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Evil Genius (EVIL GENIUS)
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New or Used: 5 copies from $17.00
With a plot that twists and turns, super-villains in training, and a child prodigy as hero, this comicbook-style novel in prose is a darkly brilliant page-turner exploring the fine line between good and evil.
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About the Author

Catherine Jinks was born in Brisbane in 1963 and grew up in Sydney and Papua New Guinea. She became a writer because she loves reading, and also loves history, films, TV and gossip. She has a BA (Hons) in medieval history and gets her ideas from everywhere, particularly good science fiction films. Catherine writes whenever she gets a moment and could write for eight hours straight if she had the chance. She lives in the Blue Mountains in NSW and is married with one daughter. The author of many award-winning, popular books for children and adults, her most recent books for children include the much-awaited Pagan's Daughter.

Reviews

Gr 7 Up-Cadel Piggott was hacking into computer systems by the time he was seven and causing all sorts of trouble by the time he fast-tracked through high school. At age 14, he is encouraged by his longtime "psychiatrist" to enroll in the Axis Institute. There, the classes include Misinformation, Disguise, Basic Lying, Embezzlement, and Explosives. Cadel settles into his first semester of studies, but soon begins to suspect that something is very wrong here. Through Partner Post, his online matching service experiment, he receives a cryptic warning from one of his subscribers, and he begins to make plans to investigate his teachers. A trail of hacked information takes him to places he doesn't want to go. A flowing and coherent style leads readers into the thriller that Evil Genius becomes. Although background information dominates the beginning of the book, the plot quickly picks up its dark and dangerous pace as Cadel moves through his fear and realization of what is happening around him. As an alternative thriller that shows the good side of evil, Jinks sets up a compelling world of lies, deceit, and betrayal that will have lovers of mystery or computer-based investigation on the edge as they devour this page-turner. A sequel is planned.-Dylan Thomarie, Johnstown High School, NY Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

'An absorbing read, with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing right up until the end...Jinks' devotion to detail will appeal...Readers will be drawn into Cadel's world and, once into it, will not want to put the book down.' aussiereviews.com'brilliant moments and thrilling episodes' Viewpoint13 (2), Winter 2005'intense...a mind-churning thriller' Reading Time, Vol 49 No 2'a fast-paced style that should attract the young adult reader...An intense exposition of our possible future.' Junior Bookseller + Publisher, April/May 2007

With a series of breakneck twists and turns, Jinks's (the Pagan Chronicles) latest novel follows Cadel Piggott, a seven-year-old Australian boy with an incredible mind and a proclivity toward mischief: "He loved systems: phone systems, electrical systems, car engines, complicated traffic intersections." Following a string of disasters, which Cadel engineers (e.g., hacking into the city's power grid), his desperate adoptive parents take him to a psychologist, Dr. Thaddeus Roth. But instead of refocusing Cadel on more positive activities, Dr. Roth encourages the boy to develop increasingly destructive plans, such as orchestrating massive traffic jams and manipulating his classmates' emotions so that they turn on one another. Dr. Roth also stuns Cadel by revealing that he is employed by Cadel's birth father, Dr. Phineas Darkkon, a criminal mastermind serving a life sentence. From prison, Dr. Darkkon established the Axis Institute for the world's genetically talented and criminally inclined. Drs. Roth and Darkkon convince Cadel to join its small freshman class, and Cadel slowly uncovers a conspiracy of lies and betrayals that leave no aspect of his life untouched. Jinks has created an intricate, well-constructed and layered reality in this hefty novel, and as the complex deceptions that have shaped Cadel's life come to light, his emotional unraveling and awakening will likely engross readers. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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