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The Genius Wars Hardcover – September 27, 2010

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Editorial Reviews Review

Product Description
Boy-genius Cadel Piggot has a new name (Cadel Greenaius), a new family, and a new life. No more illegal hacking, no more false identities, and most of all, no more Prosper English. But when his best friend Sonja is attacked, it's up to him to figure out who was behind it. Before he knows it, Cadel is crossing oceans and continents, barrelling back into the depths of the criminal activity he thought he'd left behind, and coming face to face with Prosper English once again. Can Cadel track down Prosper before it's too late? And what rules will he have to break in the process?

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Catherine Jinks, Author of The Genius Wars

Dear Amazon Readers,

Well, here it is--the final installment. I'm sorry it's taken so long for The Genius Wars to reach you over there in the U.S., but at last your wait is over!

I've had a lot of messages on my website asking me if this is really the end of the series. My answer continues to be: yes, this really is the last we'll see of Cadel, if only because I've pretty much tied up all the loose ends in his story. At the conclusion of Evil Genius, Cadel was left in a kind of limbo. At the end of Genius Squad, Prosper English was still looming in the background. (It was quite obvious to me that Prosper wasn't going to just vanish into thin air, leaving Cadel to get on with his life.) But now, in The Genius Wars, I've sorted things out between Cadel and Prosper. And since the whole series revolves around their relationship, there's nowhere else for me to go.

Besides, I'm not a computer expert. I'm not a math whiz, either. That's why these books have been incredibly hard to write; if my friend Richard Buckland hadn't helped me, I wouldn't have been able to finish them at all. For those of you who aren't familiar with Richard, he's a bona fide computer expert--and a math whiz, too--and he appears in The Genius Wars under his own name because I felt that he deserved some kind of recognition. (You can view many of his university lectures on YouTube, by the way; his lecture on Turing is particularly fine.)

Of course, if someone offered me a million dollars to write a fourth book, I'd be horribly tempted. How could any author not be? But I'd be dancing with the devil if I did accept an offer like that, knowing full well that trying to write a fourth book would not only half-kill me--it would be downright wrong. In a funny sort of way, it would also be unfair to Cadel. You'll know what I mean, once you read the book.

So happy reading! And thanks for all the positive feedback you've given me over the years. I wouldn't have been able to keep slogging on without it.


(Photo © Peter Dockrill)

From Booklist

Cadel Piggot Greenaius has a new family and hopes for a brighter future, but a series of “accidents” convinces him that Prosper, whom he mistakenly thought was his father, has both discovered the truth of their relationship and thinks the 15-year-old boy might be meddling in his evil schemes. Even with a new police detective stepfather, Cadel knows he is the only person who can take Prosper down, permanently. Cadel’s story, started in Evil Genius (2007) and continued in Genius Squad (2008), careens to a finish in this book, which also includes several characters from previous titles. Jinks is an entertaining writer, which helps ameliorate the thin plotting. Her imaginative use of technology, which may have some readers seeking an idiot’s guide to programming, creates some truly tense moments, and Cadel is Everyman enough for readers to root for in the thick of things. Fans of the trilogy will delight in this concluding volume, and it will also appeal to gadget-crazy boys—and girls—who enjoyed Alex Rider’s adventures. Grades 7-10. --Cindy Welch

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152066195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152066192
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

CATHERINE JINKS was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1963. She grew up in Papua New Guinea and later spent four years studying medieval history at the University of Sydney. After working for several years in a bank, she married a Canadian journalist and lived for a short time in Nova Scotia, Canada. She is now a full-time writer, residing in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales with her husband Peter and their daughter Hannah.Catherine is a three-time winner of the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year award, and has also won a Victorian Premier's Literature Award, the Ena Noel Award for Children's Literature, and an Aurealis Award for Science Fiction. In 2001 she was presented with a Centenary Medal for her contribution to Australian Children's Literature.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Quote on January 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In The Genius Wars, the third book in Catherine Jinks' Evil Genius series, the teenaged computer hacker Cadel Greeniaus continues his technological battle against Prosper English, the criminal mastermind who was until recently was thought to be Cadel's father. While the brilliant Cadel is shuffled from one safe house to another, Prosper's old associates launch attacks on Cadel's friends and family, and Cadel takes a leading role in hunting down Prosper's lackeys.

What frustrated me about Genius Wars was the utter perfection of Cadel's character. Cadel figures out every problem, is literally never wrong, and can hack into any system with ease. Cadel's always-right ideas, often formed in seconds, are always accepted by the sceptical authority figures that Cadel seemingly struggles to convince; he never suffers failure in any department.

While lavishing attention on Cadel's limitless genius, Jinks systematically ignores every other character in the book. The series' ensemble cast of characters, whom previous installments explored and made three-dimensional, receive little to no development in this installment. Several new characters are introduced, but none of them are remotely fleshed out by the end of the book. Even with all this focus on Cadel, the book still ends unresolved for both him and every other character.

Perhaps the only non-Cadel character to receive development in the book is Gazo, an old friend of Cadel's from the sham criminal college he attended in the first book, Evil Genius. In past books, Gazo has had to wear a special suit to regulate his anxiety-driven superpower of releasing a stinking cloud noxious enough to bring on unconsciousness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sheila L. Beaumont VINE VOICE on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this, the third and final book in the saga of Cadel Piggott (now Cadel Greeniaus), the boy genius has at last been able to abandon his life of deception, crime and illegal hacking, imposed on him by his purported father, Prosper English, and has settled down into a much-desired normal life with a kindly police detective, Saul Greeniaus, and his social-worker wife, Fiona. Things are going along just fine, when Cadel's best friend, Sonja, who has cerebral palsy, is attacked, and bad things continue to happen to Cadel and those close to him. Evidently, the malevolent Prosper English is behind all this, and Cadel must track him down.

Like the first two books, this well-written cyber-thriller is packed with suspense, lively characters you can care about, and a complex, intriguing plot that keeps you turning the pages. I was a bit taken aback by the ending, which was not quite what I'd expected. It's not a bad ending, but it left me wanting more. Ms. Jinks, however, tells us that this is the final book about Cadel's adventures. Nonetheless, this is still an exciting, well-crafted trilogy that shouldn't be missed. Be sure to read "Evil Genius" and "Genius Squad" before you start this one!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Emily Martha Sorensen on January 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was surprising disappointing. Here's what I went into it expecting:

1) More character development for Cadel.
2) More character development for Sonja.
3) More character development for Prosper English.
4) An interesting new character or two, or maybe three.
5) A few old characters returning, each receiving a bit more development.
6) (Maybe) The return of Phinneas Darkkon, whose death off-screen in Genius Squad didn't entirely convince me.
7) Lots of cleverness and outwitting (given the title, more than the previous two books, even).
8) Every conflict completely settled by the ending.

Here's what I received:
(and yes, there are spoilers ahead)

1) No character development for Cadel. (Unless you count getting increasingly angsty.)
2) No character development for Sonja. (She doesn't even show *up* after the first few chapters.)
3) No character development for Prosper English. (*He* doesn't even show up till the last few chapters!)
4) One potentially interesting character introduced (Cadel's programming teacher), who is then promptly thrown away.
5) Loads of old characters returning, none with any further character development or resolution.
6) The conclusion to Prosper English is even *less* satisfying, and a great deal more vague, than Phineas Darkkon's had been.
7) Lots of cleverness, but very little actual outwitting -- Evil Genius was by far the best for this.
8) *More* conflicts introduced, plus old ones re-opened (none of which were interesting as re-opened conflicts, as we had already seen them), and then all of them left dangling at the end in an emotional cliffhanger that leaves you going, "Huh? What is this? How is THAT an ENDING?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janice Sims VINE VOICE on December 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have to admit, I like the idea of an intellectually stimulating series about a kid who is a computer genius. What I like best is that the author made Cadel very human. He was manipulated from birth and made to believe he was the son of a criminal mastermind. They tried to turn him into a criminal as well. That was in the first book, Evil Genius. Then after a few revelations Cadel tries to reinvent himself. That was a struggle because he'd in essence been brainwashed. I admired him for fighting back against his indoctrination. Most of all he had to get out from under the thumb of his main brainwasher, Prosper English. By the end of the second book, we're given hope that Prosper, who was a fugitive by the close of Genius Squad, would finally leave poor Cadel alone. However in this book people near and dear to Cadel start getting hurt and he suspects Prosper English is once again targeting him. Thus begins his race against time to stop Prosper English once and for all. Cadel's final fight with his nemesis in the Pacific Ocean was exciting. I enjoyed the entire series, and look forward to the author's future novels.
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