Allen & Unwin, 2005
Book One in the ‘Genius’ series
At seven, Cadel Piggott was hacking into computer networks. At eight, he was orchestrating traffic jams. At twelve, he was sabotaging construction sites. Now, at fourteen, he’s studying for his World Domination degree. The trouble is, he’s finding it hard to live up to his father’s expectations. For more information, visit the Axis Institute website.
Winner of the 2006 Davitt Award for Crime Fiction (Young Adult).
This title is also available in the United States (Harcourt), Germany (Droemer Knaur), France (Éditions du Masque), and Thailand (Bluebell Books).
‘There’s a moral here but Evil Genius doesn’t lay it on thick. It stands out from the pack of young adult novels and there’s a real drama and tension as Cadel twists and turns like an animal in a trap.’
The Weekend Herald (NZ)
‘Jinks has created an intricate, well-constructed and layered reality in this hefty novel, and as the complex deceptions that have shaped Cadel’s life come to light, his emotional unraveling and awakening will likely engross readers.’
‘Really smart and clever. ‘
‘Catherine Jinks has written several other books . . . However in my opinion Evil Genius is the best ever.’
‘Catherine Jinks is a brilliant builder of narrative firewalls, and just as you think you have it all figured out, you don’t. To match the dynamic intricacy of the plot, Cadel’s character develops from that of a put-upon child to a morally searching adolescent.’
‘Jinks has done a good job putting into words a complex plot that kids will understand. Evil Genius is a rousing summer read and a distraction for any genius who fancies altering traffic light patterns and learning the Pentagon’s secrets. ‘
‘Catherine Jinks pulls out all the stops in Evil Genius, making Cadel not just smart, but brilliant, devious, loyal, inventive, creative, focused, and oddly good at cross-dressing.’
The Georgia Strait
‘This hefty but engrossingly complex tale features a young super-brain being groomed for world domination . . . Cadel rides right up there with Artemis Fowl as a sympathetic anti-villain.’
‘Imagine Harry Potter’s Hogwarts in reverse . . . this book will appeal to younger teens who can see the possibilities for adventure through the eyes of the bad guys. Although Cadel himself will in the end deny evil, he learns that no one remains untouched by it.’
Voice of Youth Advocate
‘Evil Genius will be another crossover title with a broad potential audience, appealing as much to adults as to teens with a taste for the dark side. It is long, at almost 500 pages, but the short, snappy chapters make it easy to get through.’
Children’s Bookseller and Publisher
‘Like Cadel this is a clever book . . . [with] brilliant moments and thrilling episodes . . .’
‘With elements of and parallels to Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter and Lemony Snickett, and a plot that twists and turns, it would be easy to see Evil Genius as another book in the ‘me too’ vein, but CBC award winner Jinks is far too good a writer to fall into this trap. This will appeal to adults and teenagers alike.’
The Manly Daily