The Genius Wars by Catherine Jinks

Cadel is back for book 3 of this series. (Book 2 Spoiler Alert!!!) After the Genius Squad is exposed as a front for Prosper English, formerly thought to be Cadel's biological father, goes into hiding once again. Saul and Fiona decide to officially adopt Cadel. In exchange, Cadel stays out of trouble, puts anything related to his old life of crime behind him, and tries to be a normal kid.

Cadel finally has a real home, with real parents and friends. He even goes to a real school, that doesn't teach anything crazy, like how to poison someone. They've worked out a deal so he can attend the University of South Wales, and avoid criminal charges. In fact, several of the old Genius Squad members are doing the same: Sonja and Hamish. Judith has taken in Sonja, and even hooked her up with a really high tech wheelchair. The chair interprets brain waves, and translates them into simulated speech, as well as direct her chair to move where she wants.

Cadel wants to make life for Sonja as easy as possible, so he comes up with the idea to use the wheelchair tech to control other things, like elevator buttons or crosswalks. So...maybe this isn't entirely 100% legal, but he decides that the breakthrough will be beneficial - not just for Sonja, but for other handicapped people. Maybe his ideas can be implemented into technological shortcuts for others? This is not like what he did with Prosper, or Genius Squad, this is for helping people, right?

Just when he thought Prosper was out of his life, Saul calls him. Apparently Prosper has been caught on CCTV (closed circuit television, used for police surveillance). All Cadel can think is "Why?" What possible motive could Prosper have for coming back to Sydney? Prosper only stands to be imprisoned if he's caught. Why take the risk? Cadel is shipped off to a safehouse "for his own safety," and it's just like all the other times: Prosper is ruining his life.

Everything is going smoothly, until the time comes to try out his idea on the school elevators. Suddenly, Sonja's wheelchair is out of control, barrelling straight for him. He jumps out of the way, only to watch in horror as Sonja and her chair careen down the stairs.

This can't be happening. Could it have been his fault? Was it a glitch in the system he created that caused her wheelchair to malfunction? It seems that Sonja will be okay, but her fancy chair is toast. Cadel decides the best defense is a good offense, and convinces Saul to let him be on the team looking for Prosper. He recruits his new computer professor and some of his best students to start trying to find Prosper's hideout, but things get a little out of control. Some unlikely cast members reappear to help him out.

Will Cadel be able to outwit Prosper, and live a normal life? Or is "normal" just not in Cadel's vocabulary? Great final chapter to this series. While there are no in-book puzzles, the level of deduction and twists and turns will keep any puzzle loving reader entertained.

" 'No. You don't understand,' the agent snapped. 'You are in deep shit, kiddo. Not only with your poor old dad, but with the Department of Homeland Security, and with the Federal Buereau of Investigation, and with the entire Australian police force -'
'I had to do this!' Cadel cried, flushing. 'Prosper English is trying to kill me! I have to track him down!'
'You have to track him down? ... Because no one else can? ... You might want to listen to yourself,' he rapped out. 'You might want to consider what you sound like when you say something like that,' " (Jinks pg. 289, 2009).

*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception (book 4) by Eoin Colfer

Jinks, Catherine. (2009). The Genius Wars. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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