Reviews for Villain School: Good Curses Evil

Booklist Reviews 2011 October #2
Master Dreadthorn's School for Wayward Villains is an academy for the spooky, magical, and weird. A bit of a reverse juvenile hall, it's a reform school for rebellious young villains, sons and daughters of the vilest of scoundrels, such as Dracula and the Big Bad Wolf, who have strayed from their wicked ways and gone good. To prove their mettle, Master Dreadthorn's daughter, Rune, and his classmates must pull off a major plot against humans to show they're on the fast track back to villainy. But when conscience gets in the way, Rune and his classmates have to choose between pleasing their evil parents and schoolmaster, protecting their human victims from harm, and showing up their rivals at Mistress Morgana's School for Exemplary Villains. At times a bit confusing, with dialogue that borders on the contrived, this will, nonetheless, find fans in the Harry Potter crowd, and its references to other, obscurer villains may pique future reading interest for certain genre classics. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Booklist Reviews 2012 October #1
Good and evil are turned on their heads in this second volume of the Villain School series. Master Dreadthorn's School for Wayward Villains is dedicated to helping young evildoers like Big Bad Wolf, Jr. and Jezebel Dracula hone their most maleficent powers. Yet, when a new student is suspected of being a spy for the rival Dr. Do-Good's School for Superior Superheroes, the students at Dreadthorn must band together and decide what is truly the right thing to do. The Villain School series describes a magical and spooky world in which right and wrong are not so easily discernible. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
When villains have children who are disappointingly good, they send their tots to Master Dreadthorn's School for Wayward Villains. Here, Wolf Junior (as in Big Bad), Countess Jezebel Dracula, and Rune (the master's son) must carry out a plot against unsuspecting humans in order to prevent expulsion. The story is creative, irreverent, and action-packed.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
When Master Dreadthorn's School for Wayward Villains is infiltrated by--horrors!--a hero, Rune and his half-villain "allies" investigate by posing as heroes themselves. A mysterious prophecy and shocking family secrets stir things up even more for Rune. This second Villain School book has the deadpan humor and action of its predecessor, as well as an entertaining good-versus-not-so-evil theme.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 June #2

Some people just make terrible villains.

Take young spellcaster Rune, for example, stuck in Master Dreadthorn's School For Wayward Villains because he just doesn't have the knack for real evil (and also because the principal is his father). Possible redemption—with a chance to be promoted from Rogue to Fiend—comes along in the form of an assigned Plot. But despite recruiting a Henchman, kidnapping a princess and fomenting rebellion in a kingdom of his choice, Rune keeps looking like a Hero despite his best efforts. Sanders endows her surly narrator with a colorful cast of allies, such as overachieving vampire classmate Jezebel Dracula ("Mistress Smartyfangs," as Rune calls her), and rivals led by a seemingly innocuous roommate who bakes cookies that scream fetchingly when chewed. Other characters include Muma Padurii, owner of a certain very enticing gingerbread house deep in spooky Forgotten Forest. Characters in place, the author lays out a quest that looks more like a stumbling rush of happy coincidences and culminates in both a startlingly successful Plot and a whirl of revelations about Rune's father and family.

Amusing fare for readers who aren't quite up to more sophisticated halfhearted antiheroes like Artemis Fowl or Catherine Jinks' "Evil Genius" Cadel. (Light fantasy. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #1
Master Dreadthorn's School for Wayward Villains again (Good Curses Evil, 2011) lives up to the "Wayward" as some of its more challenged students keep rescuing captives and saving the day. Never the brightest of bulbs, headmaster's son Rune Drexler fails to notice a series of broad clues--from leading questions to a glimpse of red undies over bright blue tights--that his new roommate, "Dodge VonDoe," is really a spy from Doctor Do-Good's School for Superior Superheroes. Until, that is, his father and a certain crystal ball disappear and the school is taken over by the genuinely villainous Mistress Morgana. As it turns out, VonDoe (or to use his real name Deven Do-Good) is both working for Morgana and plotting to boot out his own superhero father. Deven is also a thoroughgoing bully on his own turf, which leads to his ultimate downfall. Sanders throws family revelations, secret passages, reconciliations, villain humor ("Ugh, monologues. It was hard to believe Morgana had become such a powerful villainess when she was always blabbing her plans to everyone") and even a horrifying (to some) prophecy about villains becoming heroes into the mix, and dishes out just deserts to all. An airy school story beneath a veneer of fantasy, low both on violence and actual villainy. (Light fantasy. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 September

Gr 3-6--Where do scoundrels and monsters send their children who aren't quite nefarious enough? Why, to Master Dreadthorn's School for Wayward Villains, of course. Among the students: Countess Jezebel Dracula, who prefers hot cocoa to blood. The son of the Big Bad Wolf has been there since he tried to save a drowning child. However, none of the students have it as tough as the son of the headmaster, who feels that he will never be bad enough to please his dad. In a final effort to inspire Rune to the proper depths of lowness, Master Dreadthorn assigns him a Plot: within a week, the boy must kidnap a princess, steal a baby, find a henchman, and overthrow a kingdom. If he succeeds, he graduates from Rogue to Fiend. If he fails, he is exiled forever. Complicating matters is the fact that Mistress Morgana's School for Exemplary Villains will be working to complete their own Plot, aided by Rune's half brother Chad. Stirring up some sibling rivalry, the Dreadmaster has challenged both of his sons to keep the other from completing his mission. Accompanied by Jezebel and Wolf, Rune sets off to discover if he has what it takes to be a real villain. Along the way, he learns that it's not necessarily a bad thing to have a soft side. Happy coincidences throughout keep the story from being an edge-of-your-seat adventure, and students who crave substance and suspense are better directed elsewhere. However, the fast-paced action and snappy dialogue will appeal to reluctant readers and those looking for a light, humorous read.--Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 December

Gr 3-6--Rune Drexler is back in this witty, silly addition to the series. His year starts off in a grand fashion when a new student, Dodge, is assigned as his roommate. Dodge takes a dramatic interest in Rune's father, the school's headmaster, and his crystal ball. After he executes a daredevil stunt to break into the girls' dorm, the crystal ball turns up missing. Rune and his friends soon find out that Dodge is a spy from the Hero School, sent to get the crystal ball in an attempt to eventually take over the world. In keeping with the role reversal of heroes acting like villains, the villains decide that they want to take the object back and foil the heroes' evil plot. The story is a bit clichd at times with the stereotypical warlock, werewolf, and vampire characters, but Sanders's well-crafted writing provides excellent comic relief and unexpected growth from these stock characters. The action and humor take center stage, but there is also a romance element for those looking for a little love. Enjoyable but forgettable, this is a quick-paced read that will be appreciated by those who love antiheros but aren't quite ready for Cadel Piggott from Catherine Jinks's Evil Genius (Harcourt, 2007) or even Artemis from Eoin Colfer's "Artemis Fowl" series. (Disney/Hyperion).--Devin Burritt, Wells Public Library, ME

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