Evil Genius (Evil Genius Trilogy Series #1)

Evil Genius (Evil Genius Trilogy Series #1)

4.4 85
by Catherine Jinks

View All Available Formats & Editions

Cadel Piggott has a genius IQ and a fascination with systems of all kinds. At seven, he was illegally hacking into computers. Now he’s fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, misinformation, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. Although Cadel may be advanced…  See more details below


Cadel Piggott has a genius IQ and a fascination with systems of all kinds. At seven, he was illegally hacking into computers. Now he’s fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, misinformation, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. Although Cadel may be advanced beyond his years, at heart he’s a lonely kid. When he falls for the mysterious and brilliant Kay-Lee, he begins to question the moral implications of his studies for the first time. But is it too late to stop Dr. Darkkon from carrying out his evil plot?

An engrossing thriller with darkness and humor, freaks and geeks, Evil Genius explores the fine line between good and evil in a strange world of manipulations and subterfuge where nothing is as it seems.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

With a series of breakneck twists and turns, Jinks's (the Pagan Chronicles) latest novel follows Cadel Piggott, a seven-year-old Australian boy with an incredible mind and a proclivity toward mischief: "He loved systems: phone systems, electrical systems, car engines, complicated traffic intersections." Following a string of disasters, which Cadel engineers (e.g., hacking into the city's power grid), his desperate adoptive parents take him to a psychologist, Dr. Thaddeus Roth. But instead of refocusing Cadel on more positive activities, Dr. Roth encourages the boy to develop increasingly destructive plans, such as orchestrating massive traffic jams and manipulating his classmates' emotions so that they turn on one another. Dr. Roth also stuns Cadel by revealing that he is employed by Cadel's birth father, Dr. Phineas Darkkon, a criminal mastermind serving a life sentence. From prison, Dr. Darkkon established the Axis Institute for the world's genetically talented and criminally inclined. Drs. Roth and Darkkon convince Cadel to join its small freshman class, and Cadel slowly uncovers a conspiracy of lies and betrayals that leave no aspect of his life untouched. Jinks has created an intricate, well-constructed and layered reality in this hefty novel, and as the complex deceptions that have shaped Cadel's life come to light, his emotional unraveling and awakening will likely engross readers. Ages 12-up. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Cadel Piggott is no Artemis Fowl. He is one young genius with a nearly unfixable moral conundrum. Raised by foster parents who put Harry Potter's to shame, Cadel's only support comes from his psychologist, Thaddeus Roth—and Thaddeus approves Cadel's computer hacking and other ethically questionable pursuits. Such is the status quo as Cadel reaches the age of fourteen and completes high school. Next comes the boy's introduction to his real father, the jailed-for-life criminal mastermind Phineas Darkkon. With genes like these, Cadel barely blinks as he is enrolled in the studies of the Axis Institute: Basic Lying, Pure Evil, Embezzlement, Contagion, Assassination. His one outlet is Kay-Lee, an e-mail friend and math genius whose pure goodness offers options Cadel has never guessed existed. The Australian author Jinks explores her outrageous premise with complete elan. The novel is a no-holds-barred roller coaster ride through Cadel's mind as the young man—never a child—wakes to the devious tricks that have been perpetrated upon him. Can his barren, trustless soul believe in anyone or anything? Who? What? The book is almost impossible to put down. It is a brilliant tour de force that never cops out, never succumbs to a happy ending. While it raises its issues on a grand guignol scale, the issues are valid.
VOYA - Elaine J. O'Quinn
Imagine Harry Potter's Hogwarts in reverse-a school that teaches youth how to do as many evil acts as they can manage in order to contribute to World Domination-specialties accepted. That thought is the premise for this novel, originally published in Australia. Cadel Piggott is only seven when the story opens, but readers already know that his life is not going to be typical. After all, he is the only child of Dr. Phineas Darkkon, the most evil man in the world, and he is a genius. What better combination? By the time he is fourteen, Cadel is so enmeshed in a world of manipulation and deception that to get out, he must perform some of the very acts of evil that he wants to leave behind. In the end, he must even hurt people whom he wants to protect. Along the way, he will learn how to hack into any computer system in the world, become a master of deception and disguises, beat any legal system he encounters, and be confused on at least three occasions about who his parents really are. All that is easy compared to trying to figure out how to bring the evil empire of his father(s) tumbling down and escape with his life. This book will appeal to younger teens who can see the possibilities for adventure through the eyes of the bad guys. Although Cadel himself will in the end deny evil, he learns that no one remains untouched by it.
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, May 2007: Cadel is a young genius with a particular gift for deciphering—and destroying—systems of all kinds. Encouraged by his psychologist (who turns out to have an agenda of his own), Cadel enrolls at age 14 in the Axis Institute for World Domination, designed to instruct students in everything evil, from computer hacking to embezzlement to poisons. Few students or even professors survive the lessons, especially once Cadel puts his mind to bringing down the Institute by sowing mistrust. Then Cadel comes to realize how he himself has been manipulated, and with the help of a computer pal named Kay-Lee, he tries to break free of the only world he's ever known. The great title and intriguing concept of a school that teaches how to wreak havoc may draw readers, but this is a rather lengthy tome, not an Artemis Fowl-like quick read. First published in Australia in 2005, some of the devices presented as futuristic, like a "computer phone," might seem laughably outdated to readers. Still, the dark humor and freakish characters (the student whose stench is so awful he has to wear a spaceman-like suit; the beautiful, devious, mind-reading twins) may grab fantasy readers with a cynical bent who are looking for something out of the ordinary. (A 2008 ALA Best Book for YAs.) Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up
Cadel Piggott was hacking into computer systems by the time he was seven and causing all sorts of trouble by the time he fast-tracked through high school. At age 14, he is encouraged by his longtime "psychiatrist" to enroll in the Axis Institute. There, the classes include Misinformation, Disguise, Basic Lying, Embezzlement, and Explosives. Cadel settles into his first semester of studies, but soon begins to suspect that something is very wrong here. Through Partner Post, his online matching service experiment, he receives a cryptic warning from one of his subscribers, and he begins to make plans to investigate his teachers. A trail of hacked information takes him to places he doesn't want to go. A flowing and coherent style leads readers into the thriller that Evil Genius becomes. Although background information dominates the beginning of the book, the plot quickly picks up its dark and dangerous pace as Cadel moves through his fear and realization of what is happening around him. As an alternative thriller that shows the good side of evil, Jinks sets up a compelling world of lies, deceit, and betrayal that will have lovers of mystery or computer-based investigation on the edge as they devour this page-turner. A sequel is planned.
—Dylan ThomarieCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Carried along by much peeling back of layers of deception and repeated thickenings of plot, this hefty but engrossingly complex tale features a young super-brain being groomed for world domination. Under the tutelage of his mysterious psychologist Thaddeus, 13-year-old Cadel subtly engineered spectacular traffic jams in Sydney, caused all of his high school class to fail their finals and similar exploits. He now enters the exclusive Axis Institute, where innocuously named courses like "Coping Skills" and "Accounting" turn out to be tutorials in basic lying, embezzlement and such. Determined to develop a predictive program for all human behavior, he discovers himself enmeshed in multiple webs of intrigue, which, along with his own efforts to manipulate faculty and fellow students, result in an escalating array of fatalities. Gradually, he begins to wonder whether he's really cut out for the role of evil overlord. Along with keeping the suspense expertly tuned and stirring in any number of stunning revelations, Jinks fills out the cast with brilliantly conceived friends and adversaries. His emotional maturity realistically lagging behind his intellectual development, Cadel rides right up there with Artemis Fowl as a sympathetic anti-villain. (Fiction. 12-15)

Read More

Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Evil Genius Trilogy Series, #1
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
11 - 15 Years

Read an Excerpt

Evil Genius

By Jinks, Catherine

Harcourt Children's Books

Copyright © 2007 Jinks, Catherine
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780152059880

Cadel Piggott was just seven years old when he first met Thaddeus Roth. 
           Dr. Roth worked in a row house near Sydney Harbor. The house was three stories high, its garden shrouded by a great many damp, dark trees. There was moss growing on its sandstone window ledges. Curtains drawn across all its windows gave it a secretive air. Its front fence was made of iron, with a spike on top of each post; beside the creaking gate was a brass sign bearing Dr. Roth’s name and qualifications.
           “That’s it,” said Mrs. Piggott. “Number twenty-nine.”
           “Well, we can’t stop here,” her husband replied. “No parking.”
           “I told you to park back there.”
           “It doesn’t matter. We’ll try down this street.”
           “Stuart, that’s a one-way street.”
           “I knew we’d never find a space. Not around this area.”
            “Just shut up for a minute, will you?”
           Mr. and Mrs. Piggott were not Cadel’s real parents. They had adopted him when he was not quite two years old. Mrs. Piggott was thin and blond, Mr. Piggott fat and gray. They almost never agreed about anything, but that didn’t matter because they almost never met. Their busy schedules kept them away from home, and one another, a good deal of the time.
           At the suggestion of the police, however, they had both agreed to attend this interview.
           “We’re going to be late,” Mrs. Piggott warned her husband after they had circled the block four times in Mr. Piggott’s big, gleaming Mercedes-Benz. “Just let us out, for god’s sake.”
           “I’ll park here.”
           “Stuart, you’ll never fit in there!”
           “Watch me.”
           Cadel said nothing. He sat on the backseat, dressed in his good brown cords and a lamb’s-wool sweater, staring out the window at Dr. Roth’s house. He didn’t like the look of it. He thought it had a murky, ominous appearance.
           “I don’t want to go,” he said flatly when Mrs. Piggott got out and opened the door beside him.
           “I know, honey, but we have to.”
           “No we don’t,” Cadel retorted.
ily: 'Times New Roman'" 
           “Yes we do.”
           “There were no formal charges,” Cadel pointed out, in his high, clear voice. “It was just a suggestion.”
           “That’s right,” said Mr. Piggott, yanking Cadel out of the back of the car. “And when the police make a suggestion, you always follow it. Rule number one.”
           “Be careful, Stuart, you’ll wreck his clothes.”
           Cadel was so small—even for a seven-year-old—that he didn’t stand a chance against Mr. Piggott. Though he dragged his feet and hung off his adoptive parents’ hands like a sack of melons, he was forced across the street and through the front gate of number twenty-nine. The path beyond the gate was mushy with wet leaves. There was a rich smell of decay. The door knocker was a ring in the mouth of a snarling lion’s head, painted black, like the rest of the ironwork.
           Cadel noted with interest the switchboard near the door. It was obviously ancient, full of porcelain fuses and dial meters. The Piggotts’ own house was only three years old, with a state-of-the-art electrical system, so Cadel was fascinated by this dusty old relic.
           But he was not permitted to gaze at it for long.
           “Come on,” Mr. Piggott barked. “The door’s open.” And he pushed against it, causing it to swing back and reveal a long, dark hallway carpeted with dingy Persian rugs. About halfway down this hallway, a staircase the color of walnut swept up to the next floor. There were several doors to the right of the front entrance, but only the closest stood ajar.
           “Hello!” said Mr. Piggott, marching straight through it. He wasn’t a man who normally waited for anything. “We’ve an appointment with Dr. Roth. For ten thirty.”
          Gripped firmly around the wrist, Cadel had no choice but to follow Mr. Piggott. He found himself in a reception area: two rooms divided by a pair of folding mahogany doors. There were two marble fireplaces and two chandeliers. Cadel noticed cobwebs on the chandeliers.
            A woman sat behind an antique desk.
           “Good morning,” she said calmly. “What name, please?”
           “Piggott,” Mr. Piggott replied, in pompous tones. “Stuart, Lanna, and Cadel.” He looked surprised when the woman rose, revealing herself to be almost as wide and as tall as he was. She had a broad, square face and small blue eyes. She was wearing a suit the color of dried blood.
           “I’ll just go and tell Dr. Roth that you’ve arrived,” she declared, before lumbering out of the room. Cadel didn’t watch her go. He was more interested in the computer that she’d left behind, with its alluring glow and contented hum. The screen saver was one that he’d never seen before: a pattern of falling dominoes.
           “Don’t even think about it,” Stuart rasped when he realized what was attracting Cadel’s attention. “Sit down. Over there.”
           “Look, honey, there are toys for you to play with,” Lanna said, nudging a large basket with the toe of her expensive Italian shoe. Sulkily, Cadel eyed the basket’s contents. He was used to the broken activity centers and torn books offered for the amusement of younger patients at his local doctor’s office and wasn’t hopeful about the distractions provided here.
           But to his astonishment, he quickly spied an old voltmeter, together with a book on flies, a plastic human skull (life-sized), a Rubik’s Cube, and a Frankenstein mask. Further investigation uncovered a dead spider embedded in a resin paperweight, a shark’s tooth, a Galaxy Warrior complete with Thermopuncher torpedoes, and a very curious fragment of puzzle bearing the picture of a staring, bloodshot eye over a set of claw marks.
           He was puzzling over this macabre image when the sound of heavy footsteps reached his ears. It seemed that Dr. Roth’s receptionist was returning, clumping down the stairs like someone wearing ski boots. Lanna, who had flung herself onto an armchair, immediately jumped to her feet.
           Stuart glared at the door.
           “Dr. Roth will see you now,” the receptionist announced when she finally appeared. “You can go straight up.”
           Stuart and Lanna exchanged glances.
           “Are you sure?” Lanna objected. “I mean, does he want to discuss things in front of Cadel?”
           “Oh yes,” the receptionist declared firmly. Something about her voice made Cadel look up. He studied her with care, from the top of her permed head to the soles of her brown shoes. She smiled in response, and the Piggotts all recoiled.
           Her mouth looked as if it belonged to an older, harsher century.
           “Why are your teeth black?” Cadel wanted to know.
           “Why are your teeth white?” the receptionist responded, wending her way back to her desk. Lanna snatched at Cadel’s hand and hustled him out of the room. She and her husband whispered together as they climbed the stairs, which creaked and groaned beneath them.
           “Stuart, what was the matter with . . . ?”
           “I don’t know.”
           “Do you think this is a good idea?”
           “Course it is.”
           “But what about that woman? Her teeth?”
           Stuart shrugged. They had reached a landing, but it wasn’t the right one. From above their heads, a voice said, “Up here.”
           A man was draped over the second-floor banisters. He was tall and thin and wore a tweed jacket. His thick, dark hair was going gray.
           “That’s the bathroom,” he remarked in a soothing voice with a cultured English accent. “I’m afraid my office is at the top, here.”
           “Dr. Roth?” said Stuart.
           “Yes, indeed.”
           “We’re a bit late,” Lanna offered a trifle breathlessly. “No parking.”
           “You should turn that front yard of yours into a parking lot,” Stuart added, climbing the last flight of stairs. Gracefully, Dr. Roth moved to push open the door of his office.
           “I would,” he said, “if the local council would let me. Heritage listing, I’m afraid.”
         Stuart grunted. Lanna smiled a meaningless social smile. They both passed into Dr. Roth’s office ahead of Cadel, who stopped on the threshold. He gazed up at Thaddeus.
           “Why does she have black teeth?” Cadel inquired.
           “Wilfreda? I’m not sure,” Thaddeus replied. “Poor dental hygiene, I should think. Her parents had very strange ideas about diet and doctors. Maybe they didn’t believe in toothbrushes, either.” He cocked his head. “So you’re Cadel.”
           “Come in, Cadel.”
           Dr. Roth’s office surprised Cadel, because it was full of modern furniture and computer equipment. There were a number of glossy cabinets, some full of filing drawers, some with cables running out of them. Cadel’s eyes gleamed when he spotted those cables.
           “Sit down, please.” Dr. Roth gestured at a cluster of couches placed between his desk and a pair of French doors. Lanna chose the crimson couch, settling down onto it very carefully, her bare knees drawn together. Stuart dropped into his seat like a stone.
Copyright © Catherine Jinks, 2005
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at www.harcourt.com/contact or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.


Excerpted from Evil Genius by Jinks, Catherine Copyright © 2007 by Jinks, Catherine. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More

What People are saying about this

* "Carried along by much peeling back of layers of deception and repeated thickenings of plot, this hefty but engrossingly complex tale features a young super-brain being groomed for world domination...Jinks fills out the cast with brilliantly conceived friends and adversaries.  His emotional maturity realistically lagging behind his intellectual development Cadel ides right up there with Artemis Fowl as a sympathetic anti-villain." --Kirkus Reviews (April 1, 2007 - starred review)
Publishers Weekly
 * "Jinks has created an intricate, well-constructed and layered reality in this hefty novel, and as the complex deceptions that have shaped Cadel's life come to light, his emotional unraveling and awakening will likely engross readers." --Publishers Weekly (April 2, 2007 - starred review)
School Library Journal
* “As an alternative thriller that shows the good side of evil, Jinks sets up a compelling world of lies, deceit, and betrayal that will have lovers of mystery or computer-based investigation on the edge as they devour this page-turner.”--School Library Journal 7/1/07 (starred)

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Evil Genius (Evil Genius Trilogy Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 85 reviews.
RockyHP More than 1 year ago
Cadel Piggot is one smart boy...and without access to a computer, he doesn't know what to do. Catherine Jinks is defintely going to thrill you in this 1st book in the series as you begin to explore the secrets of Cadel Piggot.Highly recommended...defintely for excelling redaers above the age of 12 unless completely smart and word-knowing.
The_BibliophileJM More than 1 year ago
Whether you are thirteen or thirty-three, Evil Genius is a book that can't be put down! Though it is part of a three-part series, Evil Genius is written in such a way that the reader can read it alone, or with the other books, although I recomend reading it alone as the next two books pale in comparison to the first. This ia great read that is fun and enticing, so bring it with you wherever you go! Shove it in your purse, backpack or under the seat in your car and read it in the dirve-thru line, at school between classes, or on your lunch break at work because Evil Genius won't let you sleep until you've completed it.
Reader1793 More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I ended up reading it in 2 days.Catherine Jinks is a genius. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so much more sophisticated and engrossing than I expected. Definitely a book for adults too. Really awesome, fun, and in-depth.
TEST NOOKUSER More than 1 year ago
Along with this book comes the idea of a new, complex kind of science and the unreal idea that there is an evil 'school' of sorts that encourages cruelty. A very different look upon the side of us that no one wants to see.
madmom98146 More than 1 year ago
This author writes wonderful stories that are engaging and interesting. A person can actually learn a few things while reading and not even realize it! I find that books written for young adults contain more imagination and humor than those directed at adults. It's refreshing to read a story that is also intelligent. I recommend anything Jinks has written and wait impatiently for more to come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is excellent! I,simply, couldn't put it down. Evil Genius starts off one way, but has an intresting twist. You, really, must read it.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Cadel dosnet know whos side he on just to do good or evil
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was great try the genius wars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am an adult reader and overall I did really enjoy this book. It is funny and entertaining. It's easy to get into the story and care about what happens to the main characters. It was also a quick read despite the length. Definitely great for YA readers and anyone who likes comics, Sci-fi, or superheroes... err villians.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book sooooo much. Favorite book ever. I read it like 50 times.......
nick_martinez More than 1 year ago
I was kept mildly entertained throughout the entire story. I believe the concept of it all is what made me so interested in reading it everyday. It looked into things that I know are illegal but yet I'm strangely very attracted to it. Bombs, conspiracy, hacking, deception, it all just clicked. Especially the whole psychological aspect of it, when Cadel knew that he was being watched but tried to keep his composure and act normal. It is so cool. I might just sound like a complete maniac but this book made me see how COOL being evil could be. Even with all this, however, I found that the story became very confusing and hard to follow at times. I felt as if I had skipped a chapter, but I realized that I was right where I was supposed to be. The whole conflict between characters at the end is what threw me off. I tried to understand what was going on but I simply couldn't. Well, maybe I'm not such a genius myself for not understanding such a complex story. I admire the author for her creativity in producing such a thrilling mind-blowing novel, even if some of us simple-minded are incapable of comprehending it all too well. Dr. Darkkon must despise me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AbbyWI More than 1 year ago
This series is exceptional! I just finished Genius Wars and cannot stop thinking about it. This series presents such an interesting concept and dilema...I have never read anything like it before. What makes the series so interesting is the fact that Cadel has been warped by the deception under which he has been raised. Readers get to watch as he struggles to overcome his mistrusting mindset. I found myself not trusting every single situation in the book...that is how strong the psychology woven throughout this series is. Prosper makes a terrifying antagonist, and yet you remain convinced that he can't actually harm Cadel because, despite what each may tell himself, Cadel and Prosper care for one another. This is a great series which explores relationships and psychology in a phenomonal way. As for Evil Genius alone, it is probably my least favorite of the books, which I think is because of two reasons. First, as this is the first book of the trilogy, I was not entirely invested in the characters yet. Second, this one gets pretty slow in the middle. Nonetheless, this series is an absolute must read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im almost done with this book it is the bomb literally there is some bomns in the story sooo this book is rrally cool and i cant wait to star reading the next one coolbiz out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has a Great concept and Amazing characterzation! The main character is the son of an evil genius, though he doesnt see himself that way and nieghther does his son. Though his father is in jail he still has resources to create a school for his son and other evil geniuses like him. The main character then faces many hard decisions and mind blowing problems (sometimes literally!!) Why i put this book at only 4 stars is i found the story in some parts had almost too many details and lacked big action scenes. But over all a very entertaining, and fresh read! If you liked this book check out The Limit ( p.s. i never wrote the main characters name because i didnt like it)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago