Review Blog

Aug 16 2010

Rogue by Mark Walden

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H.I.V.E. Book 5. Bloomsbury, 2010. ISBN: 9781400800157.
Recommended for ages 11 and above. This entire series is built around evil, with H.I.V.E., the Higher Institute of Villainous Education, being the training section for G.L.O.V.E., Global League of Villainous Enterprises. It is effectively a school for the training of young people in the use of villainy and evil. As the death toll mounts, with the leaders of the forces of evil being the targets, Dr Nero and his cronies discover that Otto has gone rogue and appears to be behind certain events and killings. Otto's friends come to the fore and endeavour to find him and save him from another evil group, H.O.P.E., (the Hostile Operative Prosecution Executive) with which he has become involved.
Having a son who has eagerly devoured each of the books in this series but not having read the other titles myself, I felt at a definite disadvantage trying to begin with the fifth book. As much as it survived as a stand-alone title, I would prefer to have had the background of all of the previous books before embarking on Rogue. Walden has created a large cast of characters and endowed them with some interesting traits and abilities to add to their evil intent. Despite the theme of the series being evil, issues of friendship, family and loyalty are not ignored. Humour is used to underpin the story, along with liberal amounts of witty banter, action, adventure, wanton killing and the broad variety of gadgets used. Rogue ends with the reader being given the next piece of the puzzle yet with sufficient pieces missing to ensure that the following title will not be predictable.
Jo Schenkel, Pilgrim School

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