H.O.P.E. for the Future

RogueOf all the kids enrolled at the Higher Institute of Villainous Education, Otto Malpence was probably the most gifted. If you haven’t heard, a supercomputer was implanted into his brain at an embryonic stage and that gave him the ability to interface with every machine on the planet.

But like all things, having a computer-like brain has its downside. For example, Otto was continually susceptible to computer viruses and never-ending Twitter updates. His super brain, we discover in this latest H.I.V.E. adventure, was also susceptible to hackers and evil programmers.

Take Animus, for example. It was the first organic supercomputer ever created. Its nanotechnology was a quantum leap ahead of anything anyone else had been able to concoct. Self-replicating and totally invasive, it was capable of taking control of any digital system into which it was implanted—including the body of a young boy with a computer chip in his brain.

Now with Animus coursing through his veins, Otto was being easily programmed and manipulated by a gang of dastardly upstarts calling themselves the Hostile Operative Prosecution Executive (that’s H.O.P.E. for all you acronym-lovin’ nerds out there). Naturally, this is bad news for the Global League of Villainous Enterprises. If they can’t have Otto in their hip pocket, no one can. Consequently, they issue a coldblooded decree: Otto Malpence must be eliminated.

In a word: Yikes! Otto was well liked back at the H.I.V.E. campus, and his classmates have vowed to do whatever they can to save their friend’s life. Says Lucy Dexter, a member of Otto’s tight-knit crew, “We’re all being trained to be villainous, but even if you’re truly evil, you’ve got to draw the line somewhere.”

Rogue is the fifth book in Mark Walden’s supervillain/spy serial, and it’s the fourth book continuing the storyline first introduced in The Overlord Protocol. At this point the author has completely abandoned any pretense of writing self-contained novels. His books are now merely chapters in a larger narrative. And that’s perfectly okay with us. One of the reasons we love superhero fiction so much is because of its serialized nature. And Walden has finally found his cliffhanger groove. We’ve come this far…there’s no turning back now.

[H.I.V.E.: Rogue / By Mark Walden / First Printing: September 2012 / ISBN: 9781442421875]

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