(CONTINUED FROM PART ONE)
I mean, I had my reservations about the book too, don’t get me wrong. The man teaching guerrilla tactics at the academy is named Adolf and is nicknamed "The Fuhrer"? Seemed a bit much. And the wrapping up of the school and its gigantic cast of characters (I can’t have been the only one who kept confusing Dr. Deal with The Maestro, right?) is done in a lightning quick fashion. Considering that this is a 486-page book we’re talking about, this might not have been a bad idea. Still, keeping track of all those characters was certainly a full time job. More than once Cadel would think of a name in shock and I’d suddenly have to page through to the book’s endpapers to remember who that person was in the first place.
Still, when all is said and done, I liked "Evil Genius" very much indeed. The book is just dying for a sequel, but that doesn’t mean this first novel doesn’t stand entirely on its own. Jinks, no stranger to the series format, knows better than to end on a cliffhanger or with long dangling narrative threads. Everything is, if not wrapped up, at least successfully drawn to a close by the book’s finish. That said, I’m frantic to read the next in the series. Lookie! It’s called "Genius Squad" and it sports the tagline "Sometimes when it comes to fighting evil, one genius isn’t enough." For those kids enamored of the superhero genre and in need of something a little out of the ordinary, I couldn’t recommend a book any higher.
Notes on the Cover: Hm. Sorry, Harcourt. I liked the original cover better. The one that looked like the image featured on the right here. You still have Thaddeus and Cadel visible on the spine, true, but it’s not quite enough. I liked the original book. Th American one’s shiny and such, but surely there would have been a way to put the Axis Institute for World Domination image on the front without it looking like another title. Oh, but look how shiny shiny. Hard to tear my eyes away. We’ll label this one a draw.
- Check out the recent profile of Ms. Catherine Jinks as part of the Australian Bloggy Tour over at Tea Cozy.
- The Kids Q&A with Ms. Jinks at the Powell’s site.
- Also look at the website for the Axis Institute for World Domination.