Evil Genius, by Catherine Jinks, is a fresh and clever young adult novel written about a misunderstood child prodigy.
Cadel Piggott is a genius, especially with computers. When he gets into some trouble with the law at the age of seven, he foster parents take him to a psychologist who helps him discover his full potential. And eventually tells Cadel that his real father is none other than the villainous Dr. Phineas Darkkon.
Cadel’s psychologist encourages his family to send Cadel to the Axis Institute. But the college is more than it seems. Also known as the Axis Institute for World Domination, it’s actually a higher learning center for students who want to study from one of the three schools of Deception, Destruction, and Organic Distortion (also known as Applied Arts, Environmental Science, and Biomedical Science). There is even a fun website that you can visit to find out more about the institute and it’s students and faculty. When Cadel’s classmates begin dropping out (and dying) one-by-one, he begins second guessing his decisions. And the more secrets and evil that he uncovers, the less he likes who he has become.
Evil Genius is full of incredibly unique and creative characters. When I first began reading this, Cadel seemed to be the antithesis of Harry Potter. But Cadel actually has more depth to his character. And this is no story for smaller children. There are many deaths, though none are graphic. This is marketed to 12 years and up, and I agree. But a warning that the book is lengthy, with plenty of technical jargon, that I tended to skim over.
With more twists and turns than the Los Angeles freeway system, Evil Genius is a wonderfully surprising treat for all fans of great literary supervillains and those striving for world domination.
Thanks again to FSB Associates for the ARC of this fun book!