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EVIL GENIUS by Catherine Jinks Kirkus Star

EVIL GENIUS

By Catherine Jinks

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: May 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-15-205988-0
Publisher: Harcourt

Carried along by much peeling back of layers of deception and repeated thickenings of plot, this hefty but engrossingly complex tale features a young super-brain being groomed for world domination. Under the tutelage of his mysterious psychologist Thaddeus, 13-year-old Cadel subtly engineered spectacular traffic jams in Sydney, caused all of his high school class to fail their finals and similar exploits. He now enters the exclusive Axis Institute, where innocuously named courses like “Coping Skills” and “Accounting” turn out to be tutorials in basic lying, embezzlement and such. Determined to develop a predictive program for all human behavior, he discovers himself enmeshed in multiple webs of intrigue, which, along with his own efforts to manipulate faculty and fellow students, result in an escalating array of fatalities. Gradually, he begins to wonder whether he’s really cut out for the role of evil overlord. Along with keeping the suspense expertly tuned and stirring in any number of stunning revelations, Jinks fills out the cast with brilliantly conceived friends and adversaries. His emotional maturity realistically lagging behind his intellectual development, Cadel rides right up there with Artemis Fowl as a sympathetic anti-villain. (Fiction. 12-15)