H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education by Mark Walden
About: 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.
Lynn’s thoughts:What would you do if you were kidnapped and taken to an exclusive institute where everyone learns to be a super villain? Where you learn that you have always been meant to be a villain? A place you think everyone would be trying to escape but, to your surprise, they aren’t? Not only are they not trying to escape, they are happy and thriving there. Well, almost everyone is happy to remain there.
Otto Malpense is not happy to be there but he is also smart enough to know that he cannot escape this place on his own. After choosing his allies wisely, an escape plan is hatched. But let’s be honest – it’s a little difficult to outwit so many super-villainous minds. So it’s a good thing that Otto Malpense has never seen defeat as an option.
I loved this book! It’s not anything like what I usually read so I was a little apprehensive about trying it. But it was entertaining and interesting and it drew me in from the very beginning. While the institute trains the future villains of the world, they are more like cartoon villains than the cruel, heartless versions of reality. So if you’re looking for a light, entertaining read, this is a book to consider.
Reviewed by Lynn