Title: Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
How it was obtained: I bought it from a clearance sale at Borders.
Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 1 year.
Days spent reading it: 4 days.
Why I read it: I enjoyed the Reformed Vampire Society by Jinks, and I decided I would read this much acclaimed book by her as well.
Brief review: I love books about genius kids. I guess I always wished I was a child prodigy. Like the main character of Evil Genius, Cadel Pigget. He is a child prodigy. The only real problem is that he seems to have no moral compass. None. This book is about how he is nudged into a life in the dark side. He is drafted into the Axis Institute for World Domination (a great idea by the way, university for evil leaders, genius!) and begins to study how a life of crime can pay.
I admit I had some qualms with how this book was progressing at the beginning. I felt like it was a good idea with no heart. But sticking through the whole book, I was delighted by how Cadel grows and matures through this book. He is a wonderful character, very memorable. And his evil mentors Dr. Phineas Darkkon and Thaddeus Roth are great bad guys. They are complex, nuanced, and great manipulators of truth.
I felt this was a solid book. My major complaint would be that some of the plot became too complicated; I did not understand the set up and execution of a few of Cadel's plans. Apart from that, I enjoyed the book. I would definitely recommend it to people who like young adult fiction. I think for parents it might be a good discussion starter on the nature of good and evil. There are plenty of questions about morality throughout this book. Definitely worth a look if you had the time and interest.
Favorite quote: "Cadel Pigget was just seven years old when he first met Thaddeus Roth."
Stars: 4 out of 5.
Final Word: Complex.