St Viper's School For Super Villains. The Riotous Rocket Ship Robbery.

Rated 4.05/5 based on 20 reviews
Demon wants to be the best super villain at St Viper’s but he’s in for a fight. Between masterclasses in World Domination, Sinister Science and Fighting with Flames, he needs to prove to everyone he’s an evil genius. Now, if he can just survive till the end of term . . . More

Available formats: epub, mobi, pdf, lrf

First 20% Sample: epub mobi (Kindle) lrf read online
Words: 18,800
Language: English
ISBN: 9780957130012
About Donovan Kim

Kim has a Masters in Creative Writing for Young People. Since finishing her degree she has worked as a reader for a children's publisher and been involved with the Times/Chicken House competition. She is one of the Electrik Inc co-founders.

Electrik Inc is a brand new collective combining great writing for children and young adults , sharp editing and professional independent publishing.

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The launch of St Viper's School for Super Villains
Lots of excitement and noise!!!!!

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Suz Costner on March 23, 2013 :
This is a book that I could easily booktalk to my classes. Several of my students came to mind as I was reading. The setting of the story in a school, the first year students meeting up on the trip to the school, the presence of other students who are bullies, the pressure to live up to a parent's reputation - are all very reminiscent of Harry Potter. The fact that this book is much shorter than the Potter books is a plus for students who enjoyed the movie adventures of Harry and his friends, but are not quite ready for chapter books of that length. For those students who enjoy graphic novels, the style of illustrations will be an attractive element. I know that many of my students spend time thinking up super heroes and villains, plotting out their powers and costumes - so a book about a school for super villains would be popular, as it would also be to students who like movies such as "Sky High" or "Zoom." Readers who are intimidated by dense text will feel more comfortable with the way the illustrations break up the pages. And for those readers who enjoy humor, the scene with Dr. Super Evil receiving the phone call from his mother is sure to be a hit. I will be adding a copy of this book to my library and talking it up to my 3rd - 5th graders.

(The author was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the book to review.)
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Samantha Randolph on March 10, 2013 :
The Riotous Rocket Ship Robbery is set in a world where villains have their own school. You join Demon Kid, the son of one of the most famous villains, and his friends as they confront bullies, superheros, and school.

I think young readers would definitely enjoy this (age 9 and up I would say is appropriate for the reading level). It's a fun, action packed short chapter book full of villainous humor.
There are girl characters in it, so I think both genders of readers could have fun with it.
The characters are very enjoyable. There is a decent level of humor in here that I think readers will definitely get into.
The only negative I had about this book was just the tendency for it to have a lot of predictability to it. However, I think part of that might just come from me not being the age the book is intended for. I think children that age probably won't notice that as much.
Overall, a solid 4 stars.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Michelle Walker on Feb. 18, 2013 :
The Riotous Rocket Ship Robbery is the first book in the St Viper’s series and introduces us to our main characters, who I can’t call heroes because they are going to school to learn to be just the opposite.

Written for an audience of 7 year olds the story is filled with techno gadgets that are sure to capture the attention of every child. In one of their very first lessons these students learn how to make an eraser ray, oh the uses you could put that to at home – it would make cleaning such a joy.

Of course there is an invisibility gun, because what attempt at world domination doesn’t include a bit of invisibility, but in this case they get something a little different to what they expect which I found quite humorous.

To read the rest of my review: http://bookgirl.beautyandlace.net/book-review-the-riotous-rocket-ship-robbery-st-vipers-school-for-super-villains-1
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Christoph Fischer on Feb. 14, 2013 :
"The Riotous Rocket Ship Robbery" was given to me by the author Kim Donovan in exchange for an honest review and I only reluctantly accepted it since I am a grown up and felt unsure I could review a children's book. I am glad I agreed because this book was a lot of fun and took me back to childish pleasures.
As the title of the series already gives away, we are in the world of super heroes and super villains. Inside a volcano lies St Viper's School for the latter group and our heroes Demon, Stretch and Wolfgang (amongst others) are in their first year training for world domination. While they are forming their friendships they have to defend themselves against the older bully Chill and his gang, attend classes by Doctor Super Evil and get out of a hairy situation involving said Rocket Ship.
It feels like the author has had as much fun writing this lively and humorous book as I had reading it, the illustrations are brilliant and I have no doubt that the team will be able to produce a large number of instalments for this lovely series.
At a time when books like Harry Potter have influences consumer's expectation this is a great addition to what I am sure most children would like to read. May I add to this last sentence that I am not at all a fan of Harry Potter but I am of St. Viper's.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Candle Star Press on Jan. 07, 2013 :
This book is funny, perfect for young readers, and truly unique. It's all about raising up villains, not heroes. But don't worry, it's written with a full measure of humor that keeps the tone lighthearted and silly.

St. Viper's is a secret boarding school set within the cone of a volcano where hopeful young villains study subjects such as "World Domination" and "Sinister Science." Together, the team of wicked teachers works to create "an elite team--a Syndicate of Supreme Evil, heh-heh--a force of unforgettable fear, ho-ho--a team of terrifying tricksters, har-har--to TAKE OVER THE WORLD." Yet in the midst of one such mad moment of instruction, Dr. Super Evil takes a call from his mother and quietly assures her he's wearing a clean vest and fresh pants.

Into this silly world of supreme evil, Demon (who bursts into flame when he's in a rage) and a few of his First Year friends end up on the wrong side of Senior super, Chill, and his assortment of terrible cronies. A bully with super powers is a fearsome thing, especially in a school that encourages villainous behavior. Along with worries about his own survival, Demon fears he'll never be able to live up to his father's reputation, and he's concerned that his friend Stretch--a girl--is showing him up. But in a display of supernatural plot twists and tongue-in-cheek humor, Ms. Donovan manages a satisfying ending in which "the best baddie wins."

Yes, this book has young readers cheering for the "wrong side," but it does so in such an ironic, witty way that I didn't see any harm in it, just a lot of good-natured fun. It flips the traditional super hero story on its head and leaves kids laughing all the way to the back cover. It's also clean (thanks, Ms. Donovan!), professionally edited, and appropriate for seven- to nine-year-old readers. I give it my wholehearted recommendation.

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book to review. (And I rarely give out five stars!)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Melissa Stauffer on Jan. 04, 2013 :
I was asked to read this by the author, and as such I don't want to give what might be construed as a bad review, but I do want to be honest with this as well. So here goes, and hopefully I don't offend.

I thought this book was rather cute, and probably a concept that children would be entertained. It's got reasonably likable characters that I'm sure kids would enjoy and the plot was very fast paced which I'm sure would help keep them reading. The writing style was good and had lots of fun onomatopoeia that I'm sure kids would enjoy reading or mimicking.

However I'm not sure this is a book that I would actually recommend or read to my kids. The concept rather bothered me. The fact that it was a school for super villains, while rather unique and probably something kids would like, is not really anything I think we should be encouraging. Maybe this is just me overreacting, but it seems like kids have enough bad influences without reading books that have them rooting for the bad guys. It seems as if books like this could potentially encourage bad behaviors such as bullying and stealing, and I don't think kids need any more exposure to that sort of thing than they will already have to deal with. Obviously just from reading this book they probably aren't very likely to take up a life of crime, but I'd rather read books to kids that teach good morals to kids, because you can never be sure what they really will internalize and end up taking with them when they become adults.

Anyways, what I'm mostly trying to say is that I do think that Kim Donovan could write some good books that will keep kids entertained, but I would prefer if they were written about something that didn't have super villains as the main characters.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: An EyeSpy on Dec. 15, 2012 :
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/427399792
Double wonderful whammy with paper or pdf color illustrated version. More, please, more.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Kenn Jordan on Dec. 15, 2012 :
This children’s book will be an exciting adventure for any elementary – junior high child. I feel Kim made an excellent merger of the X-Men and an evil version of Sky High. This is the first book of Demon’s adventures at St Vipers and even as an adult I would like to see how his Super Villain life turns out.

Demon Boy is the son of famed villain Demon King and finds he has a lot to live up to when he starts as a first year at St Viper’s. He soon learns that Super Villains enemies are not only Super Heroes, but also older Super Villain students. Chill, a senior at St Viper’s, takes an interest in making Demon and his friends his slaves so of course Demon has to get revenge.

When Chill and his cronies steal a rocket ship from the International Space Centre, Demon decides it would only be fair if they stole if from Chill. This brings on a wild space adventure for Demon and his friends that will be joy for any child to read, or to listen to as a bed time story.

I, for one, can’t wait to find out just how Demon manages his second year at St Viper’s and if he can top the amazing journey he went on this year. This is definitely the sort of book that brings out this readers inner child and I think that anyone else that reads this will come to the same conclusion.

Good writing Kim, keep it up and please hurry with Demon’s next adventure. I shall follow his career with interest.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: J W. on Nov. 20, 2012 :
Disclaimer: The author, Ms. Donovan, gave me a copy of this and asked me to review it some eons ago. I thank her for the book and her patience as it kept getting buried under my grad school reading, but I have FINALLY GOTTEN HERE and read it and will review it as impartially as I know how.

I am not, to be clear, the targeted reader for this series, being nowhere near 7-10 years old. I do, however, occasionally write kids' stories, read kids' stories, and hang out with my friends who have kids who ARE that age. So I definitely see how this would appeal to youngish folks looking for an adventure, and I think they'll find it here. I found it here; it was a fun read, a creative wandering through a universe I'm interested to see unfold in future stories.

I was rather worried at first that this was going to be yet another kids' adventure book riding the tails of Harry Potter fame--there's the smart-ish successful girl sidekick, the less-than-clear-but-loyal boy sidekick, the conflicted hero; the trio that has always been around but that Rowling really threw into the spotlight. But Donovan gets past that, not least with the addition of Wolfgang (whom I felt was rather underused) and also the general focus on Demon as he grows in his badness. Demon is a wonderful antihero and a very easy character to root for against the bully Chill and his thugs as well as against the teachers who seem to expect so much of him. I really, really appreciated Donovan's treatment of heroes in this world where villains are the lead--her characterization of Mr. Awesome was hilarious. There are lovely and quiet teaching moments along the way, too, about self-control and encouragement and that sort of thing that are so necessary in books from which kids derive their ideas about themselves and the world they're discovering.

Layout-wise, I felt like the chapter breaks were really choppy--I understand that that's often a tactic for keeping young readers interested by giving them a build up and breaking it across a chapter, but sometimes it was right in the middle of something where a chapter break made no sense. The illustrations were a fun addition and helped shape my idea of the surroundings of the characters as they attended class in this crazy volcano. Also, the underlying gentle fun of things like **spoiler** an invisible invisibility gun was a lot of fun.

Definitely a quick read, an interesting read, a good introduction to some new characters that I think will be worth keeping an eye on. I'm glad to have gotten the chance to read this, even if I'm not 7 at all.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Casey Koldewyn on Nov. 15, 2012 :
Great book for young kids. The story is fun and the characters are entertaining. There were some great sound effects as well.
I really liked the way everything was turned evil. Instead of home sweet home, it was 'home horrible home'. Instead of 'for goodness' sake' it was 'for badness' sake'.
Kids will love this.
Teens, however, probably not as much, although it was fairly entertaining.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Cat T on Nov. 08, 2012 :
I was given a copy of this book for my honest review.

What I really liked about this book is that it tells the story of the other side - what it's like when you're not 'bad' or 'evil' enough. I think kids would really like this concept too. The story has funny moments, enjoyable for all ages, and enough pictures to keep kids entertained. There's a ton of onomonopia, which is not only appropriate, it's cute and fun.

What I didn't really like was the bullying, guns, and violence aspect. That said, these are probably aspects kids (especially boys) would love.

Without getting too complicated (or adult), here are a few of my concerns:
- not sure kids will get the different accents
- Demon says it only took a super villain a few months to make the school. This doesn't really have to do with anything....but makes me curious and is left unexplained
- I wish the friendship between Demon/Stretch and Shrink and Wolfgang. It'd mean more and would help readers understand why they're helping out so much.

Overall the length of the book is great, and I can definitely see the target age group enjoying this book. It's got friendship, a clear antagonist/bully, all kinds of cool gadgets, super powers, volcanoes, space, lots of various flying things, and minimal school.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Cat T on Nov. 08, 2012 : (no rating)
I was given a copy of this book for my honest review.

What I really liked about this book is that it tells the story of the other side - what it's like when you're not 'bad' or 'evil' enough. I think kids would really like this concept too. The story has funny moments, enjoyable for all ages, and enough pictures to keep kids entertained. There's a ton of onomonopia, which is not only appropriate, it's cute and fun.

What I didn't really like was the bullying, guns, and violence aspect. That said, these are probably aspects kids (especially boys) would love.

Without getting too complicated (or adult), here are a few of my concerns:
- not sure kids will get the different accents
- Demon says it only took a super villain a few months to make the school. This doesn't really have to do with anything....but makes me curious and is left unexplained
- I wish the friendship between Demon/Stretch and Shrink and Wolfgang. It'd mean more and would help readers understand why they're helping out so much.

Overall the length of the book is great, and I can definitely see the target age group enjoying this book. It's got friendship, a clear antagonist/bully, all kinds of cool gadgets, super powers, volcanoes, space, lots of various flying things, and minimal school.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: yami yami on Oct. 02, 2012 :
to be the top of your class is always the prize in heroes school,
but what about villains?? apparently it is the same dream after all.

the idea was indeed fresh,following the ambitious "VILLAIN" Demon and his friends in their first days of school, that leads to their big adventure, "being a series i can say there will be more"

full of all right elements for a kid to like,but what i think made it extra special was the NOISE ,being full of explosives, evil funny laughs and more made this book PERFECT for story-telling,

if you enjoy reading for your child,and making funny noises while you at it, THIS book is for YOU.

it is simply a READ OUT LOUD book :)


p.s: personally loved making the hero with two hearts, added to his uniqueness :)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jennifer Miller on Oct. 01, 2012 :
St. Viper’s School for Super Villains



by Kim Donovan

4 Stars


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780957130005
Publisher: Squawk Books
Publication date: 2/8/2012
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Summary (Spoilers unintentional, but be warned anyways):
Demon is on his way to his first year at St. Viper’s School for Super Villains. His father, Demon King, is one of the baddest super villains, so Demon Boy has big shows to fill. On the way there, he meets Stretch, another first year that can stretch herself in all directions. Unfortunately, he also meets Chill, an older boy who decides to be a bully. Chill shoots ice at Demon Boy, which makes Demon see red and he goes up in flames. A teacher puts the flames out and everyone has a laugh at Demon Boy’s expense. The rivalry begins as Chill deems Demon Boy and friends (which grows to include Shrink and Wolfgang) as his personal slaves. Classes begin and Demon Boy has further issues, accumulating the lowest scores and more homework because of his accidental misdeeds. Finally, he gets a break. Chill has had a major score and snatched a rocket ship. Demon Boy and his friends make a plan to steal it from Chill, find the secret hidden inside, and return the ship for the reward money. Find out if they are successful, or if it is just another one of Demon’s grand ideas that fall flat.

My thoughts:
This was a really fun book. I read it in about two hours (with interruptions in between). I think a child between the ages of 7-10 would be the best fit for this book. It is high on adventure with vocabulary that is not terribly difficult. I think this is also a great choice for boys. Boys are always the hardest for me because they view reading as uncool. This has enough of a comic book look and feel that I am pretty sure they would get into it. The only reason why I marked it down 1 star is because I felt the drawings did not add to the story. They broke the pages up oddly for me on a Kindle, so I would get two or three sentences on a page and then a graphic that often wasn’t very big. It distracted me from the story and made me feel like it was wasted space. All together, I found the adventure entertaining, the action moving enough to keep me interested, the characters moderately developed but enough to make me root for them, and the plot good enough to make me interested in the next installment.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kathy Davie on Sep. 28, 2012 :
Review source: Author

First in the St. Viper’s School for Super Villains fantasy series for children. It revolves around a righteous group of four newbies to the school, determined to succeed yet clashing with the desire to help each other.

My Take
It was fun to read the other side’s viewpoint! A school for super villains where everyone is encouraged to be as bad as possible. No punishments! Instead you get points for naughtiness. And yet, the four who gang together help each other out. It’s an interesting contrast between the need to be bad and the desire to help.

I did enjoy the descriptions of the various students and Donovan had a lot of fun with their interaction—imagine being encouraged to misbehave! Teachers and students make messes, attack each other, and cause mayhem. And they’re rewarded!

Great sound effects! It certainly suited the tone of the book.

Donovan was consistent throughout in keeping them bad too. A very tricky task.

Enjoy the story and laugh with it first. Then use it to get the kids to recognize where the characters are being bad and what they should be doing. The four friends joining up together is a good example of teamwork and support. Although I did love the bit about “Miss Competition”! Certainly the way the teachers acted could be lessons in what is not acceptable in real life.

I loved how the kids got back at the bullies!

What I could see of the graphics was great and certainly fit the action. However the black-and-white just doesn’t do it justice in a Kindle. It needs to be simpler with greater contrast and somewhat lighter overall to stand out.

A few things didn’t make sense. I don’t understand the kids showing up at Chill’s room with the cake and no other plan. Unless that was Donovan’s plan, to have this oops function as a lesson much like Vera
Vile and the Simulator.

I’m confused…if the kids are returning the Hermes 01 for the reward and Mr. Awesome shows up asking “friend or foe”, why are they trying to get away?

I would have liked more of an emphasis on the moral lessons in this. The one in which Demon encouraged Shrink—good leadership there. The only obvious one I remember is what Demon used from his test against the R0K robots.

The Story
It’s Demon Kid’s first year at St. Viper’s and he’s determined to make his parents proud.

It’s Chill and his gang who really get Demon to ramp it up and I’m sure he’ll make his parents very happy.

The Characters
Demon Kid is determined to make his parents proud of how evil he is. Stacey Stretch has quite a reach. Wolfgang is a young werewolf and Shrink scales up and down depending upon his confidence and mission.

Chill, Levitate, Thunderskull, and Dark Owl are the senior class evil bullies whom Demon and his friends take down in their own bid for badness.

Mr. Madness is the head of St. Vipers School for Super Villains. Dr. Super Evil teaches World Domination and answers to his mother as to whether he has on clean undies. Vera Vile is in charge of the Super Simulator. Professor Plutonium teaches Sinister Science.

Loved the Mr. Awesome superhero and his obsession with his hair and his teeth! General Honeychurch is about to be fooled. How bad is that?!

The Cover
The cover captures the story perfectly—gleefully evil with its collage of the story’s events and your first introduction to our young anti-heroes. The bright green of the background is a definite indicator of the busy excitement within.

The title makes a good introduction to the kids’ boarding school, St. Vipers School for Super Villains, where the plans for The Riotous Rocket Ship Robbery are plotted.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jo Danilo on Sep. 24, 2012 :
I read this to my two boys. They were always clammering for 'one more chapter', and they wanted to write their own reviews.

F, aged 10:
"I thought it was excellent. I loved how you did the opposite of things, like instead of 'keep up the good work' you put 'keep up the bad work'. My favourite characters were Wolfgang and Mr Awesome."

H, aged 7:
"I loved your book so much and my favourite caricter was Wolfgang!!! My favourite part was when Demon was fiting (fighting) the R0K rodots. And I'd love to go to St Vipers School for Super Villans because did you know that at home I am acholy (actually) evil."

H was particularly keen on the whole concept as his hero is Darth Vader. He really is not evil at all, but he likes to pretend he is!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Dani Stormborn on Sep. 19, 2012 :
We have all heard of numerous stories about superheroes and how they became such, and it has all become far too repetitive. But have you ever wondered how villains are made? What would a superhero story be without a villain or two ... or three. Well, Kim Donovan holds the answer to your questions in her debut novel, which happens to be the first in a series of books - St. Viper's School for Super Villains.
The story follows Demon, who comes from a prominent family of villains and is on his way to become one himself. Together with a whole group of First-years he is sent to the supersecret St. Viper's School to be trained in the fine art of evildoing. And how could that not be successful with teachers bearing names as Mr. Madness, Dr. Super Evil, Dr. Plutonium and Vera Vile.
His arrival brings him together with his soon-to-be sidekicks - Stretch, a girl with superhuman stretching abilities, Shrink - a boy, whose size varies depending on the situation and Wolfgang - a werewolf in the making. Apart from hitting it off right from the start, what brings them together as well is their common quest against a group of disciples of the school - Thunderskull, Levitate, Dark Owl and all of them under the command of the already-evil Chill. I suppose you won't be surprised there are bullies involved, for if not in a school of villains, where else would it come naturally to become a bully?
This first book follows the characters through various struggles and many comic situations. Their adventure include the stealing of a rocket ship as well. How and why? Well that is something you have to find out for yourself.
The books is nicely complemented by a set of illustrations and true that it is listed as a children's book, but who said children's books are only for children?
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: S.J.A. Turney on Sep. 03, 2012 :
Clearly, I'm not the target audience for St Viper's, but I would still recommend it to everyone with a kid in the target age group.

The story is very much a fast-paced super-heist story mixed with a traditional underdogs coming out on top in training story. The text is fired at the reader in a staccato gunburst of fun, which should suit the reader perfectly and is accompanied by a series of illustrations that, though I initially thought might be too cgi for me, were actually perfectly suited and worked very nicely throughout.

If I had one quibble, and it's really only a small thing and probably only affects adults, rather than the kids it's aimed at, it would be that the story drops into the action too fast and the plot was already racing away before I was really getting to grips with the characters. I think I would have liked a chapter or two of into that brought us the characters and situation slowly. As I say, though, this probably will have little effect on kids who will relish the instant action.

I can imaging that, while this is a charming and innovative debut, the sequel will be a stunning piece of work, being able to build on the existing characters and situations.

You have kids the right age for St Viper's? Buy it. Treat them. They'll love it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: S.J.A. Turney on Sep. 03, 2012 :
Clearly, I'm not the target audience for St Viper's, but I would still recommend it to everyone with a kid in the target age group.

The story is very much a fast-paced super-heist story mixed with a traditional underdogs coming out on top in training story. The text is fired at the reader in a staccato gunburst of fun, which should suit the reader perfectly and is accompanied by a series of illustrations that, though I initially thought might be too cgi for me, were actually perfectly suited and worked very nicely throughout.

If I had one quibble, and it's really only a small thing and probably only affects adults, rather than the kids it's aimed at, it would be that the story drops into the action too fast and the plot was already racing away before I was really getting to grips with the characters. I think I would have liked a chapter or two of into that brought us the characters and situation slowly. As I say, though, this probably will have little effect on kids who will relish the instant action.

I can imaging that, while this is a charming and innovative debut, the sequel will be a stunning piece of work, being able to build on the existing characters and situations.

You have kids the right age for St Viper's? Buy it. Treat them. They'll love it.(
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Richard Wentworth on Aug. 19, 2012 :
I've had the pleasure to read this book and highly encourage parents to read to their kids or let the little ones read for themselves. The main characters are believable and the pages turn as you read. A simple structure of story telling lets the reader enjoy the action. School is always rough when you are new but Kim's story telling places you in the action. To think that they have schools for super villains and they go through the same experiences as all new kids do, but with a twist of being super villains.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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