Higher Institute of Villainous Education


Mark Walden

Date Published

May 22 2007 (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) September 4 2006 (Bloomsbury Books)

Followed by

The Overlord Protocol

Higher Institute of Education is the first book in the H.I.V.E. series written by Mark Walden.


Otto Malpense may be only thirteen years old, but so far he has managed to run the orphanage where he lives, and he has come up with a plan clever enough to trick the most powerful man in the country. He is the perfect candidate to become the world's next super-villain.

That's why he ends up at H.I.V.E., handpicked to become a member of the incoming class. Inside a volcano on a secluded island, Otto, along with his elite peers - the most athletic, technologically advanced, and smartest kids in the world - will be enrolled in Villainy Studies and Stealth and Evasion.

But then Otto realizes that he's entered a six-year program; where leaving is not an option. Can Otto achieve what has never been done before and break out of H.I.V.E.


Otto Malpense awakes to find himself in a helicopter, strapped to his seat, and sitting across from a complete stranger. When the helicopter lands, Otto is informed that he will be spending the next six years of his life being schooled at H.I.V.E. — the Higher Institute of Villainous Education. Otto's special skills have marked him out as an Alpha — a leader of tomorrow.

Otto has no intention of staying in this new prison, and befriends others who have been taken to H.I.V.E. against their will, such as Wing Fanchu, Laura Brand, Shelby Trinity, Nigel Darkdoom and Franz Argentblum. Otto teams up with Wing, Laura, and Shelby, and together they hatch a daring escape plan. They travel through hidden parts of the school, but as they nearly reach their freedom, the headmaster, Dr. Nero, reveals that all along they had been going on an impossible mission and sends them back to their rooms feeling sorely defeated.

However, Nigel Darkdoom stirs up some trouble on this night, and an enormous, flesh-eating plant he accidentally bred escapes from the hydroponics lab. The whole H.I.V.E. security team and Raven, along with many students are needed to battle the monster and stop it due to the fact it has become very partial to human blood.

Otto eventually kills it by crushing the nerve clusters at the base of the plant. Otto and Wing are suddenly given a small window of opportunity to leave the school forever. Wing stays because he sees that Nero is wearing the other half of Wing's yin-yang amulet, and wants to know the reason behind this as the other half of the amulet belonged to his mother. Otto decides to stay with his friend knowing that he really has nothing much in the outside world.  


Otto Malpense

Wing Fanchu

Laura Brand

Dr. Nero

Shelby Trinity

Nigel Darkdoom

Franz Argentblum

Cover Gallery

This book has been published with many different covers.

Books in the H.I.V.E series.
Higher Institute of Villainous Education | The Overlord Protocol | Escape Velocity | Dreadnought | Rogue | Zero Hour | Aftershock | Deadlock

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