 07:09PM  
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Catherine Jinks is the Australian author of more than thirty books for all ages. She has garnered many awards, including the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award(three times), the Victorian Premier’s Award, the Aurealis Award for Science Fiction, the Australian Ibby Award, and the Davitt Award for Crime Fiction. Her work has been published in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, ...more
More about Catherine Jinks...

Other Books in the Series

Genius (3 books)
  • Genius Squad (Genius, #2)
  • The Genius Wars (Genius, #3)

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“What ever you do-Don't get caught.” 50 likes
“Right" he said "Let's get one thing clear. I am not here to teach you law-I am here to teach you loopholes.” 35 likes
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