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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

HOW FAR WILL OTTO GO TO PROTECT HIS FRIENDS? Otto Malpense and his friends thought their first year at the Higher Institute of Villainous Education was the most adventurous and exciting that they would ever encounter. They were dead wrong. When Otto and Wing are allowed off campus to attend Wing's father's funeral, they have no idea it's a trap, all part of a lethal plan organized by Cypher, the most ruthless supervillain any of them have ever known. He intends to use them to retrieve the Overlord Protocol, a device that has the capacity to help him take over the world. But when things go terribly wrong, Otto will stop at nothing to hunt him down and make him pay. With the help of Laura, Shelby, Raven, and his former nemesis, Dr. Nero, Otto must find a way to defeat an enemy that has overcome some of the planet's most infamous villains without even breaking a sweat. Because if he doesn't, the world as they know it will be changed forever.…

Overall Book Review:

Everybody is loyal to somebody and these teens have it right.  Having each other’s backs is a priority.  Friendship is paramount and ingenuity is rewarded.  It’s an interesting concept to find bad guys with integrity.  At this school, the students are taught to harness their natural abilities.  Stepping outside of their comfort zones, they find they are capable of far more than they thought possible.

This second book in the H.I.V.E. (The Higher Institute of Villainous Education) series is packed with action and likable characters.  The author has done a great job building up the main characters and showing us how they’ve grown over time at their new school.  Full of action, the story is easy to read and fast-paced, almost more so than the first book in the series.  Although this second book gives enough information to stand alone in the series, book one does give a lot of backstory and would be helpful to the reader but not absolutely necessary.  

Although they are being taught to be villians, they are taught to have style and class and not to just be common thugs.  Everybody answers to somebody and these young students quickly learn their chain of command and what happens when somebody in that line of succession chooses to ignore their code of ethics.  They rapidly find they have to take care of each other.  Each student is also finding it is okay to be smart and to pursue things like library, science, computers, and even physical training.  This book was an exciting read and book three looks like even more fun.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  6 religious exclamations; 12 mild obscenities.

Violence/Gore:  Mention of previous people being killed in various ways, no details; 2 thugs with guns hold up an adult man in an alley; 2 men get blown up, no gory details; several security men get killed by robots, several pages long but no gory details; people wounded by robots, 3 pages but no blood or gory details; 2 male students attack 2 female students with non-lethal guns (the girls fight back);  several pages but no permanent harm; multiple robots attack resulting in death of a few security men, minor details and multiple pages long but not gory; teen male shot in chest, death implied, blood mentioned but not gory; 4 men pursue teen boy with intent to kill; adult woman kills 2 men; characters fly over side of skyscraper; character falls from back of airplane, death implied; woman attacked, knocked out, chained to chair, slapped around, and threatened with death, no permanent harm, no details; explosion of building; school is attacked by robots with intent to kill, several security men hit with Ninja stars, death implied, no gory details; teens rounded up at school by robots and threatened to behave or death will result; 3 teens held in jail; 2 teens abducted by a trusted teacher, held at gunpoint and threatened with death; 2 teens blow up ship; teen boy held by neck by robot.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Theft, voting rights denied, death of parent, weapons, ninjas, death/murder, sabotoge, evil robots, school attacked.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adult drinks a glass of brandy.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Reading a good adventure story has always been a vacation in the theater of my mind. When I’m stressed or just need to get away for a few minutes, I love the opportunity to climb into somebody else’s world. I didn’t enjoy reading until I was in the Air Force and building bombs in Korea; it was a wonderful distraction from the real world. (I tried bull riding, but it wasn’t exciting enough.)