BookKids's Reviews > H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education

H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden
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's review
Nov 08, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, midgrade

The students at HIVE are the best in the world at what they do — thieving, hacking, planning the ridicule of a country’s prime minister. Each student has been kidnapped and enrolled in the school to help turn them into the supervillian of tomorrow. And sense this is a middle grade book, we’re talking the cartoonish kind of supervillian, the ones that build a huge magnet to draw in a giant comet to destroy the earth unless the world’s governments pay them a huge ransom kind of supervillian.

The most promising member of the incoming class is Otto Malpense, a child who has been running his orphanage for years and isn’t encumbered with a particularly active conscience. The only problem is that Otto does not want to be at HIVE or a part of its future. He sets his sights on being the first student to ever successfully escape.

I think this and its sequel, H.I.V.E. the Overlord Protocol, to be two of the funnest books around. I love the cartoony (sometimes downright silly) ways the evil geniuses consider ruling the world. I think Otto and his friends are compelling characters with real problems even if they are set in a cartoon world. And frankly, I love the cartoon world of HIVE. It’s not a place you could actually see existing (unlike the Axis Institute in the teen Evil Genius book), but despite its “evil” intentions, it seems like it could be an intriguing place to be. I would recommend this to kids 9 & up. It does have a bit of violence and scary/tense situation that might not be enjoyable for younger kids.

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