Ages: 8 - 12Producer: Hachette Audio


There are annoying characters, lots of screaming and fighting scenes, and sound effects like “yank,” “pop” and “pow!” But, true to the Patterson kids’ books brand, the plot features good triumphing over evil.

Written by Michael Fry and read by Nate Begle, listeners quickly learn that being a supervillain begins with the costume. “A good supervillain costume is comfortable yet intimidating.”

Victor Spoil was born a supervillain. That’s what his parents are. That’s what he’s supposed to do; that’s why he’s at the junior Super Academy learning about his super powers and being pestered by Niles, another “super” kid (whose voice is read as a fussy British butler). Victor’s super power is tickling; he makes people laugh so hard they can’t function. But Victor is a reluctant supervillain; all he really wants to be is a librarian.

However, when his parents and other supers start disappearing, Victor and friends try to find out what’s going on. A wild spaceship ride leads to a showdown between the “Commodore” the bad guy who wants to capture and collect superheroes for a kind of intergalactic gladiator show, and “Captain Chaos,” the good guy.

Narrator Begle is excessively expressive and appropriately cartoonish in his voicing of the characters as well as the sound effects.

Ann Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.