Thursday, 28 July 2016

Book Review: Escape Velocity by Mark Walden (HIVE #3)


Pupils and staff at HIVE are horrified to discover that Dr Nero has been captured by the forces of HOPE, the Hostile Operative Prosecution Executive, the world's newest and most ruthlessly efficient security force. Three months pass without any news of his fate, and Number One has decided to appoint a sinister new headmistress for the school, somebody that the pupils and staff had thought that they'd seen the last of.

Meanwhile Otto is also struggling to cope with new abilities that are starting to manifest themselves; can he really be unconsciously interfacing with computers without physical contact? And if he is, what exactly do these new powers really mean?

The only way to find Nero and the truth behind the lies is to escape HIVE. Otto must get out, and take the risks which come with being a rogue agent. Then he just has to break into MI6.


My Review:
A secret meeting between old friends leaves Gregori dead, Raven missing and Nero being held hostage by a group who want to know about Overlord. The students get a real shock when The Contessa is revealed to be their new headteacher and the staff are ready to rebel. The Contessa sees the opportunity to exact her revenge on Otto, Laura, Wing and Shelby while they try to find a plan to rescue Nero.

This was another action packed adventure in this great series about the school for villains. I love the characters in this book so much. Otto is the 'good guy' version of Artemis Fowl who puts his intelligence to the test this time to rescue Nero and save the staff and students from The Contessa. I love his friendships with Laura, Wing and Shelby whose combined talents give them every chance of coming up with a viable plan. I also love the hapless Franz (who is the Neville Longbottom of the school) and his long running battle against the school bullies and nasty teachers. More Franz please! I also love HIVE mind and it was great to see the AI computer so heavily involved in the plot.

We also get more about the teachers as they struggle to protect the students with Nero missing. Ms Leon and The Colonel feature heavily, which is good. With their plans against enemy forces and Otto's plots to rescue Nero, there is not a dull moment in this book. The action is so well written and should appeal to children and adults alike. I find that when I get started on one of these books, I just get sucked in and want to read the whole book without stopping. With the right casting, these would make good films. You have the huge plans and James Bond gadgets, Ai and sci-fi, evil characters, good villians, action and humour. Please make these into films!

There was so much to love about this book! We finally get to see the story of the mysterious Number One and it was nice to have guessed part of it right. The twist at the end with Otto was pretty mindblowing and I certainly didn't see that reveal coming! It explains a few thoughts I've had about Otto and was a great twist. We get more information about Overlord which was also a great plot. There are a few surprises cropping up in the form of a friend of Raven which was another great twist. So much to enjoy yet the book keeps the perfect blend of massive action scenes, humour and the development of a lot of characters.

Best bits? It has to be poor Franz in gym detention with the Colonel, dressed in lycra shorts and a Born To Run T shirt! I was laughing so much at that! Also the scene with Franz and Tackle where payback occurs was brilliant. HIVE Mind-his coolness reaches epic proportions in this book as if I didn't already love him to bits. I want my very own HIVE Mind!!! We get answers to a lot of questions we had and brilliand plot twists that come thick and fast. What was not to love about this book?

I would recommend this to anyone who likes a fast paced and character driven story.
 
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