©2006 Mark Walden; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Perfect listening for 10+ kids....the adventures of Otto Malpense - having been kidnapped and taken to HIVE, to be groomed as a world leader in villainy, kept us thoroughly entertained. I'm 43, my son is 12 and my daughter 10 but the differences in our ages didn't stop us all enjoying this book. Am definately downloading the next.
My boys are 7 and a half and 5, so I knew I was pushing it a bit getting this story.
My 5 yr old is well used to listening to "older" stories but this is probably a bit beyond him. He is however loving the idea of a school for BAD people with BAD teachers, and is getting quite a lot of the humour.
My 7 yr old is utterly gripped. When my IPOD crashed halfway through, he insisted on going back to the beginning again (we were 4 hrs through!) and constantly gripes about "getting the story on" the second we get in the car.
It is worth noting that there is mild swearing, although the words were not over emphasised or too aggressive. Annoyingly, my son has copied them. Sigh. There is also violence and peril, but entirely in context. It is, after all, a school for bad people with bad teachers.
I listen to audiobooks in the car, it's what I signed up to Audible for, and I've been missing them when I'm driving about with my son in the passenger seat as well.
I bought this one with some trepidation - I actually bought my son the book some time ago and he didn't really get into it, and while I'd heard good things, I worried that maybe he wouldn't get into the audiobook either.
I needn't have worried - the story is excellent, although it's clearly borrowing the basic scenario (special child is surprised into going to secret boarding school for special people) from the Harry Potter books, it's very well executed and quite honestly I've preferred this so far. This could be down to the well-timed humour of Mark Walden's prose, or the great performance by Jack Davenport, whose German accent has me giggling every time, but either way, it's thoroughly enjoyable and means that telling my son we are actually nearly there causes much consternation...
My children aged 9&10 loved listening to this exciting story - it kept them rivetted all the way to Devon and back!
Good narration, excellent story.
I bought this book to listen to in the car while driving my kids to school every day. They enjoyed it moderately, I not so much. It felt rather juvenile.
Its easy to lissen and intresting.
yeah, i will defenetly lissen or read othere books of this series.
Its all the time intresting, you dont get bored.
I canna give her any-more cap'n, she'll blow!
The story starts with an 'apparent kidnapping' and transport of the main characters to a Hi-Tech secret school where evey 'pupil' has shown some criminal skill or apptitude that qualifies them to be there, although a few are following family tradition, and once enrolled no-one leaves until they graduate...
This story runs through making new friends (and enemies) a daring escape leading to an almost catastrophic event affecting the whole school, and in the back ground sets up a plot that will run through the series of sequel books.
The main characters are like-able and Jack Davenport's reading/performance is brilliant.
I like to learn interesting stuff on midnight runs. And I need absorbing children's audio to stay sane on long car journeys.
My 3 children (boys of 10 and 7, and a girl of 9) loved this, (and I must admit I did to). It kept the peace and sanity inside our car for the 5-hour drive to Cornwall. We have just finished #2 in the series and #3 is lined up for next week. Has elements of very mild violence, no sex, no swearing.
Short, but perfectly paced and perfectly narrated by Jack Davenport, HIVE is easy to listen to, and ticks all the supervillain cliches without itself becoming cliche. I plan to listen to more books in the series.
I bought this in order to try to persuade my reluctant-reader son to read more. It worked! We all loved listening to it and once he was hooked on the characters he wolfed down the rest of the series in book form. He then, of course, insisted on downloading all of the others anyway!
"A great first Audiobook; I can't wait for the next"
This is an entertaining and fast paced story. It takes a few minutes to really get going but it is worth the wait with a lighthearted romp through everything you would expect from a school for budding evil geniuses.
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