Books for Teens: The Vindico

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The Vindico
Penguin Canada
age 13-18
Written by Wesley King
320 pages

Synopsis from Penguin Canada:

The Vindico are a group of supervillains who have been fighting the League of Heroes for as long as anyone can remember. Realizing they’re not as young as they used to be, they devise a plan to kidnap a group of teenagers to take over for them when they retire–after all, how hard can it be to teach a bunch of angsty teens to be evil? Held captive in a remote mansion, five teens train with their mentors and receive superpowers beyond their wildest dreams. Struggling to uncover the motives of the Vindico, the teens have to trust each other to plot their escape. But they quickly learn that the differences between good and evil are not as black and white as they seem, and they are left wondering whose side they should be fighting on after all . . .

Sometimes I think villains get a bad rap. Perhaps it’s my inner Libra, seeing both sides of a scenario, even that of a super villian. Or maybe it’s my love of the opposite (and why I loved introducing my kids to the Series of Unfortunate Events when they were small)? The Vindico is the story of five teens who are kidnapped to be trained as super villain protégés. The first thought as a reader is the same as the teens, that villains are evil and no one would join their cause willingly.

But we discover, just as the teens do, that your environment may skew your perception of what’s good. Life isn’t so black and white and the lines between what’s right and wrong can be a little blurred. The teens develop a connection with their mentors, filling a hole within their own lives, but ultimately ‘good’ will prevail. Along with the addition of super powers, teens with flaws, and a little romance tossed in here and there, The Vindico kept my son reading right to the end, though I think he would have loved more battles and fight scenes. I liked that the story wasn’t wrapped up nice and neat leaving an opportunity for the conflict between hero and villain to continue.

The story behind The Vindico was really appealing, shining a different perspective on heroes versus villians and it started out along that vein. I only wish it continued to the end, that the protégé didn’t just flip to an expected outcome. Even though the ending was a little disappointing, The Vindico did keep us reading and it did raise some great discussions at home about good versus evil or rather a combination of both.

You can find a copy of The Vindico by visiting your local bookstore or Penguin Canada. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations.

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