Saturday, March 2, 2013

Same Book, Second Look - The Vindico by Wesley King

Published: June 14th, 2012
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 272
Copy Provided By: Library
Summary: GoodReads
The Vindico are a group of supervillains who have been fighting the League of Heroes for as long as anyone can remember. Realizing they’re not as young as they used to be, they devise a plan to kidnap a group of teenagers to take over for them when they retire—after all, how hard can it be to teach a bunch of angsty teens to be evil?
Held captive in a remote mansion, five teens train with their mentors and receive superpowers beyond their wildest dreams. Struggling to uncover the motives of the Vindico, the teens have to trust each other to plot their escape. But they quickly learn that the differences between good and evil are not as black and white as they seem, and they are left wondering whose side they should be fighting on after all . . .
Ahhh! Superheroes! Not a dystopian landscape insight! I have to say I adored The Vindico – I was very pleased to see it up for a Red Maple award this year, along beside heavyweights like Eric Walters and Kenneth Oppel. Even more excited when I learned that author is a) kinda cute (personal opinion, but I am shameless about author/character crushes) and b) lives about 20 minutes from me and is the same age! We are friends 3 times removed (I have a friend, who has a friend, who is his friend...I think). This doesn’t make me overly biased – I learned all of this well after I devoured the book in a day.

The cast of characters is fantastic, and it has hints of Disney’s The Incredibles, set in a world comfortable with superheroes in their midst (although they’re fading into the background). It’s got a bit of violence to it (I mean what’s a superheroes vs. supervillains book without a little POW! and BAM!?), but is appropriate for everyone from older juniors to teens and adults of all ages.

Five teens are kidnapped and set up with supervillain mentors, which could sound almost like a dream come true. But it’s tough when you’re with the bad guys...or are they the bad guys? The kids find themselves surprised to be connecting with their mentors, all the while trying to uncover the plot they have in store for not only the teens, but the city and its superheroes. So who are the bad guys? Who are the good guys? They learn that the lines aren’t so clearly drawn, and instead take matters into their own hands.

The only “flaw” I could find with a refreshing, witty and well-written book? You can’t have a group of teenagers get kidnapped to be supervillain apprentices without a good discussion (if not a full chapter) about them choosing their would-be superhero/villain names! We get some costumes (although these are assigned by the mentors), but none of the kids says “When I get my powers, I’m totally going to make everyone call me _______! [insert humours superhero name here]”. And I don’t think there’s any human, especially one in the 12-18 year-old age range that wouldn’t begin drafting up superhero names almost immediately. I know I would. The Vindico looks like it’s going to be a series, so I’ve got high hopes Mr. King addresses the superhero naming in book two – which is highly anticipated on my end!

Don't forget that we have a giveaway going on for a copy of Jennifer Lynn Barne's Nobody & Every Other Day. ENTER HERE NOW.

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