Hullo! Today’s Tremendous Trilogy takes a step away from the fantasy genre and into the genre of awesomeness. That’s how good they are. They’re just one huge analogy of amazeballs that we can’t quite think of right now. And with that hype, we give you: Evil Genius, Genius Squad and Genius Wars by Catherine Jinks
In Evil Genius we are introduced to Cadel Piggot who by the age of seven was illegally hacking into computer networks. Now he’s fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, misinformation, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. But how did he get there? Cadel is a hugely likeable protagonist and one who certainly doesn’t appear intrinsically mean spirited. He just grew up with some truly evil influences in his life. That is, until he meets the charming, equally intelligent, and inherently kind-hearted Kay-Lee. And so, Cadel begins to question the moral implications of his studies for the first time. But is it too late to stop Dr. Darkkon from carrying out his evil plot?
Genius Squad introduces a host of other characters, good, bad, and a whole lot falling somewhere in the middle. It turns out that everything Cadel thought he knew about his life isn’t really true. He doesn’t know where he was born or who his father is. On top of this, there’s a dangerous criminal mastermind after him. And so, Cadel finds himself a part of the Genius Squad; a group formed to investigate GenoME, one of Dr. Darkkon’s pet projects. As awesome as the second instalment is, we have to confess; a huge part of why we loved Evil Genius was the intellectual meeting of the minds between Kay-Lee Sonja and Cadel which unfortunately disappears somewhat in Genius Squad. Instead the focus is on Cadel’s struggle with his new found morals and the dubious Genius Squad.
Time passes, and by the time we meet Cadel again in Genius Wars he has abandoned a life full of deception and mistrust. He’s found his niche, he has a proper home, good friends and loving parents. He’s even studying at university. But he’s still not safe from the criminal mastermind of the previous two books who is now a fugitive from justice and determined to smash everything that Cadel has struggled to build. When Cadel’s nearest and dearest are threatened, he must launch an all-out attack on the man he once viewed as his father. Can he track him down before it’s too late? And what rules will he have to break in the process?
Reading bits and pieces of these books again in preparation for this post reminded us how much we love them. Enough to read them all over again! Yes, Cadel is an engrossing protagonist with some incredible people in his life but mostly the awesome factor we raved about earlier comes from Catherine Jinks’s writing style. Some parts are laugh out loud funny and some parts will break your heart but without fail, each 400+ page book will draw you into the amazing world of Cadel Piggot.