The Vindico

Author: Wesley King
Reading Range: 5.1 (AR Finder)
Interest Range: 6 and up (AR Finder)
Plot: In this world, superheroes are real. Five teens are kidnapped by a team of super-villains called the Vindico. The Vindico want to create the next generation of super-villains because they want the teen to take over of them when they retire or are killed. The villains each have a personal vendetta against the League of Heroes (or the League) and wants to destroy them. They picked each teen because they have certain skills they believe are useful or their personality fits a certain type. Each of the five teens is parted with a villains who teaches them what they need to know to be a villain. They start to discover things about their lives that rock them to their core. They also discover that the League of Heroes is not as heroic as they thought it was. In some ways, they are just as bad as the Vindico. Each of the teens start to embrace being a villain until they have their first fight against the League of Heroes. They discover how real and awful the fighting between the two groups can be.
Review: I have a soft spot for superhero stories especially ones that play with the expectations. This book would be good for people who like to read stories about superheroes and super-villains. An issue with the book is keeping track of all of the characters. There are so many characters in this book. There are the Vindico, the teens and their families, and the League of Heroes. Two of the characters have close names in the book: Lana and Leni. Lana is one of the teens and is girl while Leni is one of the villains and is male. This book does not downplay the fact that the Vindico has killed members of the League of Heroes. In fact, one of the trainees kills a character during one of the fights. The trainee does react with horror over what she did. For that reason, I would recommend this book for older tweens.
Additional Info:
Main Characters:
James-James is getting over the fact his girlfriend cheated on him. He admires the League of Heroes wanting to be one of them. He is paired with the Torturer.
Lana-Lana is tough and able to take care of herself. She is paired with Avaria.
Hayden-Hayden does not live with his parents. He has the power to move things with his mind. He is paired with Leni.
Emily-Emily is a hacker and technology genius. She is paired with Rono.
Sam-Sam is the youngest member. He discovers he has the power to read people’s thoughts. He is paired with Sliver.
Baron-The Baron is the leader of the Vindico. He was once a member of the League before he was kicked out for wanting to give others powers.
Torturer-The Torturer was given his powers by using a formula. For that reason, he was barred from joining the League. He joined the Vindico instead.
Sliver-Sliver is able to read and manipulate minds. He is a double agent betraying the Vindico to the League.
Rono-Rono is a technology genius. The League took his technology but refused to allow him to join.
Avaria-Avaria’s husband was a member of the League. He was killed after giving her powers. She sworn revenge against them for his death.
Leni-Leni was a member of the League until he was kicked out.

Theme:  Chaos and order, Facing darkness, Good versus evil, Illusion of power, Loss of innocence

Bibliographic Info:

King, W. (2012). The Vindico. New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Tagline:  Lie. Cheat. Save the World.