Genius Wars

Okay, after saying I wouldn’t have time to blog, I’m up with a sick kid on vacation, so, alas, I figured I may as well write a book review.

The Genius Wars is the third book in Katherine Jinks’s YA genius series.  These books follow the story of Cadel, a young, highly intelligent boy who was raised to become a sort of supervillian, but rebelled against his upbringing to become good.  In this volume, Cadel has tried to keep himself out of trouble, but finds that the people he loves, including his best friend Sonja and his foster father Saul, are being attacked and that he himself may be next.  The book focused on how Cadel, as much as he tries to do the right thing, struggles to overcome being an arrogant, bossy jerk when push comes to shove, imitating the exact behavior of his one time mentor and all around bad guy Prosper English.

The book is slightly on the long side, but I found it to be a quick read.  Still, it’s not for readers new to the series.  I didn’t remember the second book all that well so I struggled to recall some of the ins and outs of characters and plot.  My guess is that some of the relationships, such as Cadel’s love for Sonja, who suffers from cerebral palsy and cannot speak without a machine, would seem confusing to someone who had not read the back story.  Overall, it was just an okay book.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, Evil Genius, which balanced the idea of this over the top, comic book-like school for supervillains with a very real, interesting character in Cadel.  Cadel is still a well-drawn character, but the humorous edge has been lost as the series went on and I really miss it.  So, if the premise sounds interesting, go back and read Evil Genius, but give this one a miss unless you really love it.

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