This book was so much fun, even if it fell apart a bit at the end. It was something like 550 pages, and I read the whole thing in two evenings. Just couldn’t put it down! Evil Genius is about Cadel Piggott (no wonder he’s evil), an extraordinarily bright yet troubled young man. At the age of 8, he’s taken under the wing by his therapist, whose advice re: committing cyber crimes boils down to “What ever you do-Don’t get caught.”
Cadel accelerates through school and starts classes at the Axis Institute at age 14. It’s basically where Dr. Evil got his degree. There are classes on forgery, hacking, poisoning, bombs etc. The other students — some geniuses, some already adept at murder, some contain contain genetic traits that lead to the possibility of turning them into X-men — are encouraged to attack each other, in a bizarre survival of the fittest sort of thing. Meanwhile, Cadel has met a girl, and is starting to question this whole way of life.
The book is funny in a snarky way, although it gets a bit emotional at times (that’s what kind of throws it off at the end–it gets a bit mushy in a way that doesn’t truly fit). Cadel is an excellent anti-hero, one that really does change throughout the story. It’s a great read and apparently Jinks has written two sequels, which I plan to seek out since it is left on a bit of a cliffhanger.