Because 87% of other books are disappointing and I love this series. *nods* That is all.
H.I.V.E., by Mark Walden, ladies and gentlemen.
Why I Thought I’d Hate It:It was totally the cover.
Like, I get a nice recommendation from some peers on an online forum, and I put it on hold. What else have I to read? Then I pick it up from the library and behold this sucker:
What Changed:It’s like… It’s like where other kids feel like their childhood books are wrapped up in The Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter or Roald Dahl or Anne of Green Gables, mine is in H.I.V.E. It’s not told like a fairy tale, of course, but it’s got that same kind of enchantment. Except with villains, and wit, and this sense of finding where you belong in an otherworldly kind of way.
I completely and totally fell into that world. The characters were easy to root for. There were spies. And evil. Hilarity! Adventures! Terrors! OH it was so good.
It consumed my storymind, and that was that.
Why I Ended Up Loving It:There’s a lot to say. A lot of it was simply the storytelling and characters that enthralled me, but I think in some measure there are a few things that made it a lasting favorite series for me.
First, it’s in progress. Like, books never suddenly become bad because the whole series is out (that would be stupid) but when you can read along as the books come out, it feels like you grow with the series.
Second, it opened me to the idea of a gray morality. I would say that most of the main characters are very moral people—they have a very strong sense of right and wrong… it is just not the right and wrong that I was taught. For them, doomsday weapons are kind of like an art form. You can justify murder. It opened my eyes to what morality might look like through other people’s eyes. I feel like being exposed to a series where the characters themselves had to rethink morality encouraged me to rethink my own beliefs and be open to other people’s.
And like, that’s a lot of weight, to say that a YA series about a villain school totally changed my way of thinking about morality, but it was an important factor.
It’s also what made me come to love villains so much. If there isn’t an evil to rise up against, the hero will never grow—and no one will care. Really, I don’t know why we care about protagonists so much. Any idiot can be a good guy—and plenty of idiots have been.
The villains, though? They’re something special. And at least for me, they always will be.
Have you read H.I.V.E.? If not, do you have a book that changed the way you think about something important in your life?
(By the way, I'm still looking to make Sometimes I'm a Story better in 2016! If you have any suggestions for me, please take five minutes and fill out my end-of-year survey.)