H.I.V.E.: (Higher Institute for Villainous Education #1)

H.I.V.E.: (Higher Institute for Villainous Education #1)

4.7 109
by Mark Walden

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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.,… See more details below

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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.?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mischievously talented teenagers star in Walden's debut novel, which envisions the educational training of future megalomaniacs and criminal masterminds. Otto Malpense, a 13-year-old orphan, awakens aboard a helicopter with no memory of how he got there. He soon discovers that he and a few hundred other teens have been abducted by the Higher Institute of Villainous Education, a secret school committed to nurturing youth with "a special talent for the supremely villainous." Dr. Nero, the institute's founder, introduces the new students to the institute, located in a sprawling underground complex on a volcanic island. Otto, who has a photogenic memory, quickly befriends Wing Fanchu, a martial arts expert; Laura Brand, an expert with electronics); and Shelby Trinity, a dextrous jewel thief. The foursome conspire to escape their captors, and engineer a plan to return to their old lives. The multicultural array of staff and students Walden has created exude a cartoonish brand of over-the-top villainy reminiscent of Austin Powers or James Bond. Despite the villains' lack of bite (save for the giant man-eating plant) Walden's characters are memorable, if a bit cliched in execution. Otto and the others ultimately decide to stay at the institute; readers may well anticipate getting answers to several threads left open for subsequent installments. Ages 10-14. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - David Goodale
James Bond meets Harry Potter in this auspicious debut. Thirteen-year-old Otto, a boy genius, is kidnapped from the orphanage that he has molded into his own small kingdom. Otto is brought to H.I.V.E. to learn the secrets of global domination in a six-year program. Leaving H.I.V.E., however, is not an option for Otto or any of his classmates. Undaunted by the challenge, Otto and his new friends Wing, Laura, and Shelby attempt an audacious escape, but they find that H.I.V.E.'s headmaster is one step ahead of them. In the end, Otto saves H.I.V.E. from an experiment run amok and passes up one final chance to escape, instead opting to stay and help Wing. This novel leaves many mysteries unanswered and begs for a sequel. Why is the headmaster wearing the other half of Wing's mother's amulet? Why is Number One, the commander of the Global League of Villainous Enterprises (G.L.O.V.E.), sponsoring Otto? Although the author's writing is not always polished, the subject matter is just pure fun. Otto attends classes such as Villainy Studies and Stealth and Evasion, taught by an assortment of nefarious characters. Also the story of Otto's life before H.I.V.E. is one of the most interesting parts of the book. A few British references by the author might puzzle some readers, but it is a minor distraction. Fans of the Alex Rider Adventures plus Harry Potter fans looking for something familiar yet just a little different will love this book.
KLIATT - Donna Scanlon
Otto Malpense is none too pleased when he awakes to find himself being transported to an unknown destination. The 13-year-old orphan has just pulled off a remarkable stunt involving the prime minister of England, and he has scarcely had time to savor his success when the lights go out. He and a travelling companion, Wing Fanchu, soon learn that they are among those selected to enroll in the incoming class at H.I.V.E., a training ground for future evil geniuses and masterminds. Run by the enigmatic Dr. Nero and his staff, the goal of H.I.V.E. is to help students develop their "innate wickedness" and become the "leaders of tomorrow." While most of the students are either "legacies," the children of alumni or else otherwise incorrigible cases brought to the Institute's attention by desperate parents, others, such as Otto, are involuntarily recruited when their misdeeds are reported in the media. Otto soon makes friends with a group of new students, all unhappy at the school and all willing to participate in a daring escape attempt. A crisis involving an out-of-control botany project overrides their plans, however, and the group remains at the school for another term and, presumably, more books in the series. The book raises a thorny issue in that the setting is a training school for villains juxtaposed against a likable cast of characters, including Dr. Nero and some of the other staff. These are not two-dimensional cartoon characters; rather, they are more complex and contradictory to the common perception of evil. These characters display loyalty, courage, resourcefulness and selflessness, all heroic qualities that are valued. Even Dr. Nero and the mysterious assassin Raven risk theirlives to protect the students. Will YAs think or care about the conundrum raised by villainous but likable characters? Probably not, especially since the book focuses on the students who don't want to be there; the moral question gets quickly pushed to the background by the plot-driven narrative. Reviewer: Donna Scanlon
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8
H.I.V.E. is operated on a volcanic island in a distant ocean by G.L.O.V.E., a shadowy organization of worldwide wickedness. And, as 13-year-old master of mischief Otto Malpense soon discovers, here the slickest of young tricksters, thieves, and hackers have been brought against their will to be trained as the next generation of supervillains. Otto and his friends refuse to be held prisoner at the institution and develop a scheme to escape from the island, but they must defeat the all-seeing computer system, a seemingly undefeatable assassin in black, and a giant carnivorous plant to succeed. Warner's first novel is a real page-turner; those who love superhero stories will eat it up and not want to put it down. Sequels are virtually guaranteed.
—Walter MinkelCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
How do super-villains become super-villains? Apparently, graduating from H.I.V.E. would be a good start. This fun romp starts with the arrival of a new class of students, kidnapped out of their daily lives and whisked away to an unknown hidden island. Whether sent by super-villain parents or snatched out of an orphanage because of a precocious prank on the Prime Minister of England, these teens must adapt to a new curriculum, consisting of Villainy Studies and Stealth & Evasion 101 in lieu of the traditional three Rs. Of course, some things never change-living up to a parent's reputation, dealing with the bullies from the Brute Squad and making new friends are part of every teen's life. And while some students are clearly happy to be where they are, there are those who are looking for a way out-any way out. This is a fun, intelligent and rapid read, an astringent breath of fresh air, in counterpoint to the sweetness of Hogwarts. Technology replaces magic, and brains are the key asset. This is Walden's first novel, but clearly not his last, as this is a six-year program. Let the adventure begin! (Fiction. YA)

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Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
H.I.V.E. Series , #1
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File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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