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H.I.V.E Series - Radiah Khan
The book I read was by Mark Walden and it was called H.I.V.E The Overlord Protocol. This was the second book in a series. It was about a boy called Otto and his friends: Laura, Wing and Shelby. They are in an institute for villains called H.I.V.E: Higher Institute of Villainous Education which is deserted from the outside world. Otto had recently tried to escape from H.I.V.E because he thought he was being imprisoned by Nero (the headmaster). During his time in the school he became best friends with Wing and close friends with two girls called Laura and Shelby. In fact, Wing’s friendship became so important to him, that he left possibly his only chance to leave the school because Wing had not wanted to leave. The book starts with a shock: Otto appears to be skydiving to reach the man who had murdered Wing. Then it gives us a flashback of what had happened two weeks before. Things were going normally when suddenly, Wing is informed by Nero that his father (Mao Fanchu) has died. Wing does not appear to be at all shaken by this news, this even surprises Nero. Nero has a flashback which tells us about the amulet that he always wears (he is unaware that Wing has the other half of it). It was given to him by a woman called Xiu Mei who had created an online computer called the Overlord. This had gone horribly wrong: the computer had killed everyone in the lab except Nero who was saved by Number One (the leader of G.L.O.V.E: a group of elite villains). Nero then lets Wing leave to attend the funeral with Otto but, they have to come straight back. He makes sure of this by making Raven (a highly trained and professional fighter) their chaperone to a safe house in Tokyo. Events do not turn out as expected when Laura cracks a secret encrypted message informing them that Wing and Otto may be in danger. However, she is too late. The safe house is attacked by a man called Cypher and his assassins. Cypher had previously ambushed Nero after a meeting with Number One. Raven tries her best to protect both Otto and Wing but the assassins are like super humans and are not defeated by her easily. Wing is shot and killed trying to fight back and taken by Cypher. When they have left, the assassins detonate causing an explosion that nearly kills Otto and Raven. Raven promises Otto she will avenge Wing’s death and calls Nero who is relieved that they are alive and sends for someone to pick them up. On the way back, Otto finds that the only way to Cypher is to skydive to a hole underground and then deploy a parachute. Otto wants to go to but Raven insists he go back to H.I.V.E where he will be safe. However, they are ambushed by their pilot and the helicopter is rigged to explode so Otto ends up skydiving with Raven. What he discovers there is that the assassins they had been fighting were not human at all! They were androids that Cypher had made millions of. Otto decides to set the whole factory to explode so the production could stop. He finds Raven and leaves only to find that Laura and Shelby have been kidnapped by a school teacher called the Contessa with an uncanny ability to force people to do her command. The Contessa has disabled all the main security forces for H.I.V.E and left in a huge warship that can be invisible. She tries to kidnap Nero but he escapes. She tells him that Cypher has promised her a whole continent for her co operation and that everyone had their price. Whilst being held hostage, Shelby and Laura discover that Wing had not died. They escape and Laura sinks the ship. Otto tries to put the security forces back online but the only way to do that would be to reboot H.I.V.E Mind: a computer who is the only one who could break the code stopping them from accessing the main security forces. He then displays his special ability by rebooting H.I.V.E Mind (a process that should have taken a few hours at least) in four and a half minutes. But, he is too late and Cypher comes in with Nero as his captive. He demands the amulet from Raven who Nero had given it to for safe keeping. Cypher already has the other half from Wing and he plans on using it to unleash the Overlord. Raven reluctantly hands it over and he is about to connect them when he is defeated by Wing. Cypher turns out to be Wing’s father (Mao Fanchu). Meanwhile, H.I.V.E Mind comes back online and threatens to destroy Cypher who then backs down when he discovers his ship has been destroyed. Otto is shocked at first that Wing is alive and is overjoyed. Later, Nero goes to visit Mao Fanchu and tells the medical chief that no one should know that Mao Fanchu is still alive. Mao then tells Nero why he became Cypher. Nero had recognised him to be the co-creator of the Overlord: Wu Zhang and thought that he had died along with everyone else in the lab when Overlord went out of control. Wu says that he and Xiu Mei escaped from the lab and became Mr and Mrs Fanchu so they would not be found. They only fell in love after their marriage and had Wing. He claims that everything he did was to protect Wing because Wing was the only memory he had of Xiu Mei. Xiu Mei had become a researcher when they went into hiding and was asked to research a new code. She found out that it was the same code as the Overlord and that someone wanted to re- awaken him. Before she could say anything she was killed and Wu believed that Nero was her murderer as he had the other half of the amulet. Nero tells him that it was posted to him from Xiu Mei and he had protected it ever since. Wu then explains that Number One was the one planning to unleash the Overlord again. He had thought that Nero was involved, hence his actions to take over H.I.V.E. Nero lies to Number One and tells him that Cypher is dead. At the end of the book we see the Contessa with Number One who says that she is too useful to be killed implying that he intends to use her in some way. I really enjoyed this book because it had everything: action, humour, mystery and even some romance. Also, I love the way the author structured the book with a flashback. It really got me excited and I would give it 10/10. Mark Walden has really got me hooked on the series and I am eagerly waiting to read the next book!
Posted on: 18 Jan 2016