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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Evil Genius

Jinks, Catherine. Evil Genius. Cadell Piggott, a seven-year-old whose IQ is off the charts, is taken to a psychologist rather than arrested for hacking into complex computer systems. Thaddeus Roth becomes his mentor as his adoptive parents have little time or emotion to spare for Cadell. The beginning is quite promising.

Dr. Roth informs Cadell that his real father is actually Dr. Phineas Darkkon, a criminal mastermind, and helps Cadell keep in regular contact with his incarcerated father, who guides the young genius with misinformation.

With Dr. Roth's "help," Cadell's education is accelerated, and he graduates from high school at thirteen...after having caused all kinds of chaos by interfering with rail and traffic systems in Sydney. Oh, and emotional devastation to his senior class.

After graduation, Cadell enters The Axis Institute where he studies World Domination. Having established (through deception) a relationship with "Kay-lee," young Cadell seeks a genuine friendship over the internet which serves as a minor support system. On arriving at the Axis Institute, he is in great need of this support.

Most of the book was quite slow and because most of the characters are not likable, I didn't care what happened to them, although I found the casual attitude toward the destruction of human beings disturbing. There were opportunities for friendship (and therefore, character development that would have lent sympathy to the narrative), but they were shunted to the side.

While I found the book long, cold, and unsatisfying, I'd love to have someone else's opinion because there are some things I'd like to discuss concerning the book; I'd also like to see how my opinion coincides or differs from that of another reader.

Actually, I just googled other reviews, here is one that completely disagrees with me. The only other reviews I found were publicity reviews.

Fiction. 2007. 486 pages.


  1. Ah, shame. :(

    By the way - I started A Game of Thrones today. Wow. Am finding it extremely tough to put this one down. Really enjoying it so far.

  2. Quixotic - Loved A Game of Thrones, then waited and waited for the next one. I've read the first 3 , but A Feast for Crows is now out, and I'm not sure if I remember enough of the others to be able to keep track!

  3. I have read all 4 of Martin books and love them. Give Feast a chance and you'll be surprised how much of all it comes back to you. I can't wait for Dances with Dragons. Hopefully late this year or early next year. The series is going to run 7 books though now instead of the original six he had planned.

  4. Looks like this is one fantasy I can skip. But "A Game of Thrones" sounds quite enticing.