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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 12 April 2009
If you're a fan of Cherub, Alex Rider and Artemis Fowl you should like this series. Like Artemis the characters are technically anti-heroes as they use their skills for criminal gain. Also like Artemis,they're lovable rogues, who do things for the right motives and stick by their friends when trouble strikes. There is a good mix of male and female characters who have a variety of skills from martial arts and gymnastic prowess to computer hacking and scientific genius. There is a lot of mystery and questions left hanging which are explored in the following books.
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Just as I like it. I bought it for my son aged 12 quite a while back and bought all the other books in the series too. Higher Institute of Villainous Education is just over the top and it is great.
Do not think that the author condones crime. To the contrary, the Institute is the brainchild of Dr Nero (yes, you read right) to preserve the old fashion type of villains (you know , the refined, highly intelligent ones, the ones who will never grab an old lady's handbag but are most ruthless and devious and think of the most evil plots in the world) as the world was taken over by really bad mannered villains.
It is funny but there is also the underlying theme of camaraderie and loyalty. Well, imagine Harry Potter and his side kicks, and you have the essence of the brightest student in HIVE, Otto Malpense. (But far from me to compare the two, no way, totally different books and plots). You have the blundering Nigel Darkdoom, the always starving Franz, ninja wannabe Wing, Laura the hacker and Shelby the Barbie doll.
You have all the ingredients you need to have the perfect ''book'' boarding school.
And of course, you have Raven. The most feared assassin in the world, who now acts as Dr Nero's bodyguard and ''problem solver''. And Raven is a ''she''. Which is good, because in HIVE, Mark Walden has made a good balance between girls and boys power.
I recommend it to girls and boys alike. Teens and adults alike.
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Welcome to Hogwarts for bad guys, minus the magic.

H.I.V.E. is a school set on a deserted island where brilliant young adults who have come from criminal families or have taken part in criminal projects are taught to become the worst that they can be.

Otto Malpense remembers nothing about how he came to be on the H.I.V.E. island, and neither does him Asian friend, Wing. The H.I.V.E. staff explains to the young criminals that their parents agreed to let them join the school - and that they are under the highest security and scrutiny.

Otto, being an extremely smart Alpha, wonders if they were kidnapped and are being held hostage until they graduate. Throughout their time at H.I.V.E., Otto and his friends are enrolled in a number of courses you will not find in your average school. Subjects such as Tactical Education, Stealth and Evasion, Villainy Studies, and many other classes (meant for other students, such as Henchmen).

Wanting to be off the island, Otto and his friends, Wing (a martial arts fighter), Shelby (a jewelry store sleuth), and Laura (a technological genius) devise a plan that has never been pulled off before - escaping H.I.V.E. This is a feat that no student has ever accomplished.

H.I.V.E. is a great book and the ending leaves it open for a sequel, which i will be more than happy to buy. Although some parts were scattered, it all led to a great, courageous ending.

Reviewed by: Jeremey
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on 19 January 2012
"Borrowing" from Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl and even James Bond, book one of the H.I.V.E series is a highly entertaining romp drawing from all of the previously mentioned books.

Mark Walden has created likeable villains and manages to make the reader care about people who break the law. Pretty impressive.

Focusing on a group of extremely talented children, Walden has introduced a school for criminals complete with Hogwarts style teachers. Seriously, JK Rowling will probably be calling her solicitors about this! The book follows a small group of these kids as they try to escape from the seemingly inescapable establishment.

Imitation is a form of flattery, and a good story is a good story. Read this book, enjoy the similarities to others and immerse yourself in a highly entertaining page turner.
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on 3 October 2006
This is the start of what promises to be a great new series. Fans of Harry Potter will like the basic idea - a school for evil geniuses - but this book is not a Potter wanabee. The plot is simple and the characters genuine which all combines to make a good adventure style plot with exciting twists and turns. Look out for more from this author.
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on 24 August 2006
H.I.V.E is a very exciting story that takes you through otto Malpense's first term at a school for villanous education.During his time at H.I.V.E otto finds himself being taught by a cat, nearly being eaten whole by a giant plant and traveling through H.I.V..E's laundrey system.Although Otto makes lots of new friends and learns lots of new thing to help him become an even bigger villan he can't help but wish he was back home.......
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on 28 October 2013
I purchased this book among with others in the series for my grandsons when they come to visit, as the classic 'Disney stories' are now far too young a read for them. I think they appreciated having something more of their own age to read at bedtime, and are the sort of books they read from their school libraries. So yes, I think they were a good buy.
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on 3 December 2013
Another of my try in the 99p sale purchases, loved it so much I bought the rest of the series so far straight away and have the next one due out on pre order. Think harry potter meets bond meets alex rider meets dr evil! Just fantastic sci fi escapism read.
I would say a great book to get a reluctant young reader into books, I am an adult who loves a good young adult book and this whole series are amazing books (and not just me who thinks it got 3 other adult friends to buy and they all love the series too)
treat a teenager or indulge your inner teenager and give it a go
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on 26 December 2009
This series has such a clever concept - a school where kids with potential are taken to learn to be VILLIANS! And with such a strong concept, the books do not disappoint. This first book, especially, is a thrilling and fun read, very inventive, and you'll want to devour it in one sitting.

Perfect choice for any kids who are otherwise reluctant to read, or kids who like things like James Bond but want something a bit lighter for some fun reading.
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on 7 March 2014
My 12 year old son is new to this author. A recommendation from a class mate. Fast action writing similar to Anthony Horowitz and Robert Muchamore. Thoroughly enjoying his Kindle version. Two days in and reading at every opportunity. Mindcraft is taking a backseat so I am very happy!
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