Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Mark Walden
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2011   ISBN: 978-1442421875

Thirteen years ago a sentient artificial intelligence called Overlord began to plan for his future. He left the confines of the lab where he was created by occupying and taking over the body of a master criminal called Number One, the leader of a criminal organization called G.L.O.V.E. (The Global League of Villainous Enterprises). Overlord then set about creating a child who would one day serve as a suitable host. He needed a host who would have special abilities so that Overlord would be able to connect with any computer system that he encountered. Once the child, Otto, was ready, Overload arranged for him to be accepted by H.I.V.E, a school where young people are trained to become criminals of a very high caliber.

   A few months ago, while Otto and his H.I.V.E. friends were trying to foil a criminal plot, Overlord managed to take over Otto’s mind and body. Otto is now in the hands of H.O.P.E, which is another criminal organization. The leader of H.O.P.E. is delighted to have Otto in his clutches, whom he plans on using as a weapon against G.L.O.V.E. Otto’s teacher, Dr. Nero, has been looking for the boy, but so far he has not been able to find out where Otto is being held.

  Then, out of the blue and without any warning, two of the members of the G.L.O.V.E. ruling council are assassinated. The leader of the council, Diabolus Darkdoom, calls a meeting, and at that meeting he reveals that it would appear that the assassin is Otto. Diabolus has no choice but to issue a “capture or kill order” on Otto. H.O.P.E. cannot be allowed to use Otto in this way. Knowing that he does not have the luxury of time, Nero sends Raven, his best agent, to look for Otto. Hopefully she will find him before the G.L.O.V.E. kill teams figure out where he is.

   Back at H.I.V.E, problems with the central computer are causing all kinds of trouble. The resident expert is trying to figure out what is going on, and with the help of one of Otto’s friends he figures out that H.I.V.E’s own AI, H.I.V.E.mind, is back. Everyone at the school is delighted that the AI has been restored, especially now when they need all the help that they can get. Once, or rather if, they get Otto back, they will still have to figure out a way to expel Overload from Otto’s body without killing Otto.

   Racing to find Otto is only of the problems that his friends and allies face. What they don’t know is that H.O.P.E has allies who have launched an assassination attempt on Raven. Without Raven on their team, Dr. Nero and Otto’s friends have little chance of saving Otto and stopping H.O.P.E.

   In this fifth thrilling and often surprising H.I.V.E title, Otto and his friends face their biggest challenge yet. Readers will not only find out more about Otto’s story, but they will also discover that Otto’s friends and allies are being targeted by enemies who are incredibly dangerous, sophisticated, and secretive.