Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Vindico

The Vindico

Wesley King
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Penguin, 2012   ISBN: 978-0399256547

James, Sam, Lana, Hayden and Emily are five relatively normal teenagers. None of them have any exceptional talents or abilities except for Emily, who has superb computer skills and can hack into almost anything. All five teens are living their lives peacefully when they are kidnapped by a group of supervillains who call themselves the Vindico. The members of Vindico are few in number, and if they are going to be able to overthrow the League of Heroes, which they want to do more than anything else, they are going to need new recruits.

The battle between the members of Vindico and the League of Heroes has been going on for years, and the animosity between the two groups is high. The members of Vindico resent the superheroes in the League because they insist that only people with natural superpowers can join their elite group. The League will not tolerate anyone who has artificially enhanced themselves to the point where they have superpowers, which is what the people in Vindico have been able to do.

At first the five teens are appalled to be held captive by a group of arch villains, and all they want to do is to go home, but over time that start to enjoy being able to do things that they never dreamed of being able to do. Sam and Hayden explore the world of telepathy and telekinesis, while James and Lana become incredibly strong fighters. Emily learns how to do all kinds of new tricks with computers, and she acquires great skill in using weapons. It is hard for the young people not to be excited about their new abilities.

The leader of the Vindico, the Baron, tells the kids that after a time they can freely choose if they wish to remain with the villains or if they want to go home. He does not tell them that those who do choose to leave will be eliminated. Before the teens can make their final decision, the war between the two superhero groups escalates and the five young people find themselves in an impossible situation, stuck in the middle of the two warring sides.

Most of us would jump at the opportunity to become a superhero. After all, who wouldn’t want to have a super power. The problem is that sometimes the cost of having such a gift is just too high. This exciting book shows how five young people struggle to figure out what it is they want and what they are willing to pay to have it. Should they give in and work alongside the villains, or should they fight against them? Do they forever want to be different, or do they want to lead a normal somewhat quiet life? Whatever the five teens decide, their lives are never really going to be the same again.

Packed with action and with interesting scenes that explore the personalities of the five teens, this is a novel that will appeal to a wide variety of people.