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EVIL GENIUS

CATHERINE JINKS

Contemporary YA Fiction
May 2007


Harcourt Children's Books
ISBN: 978015205988

What is it like for a child genius whose thinking so far exceeds his peers that he is forced into being a loner? How to tame and encourage such intelligence? What pranks has Cadel Piggot imagined and carried out from the time he is 7 years old to his 14th year when everything starts falling apart? What's the borderline between pranks and fiendish evil?

After carrying out some super-hacking into computers, Cadel is placed under the therapy of Dr. Thaddeus Roth. Only Thaddeus is far from your standard therapist and encourages Cadel in plotting his further learning and deception. Soon Cadel learns he is the son of a madman, though he really doesn't believe that, in jail and begins to communicate with him through technological marvels invented by Dr. Darkkon.

While enjoying this imaginative and exciting period of his life, he starts a dating service online and meets Kay-Lee, a "number" genius. But things begin terrifying at the college he attends at 13, the Axis Institute, composed of the school of deception, the school of organic perversion, and the school of destruction. On first reading this, it might seem amusing but hardly conveys the terror the reader will experience as one by one the almost freakish students start disappearing by explosions, poison, suicide and more. How involved is the faculty, Thaddeus, and Dr. Darkkon? Who is really Cadel's father? And who learns the secret that causes Cadel to become the target of the next devastating act of violence?

How will Cadel deal with Kay-Lee's rejection and is really her own or caused by someone who has tapped into Cadel's private world as part of the plan to destroy him? Who really is Kay-Lee?

This review hardly touches on the riveting strangeness and horror you will encounter in this amazing and furiously plot-driven novel! Computer geeks, rebels, just about any teen who has ever wondered about the world will certainly find Evil Genius one heck of a gripping read! And it would probably make an amazing movie, to boot!

Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on May 8, 2007

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