H.I.V.E. Dreadnought is an out-and-out schoolboys’ adventure story, though some girls may like it too. The fourth book in theH.I.V.E. (it is the acronym for Higher Institute of Villainous Education) series is even more exciting than its predecessors.

Robert Muchamore (of the Cherub series) and Anthony Horowitz (of the Alex Rider and Power of Five series) beware. There is competition here.

H.I.V.E. is an institute that trains young law-breakers such as pickpockets, chain snatchers and other thieves for more “illustrious" things. What qualifies someone to be a student is the degree of craftiness and valour that the would-be signee displays.

H.I.V.E., the institute, is hidden on a tropical volcanic island that is more or less inaccessible. The academy members are trained for daring jobs. This time, it is the turn of Otto Malpense, Wing Fanchu and their friends to wing off to the Arctic for a session—led by their headmaster, Dr Nero, and his henchwoman, Raven, who is the ruthless monitor of the class.

H.I.V.E. Dreadnought: By Mark Walden, Penguin, 298 pages, Rs499.
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