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Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a…

Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain

by Richard Roberts

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I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for a copy of this e-book to review. Though I received this e-book for free, that has no impact upon the honesty of my review.

Goodreads Teaser: "Penelope Akk wants to be a superhero. She's got superhero parents. She's got the ultimate mad science power, filling her life with crazy gadgets even she doesn't understand. She has two super-powered best friends. In middle school, the line between good and evil looks clear.

In real life, nothing is all that clear. All it takes is one hero's sidekick picking a fight, and Penny and her friends are labeled supervillains. In the process, Penny learns a hard lesson about villainy: She's good at it.

Criminal masterminds, heroes in power armor, bottles of dragon blood, alien war drones, shapeshifters and ghosts, no matter what the super powered world throws at her, Penny and her friends come out on top. They have to. If she can keep winning, maybe she can clear her name before her mom and dad find out."

Without a doubt I found this to be extremely entertaining, filled with unusual situations, great characters, and just plain fun. The characters were very well done, and seemed pretty much spot on for the age group they represent. Penny is like any other middle schooler, happy to be a kid and yet ready to start testing her boundaries. Add being the child of superheroes to that and you know those boundaries aren't quite the same as those any of us have gone through!

Penny, Ray, and Claire make a great team, probably because they were best friends long before they became supervillains. Of course Penny was aiming for the superhero side of things, cause that's what she grew up idolizing. Superheroes were her role models, daily and in regular life outside the house. Ray on the other hand never speaks of his family situation to either of the girls, but they know it must be beyond bad. Then there's Claire. Her mom is a superhero now, but before she reformed she was an excellent supervillain. So when Penny's powers suddenly start to develop her friends are right there supporting her. And when things don't quite go as planned they happily lead her into the world of villainy. But the balance between the three remains fair, and they always, always support each other.

Sadly for Penny she gets stuck with one of the worst, most clichéd supervillain names out there, which is of course a horrible pun on her own name. With a supervillain name like hers how's she supposed to keep her folks from finding out her secret before she can reverse the direction her new super-powered career has taken? Even though she gets a terrible alias she managed to give Ray a cool name. And of course Claire ended up using one of her own online names, which, being Claire is simply a too-cute-for-words play on her own name. Inwardly Penny wonders how the mastermind of their supervillain team get such a rotten name? Together the three of them make up The Inscrutable Machine. As far as supervillain names go, it fits them since no one knows much about them, which of course makes them inscrutable. Thus far no one, not even themselves really, can figure them out.

As much as I enjoyed this book I wonder if it isn't a bit on the long side for a middle grade book. But that may be the adult in me talking. The constant hurdles and challenges the trio face seem to drag on a bit to me, yet I suppose they were necessary in order to set up the big finale. And it was a great ending, with lots of bang for your buck action, and a great message built in so well that it doesn't feel as if it's being force fed to you, or that you've been preached to. It just feels natural and honest, which is how this book felt to me. Pretty surprising given the science fiction/fantasy aspects that are the very framework of the story. I know I'm certainly looking forward to the next book in this series, and I think you will to after reading this one. ( )
  Isisunit | Jan 30, 2016 |
Penny Ackk, daughter of super heroes Brian Akk and The Audit has been desperate for her super powers to finally kick in – and when they did they came in with a vengeance!

Of course, her dad thinks it’ll be years before they fully develop. So keeping them secret and then springing them on him as a surprise sounds likes a great idea. Until a little problem at the school science fair means she and her best friends kind of become Super Villains.


And trying to change sides just digs them deeper in the villain put. And maintaining a secret identity when your parents are super geniuses isn’t easy anyway

But one thing no-one expected was how good they’d be at supervillainy – or how much fun it is!

This book is so much fun! I can’t remember the last time I had so much amazing fun reading a book! I literally spent my entire time reading this book with a big, silly grim on my face, broken only when I had to laugh.

It’s campy, it’s a little silly, but it’s so incredibly fun! Super heroes and super villains duking it out in the street – oh not your dark and gritty super villains who have become so popular. Far less stylish than that! These are fun super villains and super heroes – with the super heroes (perhaps) taking things pretty seriously but recognising limits and the villains are just enjoying themselves immensely. Yes, sometimes a villain takes it too far – but then their fellow villains will quietly feed them to the more extreme heroes (and then they “accidentally don’t survive a fight”). I love this sense of everyone having fun so long as everyone knows the rules, kind of, even though no-one’s ever going to expressly state it.

But, hey, there are RULES. Like you totally don’t hit people’s families or their secret lairs. That would be cheating!

I love the fact that even though they are supervillains they cling to the hope they can change sides whenever they find a suitably dramatic moment. And yes, of course it has to be dramatic – how else are they going to make sure they have an awesome backstory? Switching sides from evil to good can make for an awesome origin story, they just need the right moment. Lucyfar changes sides on a completely random basis! (Perhaps best summed up with, when they betray some fellow villains they meet a response of “you kids are awesome!”)

Did I mention it was so much fun?

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Jul 11, 2014 |
Has any of you ever watched Sky High? It's a super cool - and very underrated - movie about a kid whose parents are superheroes and he wants to be like them, but seems to be normal despite going to a high school designated to educate the future heroes and sidekicks. Well, the concept of Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain is pretty familiar in some plot points with that.

Penelope "Penny" Akk has it rough. Her parents are the retired heroes Audit and Brainy Akk, two super geniuses, and the middle school girl cannot wait to get her own powers. Everyone keeps telling her to wait, but what do they know? She's so close to unlocking them, she can just feel it! So when her powers do come in a rather abrupt manner, she knows it will be better to keep it a secret and surprise her family later, when she has full control of them. But things never go as planned. A science fair goes wrong, and then her best friend slash crush, Ray Viles, goes picking a fight with Miss A, Original's sidekick. What's a girl to do? What else? She stands by his side and fights, too, and with the help of their friend, Claire Lutra, they win. Too bad they can't celebrate their victory. Now word is out that they're the new black in supervillainy - and heroes and sidekicks won't stop chasing them until they're down! Can Penny stop this madness that her secrets and rash decisions have caused and convince the public she's actually one of the good guys, before her parents find out? And what if, despite denying it, she's actually good at being bad?

As Penny herself would say... Criminy! Who would have thought that I would end up cheering for supervillains? And middle school ones at that! But it's true. The Inscrutable Machine was one team I wouldn't mind to keep as the bad guys!

Penny and her friends were the most refreshing trio I have read - ever since the all-too-famous Golden Trio, that is. They had their ups and downs, and the usual "problems" a middle schooler faces in life, but they tried to see the bright side, and always had a plan to get out of each mess they created - even if their plan rarely worked. They were, first and foremost, a TEAM. Sure, they came at odds with each other, and not all of their feelings were pure. Claire was too self-absorbed and shallow, Ray was a bit too much of a materialist and tended to forget he was the one who got the girls in the heroes' wanted list, and Penny would sometimes forget of anything else other than her own powers and would get unreasonably jealous of Ray mooning over Claire. Oh, yes, I almost forgot about the love trianle. Yeah, there was one, too.

BUT! (And it's a big but, mind you)

Here's the thing. You just can't stay mad at them. Or find it in your heart to dislike the romantic confusion among them. Why? Because Richard Roberts is apparently a genius in what he's doing! Early in the story, Penny informs the reader about the situation:

"Love triangles suck."

When I read that line, I freaked out. I hate love triangles. I avoid them as much as possible. But it turns out that Penny's admission of the problem did the trick, as it served to give a light and humoristic atmosphere. Sure, she was jealous of Claire because of Ray's attraction to her, but she never let that get in the way of their teamwork. She sulked a bit, but that was it. Claire was a shallow and sometimes naive girl, but she would cut her own arm off for her friends - and proved to be more mature and observative in rare occasions. As for Ray, while we never really found out what was his family situation was, it looked like he had missed out on lots of material goods, so it was somewhat natural for him to get dazzled by the sparkles that came with super powers and the cookies that the dark side had to offer.

Now, don't go thinking it was just the characters that kept the story interesting. Not at all! Mr. Roberts has a way with words that makes you unwind and enjoy yourself, as you witness the adventures of this unlikeable trio. Their powers were a delight to read into full development. Their comments and the dialogues through the book were funny and sarcastic, and it was often hard to remember that, hellooo, these are NOT adults we're dealing with, but little kids! The only times when their age showed was when they "fangirled" or when they screwed up - and since this writer has obviously done his homework, this happened a lot, and with all the times having a specific gap between them so that it would not get boring AND add to the suspense and the character growth.

With a plot that is so familiar and yet so new, three main characters that crack you up and make you want to cuddle with them, villains and heroes that never stay on their respectful sides but venture in gray areas whenever it suits them, and lots of fancy, intriguing gadgets, it's no wonder why I recommend this book wholeheartedly. The Inscrutable Machine are sure to guarantee you the best of times!

***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.*** ( )
  Lydia_Perversius | May 6, 2014 |
I received an ARC from publisher in exchange for an honest review.I had applied for this title via netgallery because I loved the title.I don't usually to be honest look at the publisher, but Curiosity Quills Press has released may unique titles.Although I liked the cover I would have preferred it displaying Penny's first invention the machine.I liked this novel but parts of the story were just to drawn out for me.This book should suitable for any age not just YA category that its in. ( )
  jonathan21 | Apr 4, 2014 |

*Book source ~ Many thanks to Curiosity Quills for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Penny Akk is the 13-year-old daughter of two superheroes, The Audit (her mom) and The Brain Auk (her dad). She’s impatiently waiting for her super powers to manifest even though they may not do so for a few years yet. But wonder of wonders, they do pop into existence. Only, Penny has no control over them nor can she make them perform at will. Excited and disappointed that she may still have to wait for them to settle, she continues about her life with her two best friends Claire and Ray. However, when her powers spark more and more within a week, and those powers set off Claire’s and Ray’s it’s only a matter of time before they’re out doing things they shouldn’t really be doing. Now, instead of being firmly on the superhero side they are instead pegged as new super villains. One little lie, some omissions and a few misdirections lead to another and another until they are leading the lives of super villains. How are they going to get out of their situation? But the more important question is, will they want to?

Very well-written with great characters this is a story I think my kids would love. Who wouldn’t want super powers? I wouldn’t mind some especially if they helped me win the lottery once in awhile. The trio of best friends become, by accident, a team of super villains and then they can’t just admit who they are. So they slide further and further into the super villain arena while still trying to be good because they intend to be “converted” to the superhero community when the time is right. However, they’re enjoying their newfound fame a bit too much to give it up. Heck, most adults would screw up like that and these kids are only 13. At least they try to keep from hurting anyone, causing a lot of property damage or outright stealing. And can I say that Penny’s Machine is pretty freakin’ awesome? That thing alone would be a huge boon to the environment, but she invents some other really cool stuff, too. This is a fun read that I think most people would enjoy. ( )
  AVoraciousReader | Mar 1, 2014 |
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"Penelope Akk wants to be a superhero. She's got superhero parents. She's got the ultimate mad science power, filling her life with crazy gadgets even she doesn't understand. She has two super-powered best friends. In middle school, the line between good and evil looks clear. In real life, nothing is that clear. All it takes is one hero's sidekick picking a fight, and Penny and her friends are labeled supervillains. In the process, Penny learns a hard lesson about villainy: She's good at it. Criminal masterminds, heroes in power armor, bottles of dragon blood, alien war drones, shapeshifters and ghosts, no matter what the super powered world throws at her, Penny and her friends come out on top. They have to. If she can keep winning, maybe she can clear her name before her mom and dad find out"--cover p. 4.… (more)

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