Friday, September 28, 2007


Otto Malpense is not your average thirteen year old. He's lived his whole life in a run down orphanage in England, although he's been making sly improvements lately. When the Prime Minister threatens to close the orphanage, Otto takes matters into his own hands and takes down one of the most powerful world leaders all by himself. That's the last thing Otto remembers before he is transported by strangers to a volcanic idland, inside of which is a huge maze of tunnels leading to classrooms, laboratories and living quarters. Otto quickly befriends several other new "students" from around the world, but they are all surprised to be told they must stay at H.I.V.E. - the Higher Institute of Villainous Learning - for the next 6 years. Otto, Wing, Laura and Shelby band together to form a secret plan to escape the island, but it on'y be easy. And if they do escape alive, where will they go?

If Harry Potter was very smart and evil instead of magic, and Hogwarts kidnapped its students at age 13 instead of inviting them at age 10, and the battle between good and bad magicians was instead fought by world governments versus evil supervillains, then you would have a good idea of what H.I.V.E. is all about. This is a delightful adventure of teenagers agains grown-ups, sortof-evil against truly-evil, and several extremely smart, gifted, skilled, talented teens who will set themselves apart from the other students and have to work together to stay alive. Even though these kids are training to be villains, they all seem to be quite likable. The story is setup like the first book in a series, but I didn't see a mention of a second book. I can only hope that Mark Walden is already writing another novel!
I checked it out.309 pages.


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