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(Archvillain #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  389 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Critically acclaimed YA author Barry Lyga makes his Scholastic middle-grade debut with a superhero story turned on its head.

Kyle Camden knows exactly where he was the night Mighty Mike arrived: sneaking around the fallow field behind Bouring Middle School, preparing one of his most ingenious pranks yet.

Which is why he couldn't tell anyone where he was. Or what he saw.

Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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Feb 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
The only reason I didn't give this one a fifth star is that it ended so oddly. Yes, there was a resolution of sorts, but that was the only point in the novel where it suffered from "first volume-itis".
I don't normally like books where the main character is unlikeable, but in this case, I found that I could understand and identify with the character. The key point of the story is that this is a smart 12-year-old kid who has serious social and emotional issues that his parents have never noticed,
Sep 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Imagine Superman appearing in Smallville in the middle of a meteor storm as a twelve-year-old instead of as an infant, with Lex Luthor the only witness to the “alien invasion.” Imagine Lex, already the smartest person in town, given super intelligence, strength, invulnerability, and flight by the radiation from the storm. Imagine Lex’s disgust at seeing the alien do-gooder become an incredibly celebrated hero, replacing him as most popular kid in school and stealing away the affections of Lois L ...more
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
Kyle is a genius, and he spends his life playing pranks on everyone. This makes him very popular at school, and he likes that. He is conceited, belittling, and self-centered. And when Mighty Mike comes to school and steals his place, he's mad. The entire book is about Kyle being jealous of Mike and trying to find a way to discredit him or get rid of him. He says he knows that Mike is an alien, but, to the reader, Mike is doing good at every turn while Kyle seems to be the bad egg. As you can tel ...more
Apr 03, 2017 added it
The book by Archvillain by Barry Lyga is a pretty good origin story. Kyle is a prankster who wants everyone to realize being serious is boring. As he sets up one of his biggest pranks ever there is a plasma shower which produces an alien who turns out to be everyone's hero except Kyle's This book perfectly sets up the rest of the series.
The origin of the Azure Avenger or Kyle is perfectly set up. He gets his powers in a freak accident which happens to many great superheros like The Flash or Cyb
May 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
Kyle Camden is a sixth-grader in a town called Bouring. He spends most of his time planning and executing the perfect pranks. He only has one real friend. Mairi understands why he does what he does and likes him for who he is instead of the wild pranks he is famous for.

Kyle uses his pranks to teach people to stop being so serious all the time. He is in the middle of setting up a huge prank when he witnesses a plasma storm. The next morning he realizes his intelligence has been boosted by the ast
Jesus Jimenez
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I choose to read Archvillain by Barry Lyga for school and I would overall give the book a seven out of ten rating if I were to rate it. I did enjoy reading the book and would recommend it to anyone that was looking for a good quick read. To give you some context about the book it is about a kid that is in middle school who is already above average in term of intelligence. Kamden the name of the main character then gets hit by a meteor and gains even more knowledge and that’s all that you need to ...more
Ben Jordan
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was very interesting. I liked how the main character got his powers and the begging of the story about his family life and him being very good at school. The part of the book I did not like was the reason he wanted to beat Mike. The main character Kyle wanted to beat Mike because he was jelous of Mikes popularity. Mike just showed up to the school and all of the kids loved him. Before Mike showed up Kyle was every ones favorite. This made Kyle very angry so he wanted to knock Mike dow ...more
Steven R. McEvoy
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010
Kyle Camden is the king of Bouring Middle School. He has 'pranked' everyone from the principal to the Sheriff. His pranks are legendary and he is the center of attention at school and maybe the smartest person there. But then one night while he is preparing for his next great prank, he is bathed in unearthly energies, and now he has new powers. But there is also a second kid at school with powers, a boy with amnesia who was found in the sports field with no memory - Mighty Mike. Soon Kyle is pla ...more
Alexa Hamilton
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: tween
If you like snarky, know-it-all kids who become superheroes...or super villains? Not my usual cup of tea, read for inspiration for programming. Lots of hacking and making for this super smart superhero. Plus, I truly enjoyed how dumb Mike was and how the other kids just failed to notice anything because of his powers.
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought it was a really cool and interesting book I would defiantly recommend 👍
Teresa Scherping Moulton
No one knows that preteen prankster Kyle Camden was in the field behind the middle school the night that it was hit by a plasma shower from space. No one knows that Kyle has developed powers of invincibility, speed, endurance, and a super intellect. Instead, a mysterious boy named Mike is all over the news. Mike doesn't remember anything about his life before the plasma hit, and no one can find his parents. Plus, Mike has amazing powers of his own and a strong desire to help people, which togeth ...more
Kyle has always been the smartest kid in school...and the one whose pranks give him attention. His total disdain for others, including his TV-watching parents is an attitude I've seen in young kids. And adults.

But Kyle is caught in a plasma event and everything changes. HE's even smarter, and he is strong, can fly, and he feels no pain. All dangerous qualities in a kid who doesn't really have much empathy for others.

Something else happens that night...a boy appears...no memory, no name, no famil
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, ya
This was a sweet, fun little YA book -- pretty much what I'd expect from author Lyga. Kyle is the smartest middle schooler in the town of Bouring, and as such, he takes it upon himself to try to educate the masses in his hometown by performing elaborate pranks on them. (People need to learn that they take themselves too seriously, in Kyle's opinion.) Then Kyle gets caught in the energy/radiation backlash from what is most decidedly *not* a meteor storm, thank you very much -- and emerges with a ...more
Thanks to his pranks, Kyle is the most popular kid in town. He has managed to prank everyone, his teachers, his peers and the police. He was setting up one of those pranks when the plasma storm hit. He was knocked unconscious and woke up three days later smarter, invulnerable to pain and able to fly.

And he's not the only one. A teenager was found after the storm, suffering from amnesia and possessing powers similar to Kyle's. Mike, as the boy comes to be known, quickly becomes the most popular
Dane Beasley
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Archvillain by Barry Lyga is about a kid named Kyle Camden. Kyle Camden lives in the town of Bouring where nothing ever happens. Until one strange night when the sky lights up with mysterious lights. Kyle then gains boosted intelligence, boosted strength, and flight. He was not the only one with powers. A mysterious kid named Mighty Mike showed up that day with all Kyle's powers including freeze breath and heat vision. Mike goes around saving people around the nation,but Kyle thinks he is someth ...more
May 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Kyle Camden lives in the small town of Bouring, where nothing exciting ever happens. Until one strange night when the sky lights up with mysterious lights. All of a sudden, nothing is the same. Kyle discovers his body has developed so interesting powers. Even more perplexing is the arrival of a boy with similar powers, named Mighty Mike. Mike has been flying all over the nation saving lives, but Kyle knows there is something much more sinister going on. The question is, can Kyle exposed Mike for ...more
KidsFiction Teton County Library
TLC Call #: J LYGA B

Chris’s Rating: 3 Stars
After getting caught in a plasma storm from space, the 12 year-old genius prankster Kyle had developed superhuman abilities, which he decides not to share with anything. Unfortunately for Kyle his popularity (and sanity) begin to ebb when the plasma storm not only ups his intellect, but brings another super to earth from unknown origins. Kyle instantly hates Mighty Mike and is determined to ruin and expose him for the fraud he is.
I was expecting to enjo
Julie G
Dec 29, 2010 rated it liked it
My review for today, Archvillain by Barry Lyga, is one that I read over Thanksgiving while we were in Lubbock. It's my first Middle Grade read, and one that I sincerely enjoyed. It tells the story of a middle schooler named Kyle who witnesses a plasma shower in a field while preparing to pull a prank on the football team. The next day he realizes that the plasma shower not only gave him super intelligence, but also the ability to fly and a supernatural strength. His only problem is that another ...more
Abby Johnson
Apr 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blogged
Kyle Camden is just your slightly-above-average sixth grader (smart, super popular, and known prankster) until he's caught in a plasma shower in a field outside the small town of Bouring. Suddenly, his intelligence goes through the charts, he has super strength, and he can fly! But Kyle's not the only thing that changed that fateful night. Another kid was apparently caught in the storm. They're calling him Mighty Mike and the whole town adores him for his good deeds. Only Kyle can see Mike for w ...more
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: superheros, 2011
I really liked this book. It's from the point of view of a 12 year old who has always been the smartest and most popular kid in his town because of his pranks. However when the "starts fall" he gains super intelligence as well as super powers. Meanwhile a strange boy named Mike has appeared and is now making a name for himself as a superhero.

Kyle can't stand this and the way the book shines is that it takes you into the mind of a burdening supervillain. It makes sense why he starts to act out,
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Kira M for TeensReadToo.com

One night, while playing a prank on the town's high school, Kyle Camden is exposed to plasma. From the plasma, he obtains superpowers.

Awesome, right?

Except for the fact that from the plasma appears a clumsy, really-bad-at-saving-the-world alien named Mighty Mike.

Determined to prove who Mike really is, Kyle turns into a supervillain to show everyone the truth. When the world turns against him and the radiation from the alien puts his friend's life in danger,
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 5th-8th
3.75 Kyle was going to pull yet another prank at school when an alien (Mighty Mike) catapulted from outer space and bathed Kyle in a plasma that gave him superpowers. Once the most popular kid at school, Kyle gets demoted as Mighty Mike takes his spot (and his best friend, Mairi). Why is it that only Kyle can see that Mighty Mike only saves the day by accident??? Seeking revenge, Kyle builds a machine to de-pants Kyle at a public event, but things go terribly wrong and it makes Kyle look like th ...more
Cara Ball
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tweens, sci-fi, adventure, 2011
Perfect for those reluctant readers in your life. Smart boy who is in a field at the wrong time is suddenly equipped with super-powers, even more smarts AND an attitude. He *used* to be the most popular boy in the school until a mysterious new boy who is even stronger appears. To add salt to the wound the new kid is stupid! What is a boy to do? Apply brain against brawn. It could be the battle of the ages!

Barry Lyga is one of my favorite YA authors and it was fun to see what he could do with a y
Oct 25, 2010 rated it liked it
practical pranks kids gets super powers and has attitude that he is better than everyone else including another super hero -Mike.

More to come

Kyle is telling the story , and he doesn't reveal at all to his classmates that he has super powers. Mike does something heroic and become the Hero of the the town. Kyle by being secretive ends up being the bad guy. There is a situation where Kyle ends up saving a dear friend of his, but he has to make some choices .

I found Kyle to kid with a attitude and k
Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read2010, childrens
I picked this one up because I left my book at home one day and it was the shortest book that looked interesting.

Kyle is a prankster and the most popular kid in school. One day while setting up for a prank, he is enveloped in a radioactive cloud. This gives Kyle superpowers and the ability to fly. It also brings his Archvillain Mighty Mike.

Then nothing goes as planned. Mike turns out to be the good guy, and Kyle through some freak mistakes with his inventions is labeled as the bad guy.

Kyle tri
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
This story that follows a kid who gets superpowers by being in the right place at the right time was a fun read, especially with the twist that Kyle actually acts like the 'bad guy.' I wonder sometimes about people who are seen as 'evil' in books or movies, and I think about where they got their start - were they always out to destroy others? Or, like in Kyle's case, did they make some mistakes that added up to an infamous reputation? Kyle's attitude toward others annoyed me but this hubris lent ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was an almost frighteningly realistic view into the mind of a young archvillain-in-progress. Kyle is a super-smart, yet self-absorbed and misanthropic kid who likes to play pranks on people - mostly adults in authority - and is therefore very popular at school. However, when he's caught in a miniature plasma storm that delivers "Mike," a Superman-like alien to his hometown, he finds himself with comparable powers but without Mike's altruistic mindset. Mike ends up overshadowing Kyle, which ...more
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-s
Before “the stars fell” in the city of Bouring, Kyle Camden was the most popular kid in school. He pranked everyone in every way imaginable. Then in came “Mighty Mike”, an alien superhero who took his place.
When Kyle is bathed in the same plasmas as Mike was created by, he decides to get rid of the annoying superhero. Using a bunch of home-made gadgets, will Kyle be able to show the world who Mike really is?
Coming out in October 2010, this book gives the story from the villain’s point of view
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, tween, superheroes
Kyle was in the field when the plasma storm hit. It irradiated him and now he's a genius with super strength, invulnerable skin and he can fly. Around the same time Mighty Mike appears. Mighty Mike also appears to have gained special abilities from the plasma storm, until Kyle remembers what Mike's deal really is. Unfortunately everyone thinks Mike is the hero and that Kyle is the villain.

This is a different take on the superhero tale. It's the end of the story and I'm still not sure whose the
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Barry Lyga is a recovering comic book geek. According to Kirkus, he's also a "YA rebel-author." Somehow, the two just don't seem to go together to him.

When he was a kid, everyone told him that comic books were garbage and would rot his brain, but he had the last laugh. Raised on a steady diet of comics, he worked in the comic book industry for ten years, but now writes full-time because, well, wou

Other books in the series

Archvillain (3 books)
  • The Mad Mask (Archvillain, #2)
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