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H.I.V.E. : Higher Institute of Villainous Education
Walden, Mark.
Children's Fiction WALDEN

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From 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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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