Wao. Lots of cool stuff crammed in this one book. I liked this book a long time ago because it was one of the first anti-hero books I had encountered. The story was engaging, the characters were likable (while not necessarily grounded in reality), and the dialogue was fun. The gist of it is an orphan named Otto who is abducted to be forcibly trained as a supervillain in a secret facility. The other side of the gist: A lot of the kids don’t want to be there. What do they ultimately learn? You can’t trust anyone.
There is a buddhist character who believes in his ancestors, but otherwise everyone seems to be complacent about spirituality.
There is some flirting, but nothing of a sexual nature.
I believe there was a few D–ns, and perhaps a H–l. I’m not completely sure exactly how many, more than one, but not more than 4…
I am not completely sure, but I think there were a few cocktails. And cigarettes. Come on, these people are supervillains, what did you expect? I also think there might have been mention of drug trading, although I’m not completely sure. (in any case, it was mentioned in passing and not very extensive at all)
Why is this section always my favorite? I think my chromosomes are sitting in tiny little bleachers going RAH RAH RAH when I list everything in here. Guns and swords. More guns and swords. Although interestingly enough, neither of them are lethal. Like, at all. How come nobody can kill anyone? But there is a bevvy of broken bones, bruises, painful falls, and pulled muscles. In short, a overdue trip to the gym. I think a guy might get shot. Wait, yes. He gets shot in the shoulder or something. And I think a few guys get shot fatally. (Who are these people, stormtroopers?) Otherwise, I don’t think there’s much else. Oh, and bombs and man-eating plants. That don’t do anything. Yep.
Misc. other harmful elements:
Otto is extremely disrespectful and makes the Prime Minister moon the entire UK. Through hypnotism. As a joke. Also…..EVERYONE’S A VILLAIN! I think the worst part is the children are eventually becoming acclimated to their high school of evil…which seems weird considering they’re prisoners. And pretty much each of these kids are criminals or are related to criminals. Yup.
Decent elements:Did I just say yup at the end of the last two sections? 😄 nevermind. Heroism (again) is a prominent role, ironically, for each and every one of the characters. And surprisingly the bad guys are very…not bad. Well they’re bad, but they’re made to seem less bad by making them more human with sympatheticness (not a word) and compassion.
I liked this book quite a bit. I think I was 15 when I first read it, and now I’m 18. I still haven’t read to the end of the series due to the fact that I’m very, very cheap and the books are difficult to get in the US. But I’d recommend it for a 14+ due to the language and sometimes deep/subtle/hard-to-read relationship vibes…or whatever. It’s a book that’s got some language and complex relationships. And that’s all I have. Peace.