Dreadnought (Hive) by Mark Walden

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Dreadnought (Hive) by Mark Walden

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: An enjoyable teen thriller continuing the series of villains in training. The pace is relentless, the gadgets flashy, and the action is exciting - think of it as an action film in book form.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: August 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 978-0747594840

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Life goes on at H. I. V. E. (the Higher Institute of Villainous Education), with the pupils heading off to the 93%er - an Arctic training exercise where only 93% of students survive. Things are going less smoothly at the parent organisation, G. L. O. V. E. (the Global League of Villainous Enterprises): Jason Drake has broken away and is planning to overthrow his former colleagues, installing himself as the new head. Why oh why can't villains play nicely with one another?

Fans of the previous three books in the series, including Escape Velocity, will lap up Dreadnought. Everything is as it was before: gadgets by the bucketload, thrills, spills, adventure, goodies (well, villains we're rooting for), baddies, fighting and gallons of plot. Teens looking for an action film in book form will be in seventh heaven.

Otto and the cast of villains-to-be are joined by a new girl, Lucy. This addition keeps the series fresh, whilst still allowing the existing characters to continue their development. There's a natural progression to the overall story, rather than rewriting everything, or simply rehashing old ground. It's both satisfying and familiar in equal measure. Mark Walden's writing style is exciting and keeps the pages turning at a rapid pace. There's plenty of gadgety lingo, but it adds to the atmosphere, is accessible and won't leave any readers floundering.

Look at Dreadnought as a trashy, thrilling, action romp and you won't be disappointed. It's far from the best book ever, but its audience don't expect it to be. It's largely a book to read, enjoy and forget - whilst that's hardly glowing praise, it's not quite the criticism it sounds like. If a tale of villains in training doing battle with even more villainous baddies piques your interest, then you'll have a whale of a time.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

If thrillers are your thing, then you'll love Tim Bowler's Blade series - Fighting Back is the latest instalment. Linda Buckley-Archer's Gideon series is also thrilling, but with the twist of time-travellers in the 18th century - Time Quake is the latest instalment. And if it's just straight up gadgets and action you want, then look no further than Jimmy Coates: Revenge by Joe Craig.

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Buy Dreadnought (Hive) by Mark Walden at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dreadnought (Hive) by Mark Walden at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Dreadnought (Hive) by Mark Walden at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dreadnought (Hive) by Mark Walden at Amazon.com.


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