Allen & Unwin, 2008
Book One in the ‘Genius’ series
Cadel Piggott’s been having a hard time since he chose to be good rather than evil. He doesn’t know where he was born. He doesn’t know who his father is. And he’s under constant threat from Prosper English – the criminal mastermind he helped to put in gaol. Will Genius Squad be the answer to all Cadel’s prayers? Or is he right to question their motives? Deciding what’s good and what’s bad is more difficult than he could ever have imagined …
You can view the U.S. trailer for Genius Squad on YouTube.
Winner of the 2009 Davitt Award for Crime Fiction (Young Adult).
This title is also available in the United States (Harcourt), Germany (Droemer Knaur) and France (Éditions du Masque).
‘This well-written book is emotionally deeper than one might expect, and it encourages readers to deal with important questions about loyalty, trust, and alienation. The author’s fans will be pleased with what they find.’
Voice of Youth Advocate
‘This follow-up to last year’s Evil Genius … is as tough to put down as the original.’
The Miami Herald
‘… A captivating, keyed-up cat-and-mouse game … Jinks writes hacker lingo accessible to non-techies, imparting the edgy thrill of computer espionage. This energetic, cohesive intallment in the series roars to a finish, then circles back to establish Cadel’s next great challenge – the battle to bring Prosper English to justice …’
The Horn Book
‘Genius Squad is very, very clever … The story abounds with believable characters richly fleshed out with human foibles. There aren’t too many clichéd characters walking around the pages of this book … This is a rare book in modern publishing – one that is squarely aimed at a market often neglected – intelligent, literate, IT savvy young people who crave the same excitement from the printed word as they do from the power of the pixel. Genius Squad shines as a beacon of quality writing, imagination and … cleverness.’
‘Those who have read and relished Evil Genius … will be captivated by the new twists in the life of Cadel Piggott, a brilliant fifteen-year-old, Sydney-based hacker who now uses his abilities for good rather than evil. The genre straddles realism and sci-fi thriller masterfully … But this novel is more than simply an adventure with details to satisfy even the most obsessed computer geek. It’s a morality tale, redolent of Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series where the protagonist meets someone who becomes his conscience and his potential is directed towards benefiting humanity rather than being self-serving and destructive … The tension is maintained throughout, with several narrative peaks. These become increasingly heart-thumping by way of the underlying security as to whom Cadel can trust … Genius Squad has so many commendable features with tremendous scope for “big picture” discussion and thought.’
‘Readers who loved Evil Genius will find this sequel as gripping, devilish and wonderfully dark as its predecessor. What made that first book so good was the author’s delivery of a complex, layered protagonist in the young Cadel Piggot and the world of criminal masterminds in which he lives and learns, a world he eventually destroys. From these ashes rises another imaginative and just slightly less villainous cast of characters, the Genius Squad of the title, to tempt Cadel’s vulnerable conscience … Jinks stays busy, gradually setting up her audience for a stunning climax.’
Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
‘Cadel makes an uncommonly memorable protagonist … the author’s ability to craft vivid characters and engrossing action scenes continues unabated.’
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
‘Cadel is a well-rounded character whose struggles to do the right thing ring true. His formidable intellect is well portrayed, but is now paired with a strong sense of justice and compassion. The secondary characters are engaging, and Prosper English is a superbly hissable villain. Genius Squad is a suspenseful, twist-laden adventure for secondary readers who enjoy computer hacking, espionage, and unravelling evil schemes.’
Bookseller and Publisher Magazine
‘This continues the intricate plotting begun in Evil Genius … Riveting reading.’