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4.6 out of 5 stars
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2013
It was an excellent book, thrilling and devious, with each page my heart leap and I am deeply looking forward to the next novel in the series, Mark Walden is an extremely good author.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2013
Got to read the next book! A must book for any future evil genius - even my mum enjoyed it! Interesting plot and great characters.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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 12 August 2013
First off I would like to say that one, this is my first Audio book review, and secondly, this is the first audio book that I have read/listened to all the way through! So please bare with me.

I've never been one for audio books, I always seemed to lose track, or get bored and just stop, never able to let my brain float in to the far away fictional land like tree or E-books do. This used to infuriate my son who, being dyslexic is his main form of reading. At the moment my reading mojo seems to have disappeared gone on a summer holiday which makes me very twitchy. My son told me I HAD TO listen to this book as it was, and I quote "AMAZING!" and after some protests I started to listen to it, and my god, I'm glad I did.

So we got this book from [...] and is read by the very talented Jack Davenport. He's been in many films and TV shows, more famous for staring in Pirates of the Caribbean and Flashforward.

He makes the book for me and his voices are incredible!!!! HIs girly Scottish accent and his german (augustus Gloop) accent made me giggle for all the right reasons. I never lost whose voice he was trying to portray and gave the right sense of drama when needed! FANTASTIC.

Now, the story. The story centres on a boy called Otto. A child who can only be described as 'special' his IQ is outstanding, yet feels different. HIs 'home' is an orphanage which looks like it's going to have to close. Otto can't stand by and watch this happen! Oh no!

Due to Otto's actions which I won't spoil, he is spotted and taken to an island where he will taught many lessons on how to be a villain. Now don't think the author has made this into a good thing, he hasn't and along with Otto's rather fantastic friends who themselves are fantastic characters in their own right, try and think of ways on how to escape H.I.V.E.

Along with other storylines which make you want to continue reading the future books, this book is a must read, especially if you have some reluctant readers. It's been compared to Harry Potter and I can see where the comparisons are. If you like Potter this could well be a great fix for you. Even writing this review, I think my next audio book will be book 2!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2013
I found it was a lot like harry potter, but with spies and bad guys and everything harry potter DIDN'T have. I also see a striking resemblance between Neville Longbottom and Nigel Darkroom.
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