James Bond meets Artemis Fowl (with a touch of The Incredibles) Action-packed and fantastically witty
Mark Walden is a computer software designer - H.I.V.E. is his truly brilliant debut novel.
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 Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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.