Teen Book Review

The Vindico By Wesley King
It seems that whatever you read, whatever you watch on TV or in the movies, you’ll find heroes all of types populating the media.  We love to watch them and read about them, and imagine ourselves being them.  However, heroes aren’t worth much unless they are being opposed by a truly dangerous villain. Supervillains in the comics and on television are the bad guys that we love to hate.  But what if the villains aren’t as bad as they seem, and what if the heroes aren’t as good?  That’s the question behind the story of The Vindico by Wesley King.

In a world protected by a powerful group of superheroes called The League, citizens live their lives in security knowing that they will be protected from the vile group of villains known as The Vindico.  But all that changes for five teens when they are kidnapped by the villains and given an ultimatum; train to become the next generation of villains and take down the League, or never see the light of day again.  As the teens reluctantly train and grow in their powers, they find out that the League is not the virtuous group that they thought.  But when an all-out battle between the two groups begins, which side will the teens choose ... and what will be the result of their actions?

The story is told with chapters alternating between each of the five protégés, starting with their kidnappings and going through their training. The teens each come from different walks of life and in a way are archetypes of typical teens: a fighter, a flirt, a nice guy, a hacker and a delinquent.

While each of the teens grows and changes as a result of their training, the motives of the Vindico and League members are not heavily explored. (However, a sequel promises to explore the inner workings of both groups in depth.) The plot of the book could be taken right out of a comic book, with each of the villains having their own agenda and working against the others, including the teen recruits. However, action scenes are minimized in favor of interaction among the protégés, which gives this book a strong story that readers will enjoy.  The uncertainty of who will survive will entice readers to follow this book to its conclusion.

 If you are into graphic novels but reluctant to read books, this is a comic book-like is a great one to try, along with titles like iBoy and Dull Boy.  

The Vindico is recommended for tween and early teen readers.  Pick it up at your local DC Public Library branch today.
--by Brandon Digwood