Lots of Evil, Not Enough Editing…


Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks

Finally I went to the library last week, and managed to express some self control when choosing books. Instead of my usual dozen, I only checked out five (that’s a new record for me). For some reason, most (if not all) of the good sci-fi and fantasy books come from the teen section. Lots of people who don’t know me say I still look (and sometimes talk) like a teen, so perhaps that’s why no one bats an eyelash when I’m circling the teen shelves like a hawk.

Anyway, one of the books I got this time was Catherine Jinks’ novel, Evil Genius. The main character was the evil boy genius, Cadel, and his twisted spiral into becoming a true villain — a tragic hero.

Trudging through chapter after chapter, I waited for the book to pick up momentum. Sure there were some interesting twists and gory yet creative deaths along the way, but overall the book reminded me of prose that needed an editor. The story was terribly inflated with too many subplots and while it builds on the larger concept of what makes someone evil, it never achieves of showing “evil” as anything more than self-inflicted by poor choices. The entire book presents itself as people always choosing to cheat, lie or steal and based on that they can easily be manipulated.

Boiling down all human motivation to “people have no self control” is absolutely ridiculous. This book was pretty much a waste of time to read and felt like something I could have easily read on FictionPress or some other free writing site.

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