|H.I.V.E.: The Higher |
Institute of Villainous
by Mark Walden
"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.?"
This is the first book in a series that is very obviously based on Harry Potter, but in quite an original way. A Hogwarts for bad guys. It was fun to make all the comparisons with HP - a teacher in the form of a cat, a student who messes up in all classes but excels with plants... It wasn't nearly as good as Harry Potter, but the concept was very interesting, and I think middle school students will really like it.
It has been a while since I read this one, but I don't remember any bad language. The students at H.I.V.E. are not very good role models, but I think through the series they will become better.
Publishers Weekly - Ages 10-14
School Library Journal - Grades 5-8