Tuesday, August 17, 2010

H.I.V.E.: The Higher Institute of Villainous Education by Mark Walden

The Higher Institute of Villainous Education

Author: Mark Walden

Publisher: Aladdin Publishing

3½ out of 5 stars

Bad guys, villains, criminals, every story has one. However, most stories focus on the good guys, the heroes. But what about the villains? How did they become what they are? How did they develop into scheming, cunning criminals? What if there was a school that specialized in training and teaching children that they thought had potential? What if the end result was the most dastardly, wicked super villains around? Well, Otto Malpenese has just been enrolled into that school, whether he wants to or not. But let me fill you in on the specifics first.

Otto Malpenese was abandoned on the rain-splattered steps of the St. Sebastian Orphanage. This particular orphanage was in London, where he was delivered in the dead of the night, right after he had been born. All he had with him was a card with his name, Otto Malpenese, scrawled onto it. No one ever claimed him, so he grew up in this ramshackle orphanage for thirteen years. However, he didn’t grow up like a normal, average boy. No, he was much more than that.

Otto was, right from the start, different from the other children. However, people soon realized that he was not so much strange, but actually quite intelligent, no, brilliant in fact. He has the most amazing photographic memory, which allows him to learn at breakneck speeds. Otto is also a technical genius. He is able to take apart electronics and put them back together again, while at the same time fixing and improving them.

However, all is not well in Otto’s home. The old orphanage is in a major state of disrepair, and the authorities are threatening to shut it down. Otto must use all of his brain power and skills to save the orphanage, his only home, from being destroyed. He devises a mastermind plan to save his orphanage for good. Unfortunately, his scheme doesn’t go unnoticed, and he catches some unwanted attention. Before he knows it, he is abducted and taken to H.I.V.E., The Higher Institute of Villainous Education.

Well, frankly, Otto doesn’t take too kindly to being kidnapped. As he arrives at the island that houses H.I.V.E., he is constantly searching for ways to make an escape. Throughout his welcoming tour he is making mental notes on everything he sees, soaking it all in, and keeping his eyes sharp. Otto isn’t the only one who doesn’t feel comfortable about being here. Otto doesn’t like the idea of staying at H.I.V.E. for six years, until he graduates, so he can become one of the next evil leaders of tomorrow. Will Otto ever get out of this prison? Or will he just have to endure it like everyone else, and learn to live with it? Mark Walden reveals all in this mind-twisting adventure, known as H.I.V.E.!

After reading this book, I really thought that it was a fun story. The whole plot is very unique and quite enjoyable, but at the same time can be intense and spell-binding. It’s a great book for kids and young teens. This book has a quality that can make anyone smile. Whether it’s the school bell, “MWAH, MWAAAAH, MWAH!!!!” or the intriguing classes such as, Villainy Studies and Tactical Education, you will always be entertained by what new surprises pop up everywhere.

I also thought that the idea for Otto, and the entire school, was something new, and a great core to base a series around. I love how Otto is a child prodigy, and the way he speaks to his elders as if, of course, he is right all the time and knows what he’s doing. Don’t let his young age fool you. Also, everyone in Otto’s entire group of friends are each so unique. Every one of them seems to have their own mysterious background and special talents that they don’t want to reveal. They were all chosen to attend H.I.V.E. for a reason. Even if all of them aren’t really quite sure why just yet. The instructors also have their own quirks and qualities that you love, or just love to hate about them. I can’t wait to see all of these characters return in the sequel, H.I.V.E.: The Overlord Protocol.

There is a sense of mystery throughout this book. Not only do many of the students not know why they were chosen for H.I.V.E., but there is so much that is being kept from them, and so much that they do not yet know. Otto especially realizes this when he first arrives, as he explores his new home. However, he doesn’t get many answers, as most of the staff won’t tell the students anything when it comes to the school and its security and workings. So, Otto ends up taking everything into his own hands. This aspect made the book both a suspenseful and intriguing read.

H.I.V.E. is a mysterious adventure that shows just how villainous some of these everyday kids can be.  It is an epic account of cunning Otto Malpenese as he acquires the skills and qualities he will need if he ever wants to carry out any dastardly, evil plans in the future. Join Otto as he copes with this new school and lifestyle, where he must make the right decisions, and think fast on his feet, in H.I.V.E.!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out the H.I.V.E website at www.hivehub.com.
H.I.V.E.: The Higher Institute of Villainous Education is available from Amazon here.


  1. This book sound very interesting. I think it will be good for my 10 year old daughter. Thank you!

  2. kid from your school .... lolAugust 19, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    hi tessa is this a good book and good luck on ur blog it's amazing

  3. This book is a fun, yet suspenseful read. I enjoyed it very much! I think you'll like it.


Hi, and welcome to From The Bookshelf of T.B.!

I can't wait to hear what you have to say! I do my best to try and respond to your comments, so check back often. Comment away!