Reviews for H.I.V.E. : Higher Institute of Villainous Education
Booklist Reviews 2007 April #1
Thirteen-year-old Otto and three of his new friends are kidnapped and taken to H.I.V.E., a super academy for world domination where the particular talents encouraged are craftiness and daring. Students come from all over the world, speak varying degrees of English, and are often the offspring of H.I.V.E. graduates. Otto, however, is an orphan. He has real brilliance and a photographic mind. Both qualities made him relatively independent before he was kidnapped, and they now provide somewhat of a challenge to his would-be keepers at H.I.V.E. Otto spearheads the group's effort to escape and return home, an escape that is foiled in the course of an evening that involves H.I.V.E.'s electronic overseer, an out-of-control flesh-eating plant, and other technothrills. H.I.V.E. comes across as the shadow side of Hogwarts, but Otto and his pals aren't so much bad wizards as they are bright kids realizing they may be out of their depth. The cliff-hanger ending leaves much to be tied together in a sequel. ((Reviewed April 1, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
Four children find themselves unwilling students at the elite Higher Institute of Villainous Education. An attempt to escape their remote volcanic hideaway brings them together. The characters are one-note stereotypes, and the story doesn't so much end as set up the next book. But this piece of gadget-rich fluff provides an entertaining glimpse into the training of evil geniuses. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
Four children find themselves unwilling students at the elite Higher Institute of Villainous Education. An attempt to escape their remote volcanic hideaway brings them together. The characters are one-note stereotypes, and the story doesn't so much end as set up the next book. But this piece of gadget-rich fluff provides an entertaining glimpse into the training of evil geniuses. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2007 May #1
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) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 April #4
M ischievously 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) [Page 52]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 January #3
In his debut novel Walden creates characters that "are memorable, if a bit cliched in execution," said PW. Ages 10-14. (Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2007 June
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 Minkel, New York Public Library [Page 164]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2007 June
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.-David Goodale 3Q 5P M J Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.