This one took me a while to get into because right out the gate, the writing did not impress me. I had suspected this would be a young adult novel, but the characters and writing would make the age range 10-14 year olds. Now, just because a book is catered towards a younger, does not mean that the writing has to be dumbed down. Yes, the jargon must be tamed, but trusting the readers to interpret a story should not change. A 10-year-old can understand that "he smiled" can infer that the character is happy. However, writing, " he said happily," is an insult to one's intelligence. Let's just get on with it:
Gifted children attend a school where they are taught to control their powers so they may fight a great evil. This description can be used to describe many YA novels. The Vindico slaps on the twist that the children are being trained to be villains, but the only crime they seem to commit is not giving the reader enough credit. This book enlisted lazy adverbs to do most of the emotional work, and employed tons of dialogue for the exposition. The five protagonists are all giving one-dimensional personalities, and the side characters were difficult to distinguish from one another.
Redeeming factors are hard pressed to find. If anything, the climax was a fast paced mix of twists and turns. King did a better job at juggling a double digit amount of characters in one scene than I would have expected. Overall, much like the villains in this story, the negatives outweigh the positives.
If I had a shelf dedicated to books I did not want to reread, this would get a spot.