Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wistful YA~THE KING OF BAD by Kai Strand

Wistful YA is my reoccurring spotlight, giving young adult literature center stage.

Today, I have what I'd call urban fantasy meets super bad adventure by Kai Strand.

KING OF BAD ~ Super Villian Academy Book I by Kai Strand
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Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Release Date: July 1, 2013
Pages: 217 
Formats: Paperback; eBook

I'd like to thank the author for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. 

Favorite Line/Passage: The room was suddenly dipped in pitch. A darkness so complete that all movement ceased, all noise was swallowed. All feelings, all senses were snuffed out. A penetrating cold ushered in a great despair. For a long moment all was wrong and finished with the world. The world ended. Killed by villainy. (page 213)

Description: Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?

NIGHTSTAND WORTHY!

My Splats: the angst of teenage rebel-dom sparked with the underlining thread of doing good.

Jeff is quite the dare devil. He likes the thrill of a good chase and the thought of getting caught, while doing something he shouldn't. Repeat: the thought of getting caught. It's mental adrenalin to his already overactive brain and physicality. He feeds on that high. And there's a reason.

It isn't far into the story that Jeff discovers he's different. That fact that he can start fires with his hands was definitely a clue, but it all seemed too far fetched. Soon, he learns that he's not alone, either. There are other teens like him. Kids with real unique talents. And the strangest thing of all is that they all attend SV Academy. SV meaning Super Villian. Yeah. That's the reason Jeff has a predisposition to being a rebel. It's in his genes. 

I honestly wasn't sure I was going to like this premise. At first, I thought it was unique, but had no idea how the author would pull it off. What teen wants to read a book about how bad all teens are? (I mention this here, because I'm sure that same thought has crossed a few of your minds as you read my words.) Trust me. This story was well worth the read, and the author pulls the 'bad' aspect off with balance, structure, and - believe it or not - goodness. 

The super powers Strand uses to create her characters' world are altered slightly from the norm, giving freshness. As these students engage within this school training facility for teen villians, their inner growth becomes as apparent as their outer changes. There's mystery in characters who aren't what they seem; then again, sometimes they are.

As complications weave the story towards it's climax - which, yes, has to do with dangerous bad-guy villiany stuff - Jeff discovers another power he possesses with the help of a few SV friends he's made. Only thing is SV's don't believe in true friendships. Remember, they're all villians. Or are they? 

Read any good villians, lately? Who's your favorite villian? 

 photo Sheri2.png

25 comments:

  1. Hard to pull off a story about kids that are bad, but this sounds good. Thanks for reviewing it.

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    1. That is exactly what I thought before I started reading. Kai really did a great job.

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  2. That does sound interesting. And you're right about pulling off the "bad-guy" image in a book. It will be a good read.

    My favorite bad guy this week is Moriarty from the BBC's Sherlock. ;)

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    1. *sighs* Why do we all love a bad-boy? LOL

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  3. Yeah, the premise kind of put me off too, but it sounds intriguing. Kind of like Artemis Fowl wanting to be an evil mastermind. :D

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  4. Thank you, Sheri, for your time and attention on my book!

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  5. Great review Sheri! I totally agree with you. Kai did a great job pulling off the 'bad' aspects of the story. This was a great read, and something I think a lot of guys would like.

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  6. Awesome! I can't wait to read this one, and after getting to know Kai a little bit, I'm totally stoked to dive in.

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    1. Wait. Get to know Kai better? Did you meet? Like in person, or are we talking cyberly? LOL Inquiring minds want to know. And was there cheese?

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  7. That's an awesome cover and I've been seeing Kai around. I'll have to give it a try.

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  8. I'm definitely intrigued by the concept. :-)

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  9. Great review. It sounds like a fun review, and reminds me a bit of a favorite series of my daughters' called H.I.V.E. - Higher Institute of Villainous Education - another bad boy goes to villain school kind of story in which you find out that there are villains, and then there are bad villains. The "good" villains keep the bad villains in check. It's an interesting premise.

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    Replies
    1. Oh wow! I've heard of H.I.V.E. and always have wondered what it was about. Sweet! I'll definitely have to check it out now. Thanks!

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  10. I like this idea of the spotlight on the bad guys, rather than the good guys. I'm sure it makes for a very interesting story! =)

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    1. I agree. It definitely was different. And Kai did a great job with the whole good villian/bad villian premise.

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  11. Interesting premise - I love when someone puts a new spin on a tired tale :)

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  12. Great cover, and King of Bad is such a bad@ss name, love it!

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  13. Such a cool premise! Love the idea of a school for supervillains, since they're the most fun. :)

    Thanks for the review!

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    1. Yeah, and why is that? I tend to like the villains best, too. Hmmm...

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  14. This does sound unique. And I think a lot of teen readers will identify with this aspect. Teens feel like freaks a lot of the time anyway.
    I always love intriguing villains!!

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    1. Teens often feel like freaks... You mean that feeling should have stopped by now? LOL

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  15. What an awesome story line. It has me curious. Yay for Kai. She's so prolific.

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  16. I haven't heard of this one before and it does sound different. I am glad it was worth the read and I am curious to know more about his superpowers and what happens in the end. Thanks for sharing!
    Jesss

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    Replies
    1. You just made a great point. It was worth my time to read. I think as readers we forget about that sometime.

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