Check out the first book in Kai Strand’s Super Villain Academy series: King of Bad.
Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he’s recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA. He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?
You can download King of Bad from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
“I guess I’m not comfortable being something. I’ve never aspired to do much of anything and it seems like a lot of pressure to suddenly learn I’m supposedly a super villain and that I have to learn how to do it right.”
“You don’t have to do anything, kid. You are what you are. We are just here for you if you want to learn how to do more.” Pyro leaned back in her chair and crossed her leg. “Let me start closer to the beginning. Once upon a time…”
Jeff curled his lip and grunted. “You’re kidding, right?”
“Yes, I am. This is no fairytale.”
“How many of us are there? Is this the only school or are they everywhere? What happens if I decide not to get training?”
“Whoa, boy! Rein in the questions. I’ll get to them.” Pyro’s foot bobbed as she studied Jeff. “I don’t usually recruit. I work in administration, a fundraiser. They asked me to take you on because they suspected you had fire. So let’s start there.”
Pyro explained Mr. Sims initial encounter with Jeff and how he’d reported to Tubs. “That’s when Tubs got me involved. See, Sims felt your S.V. energy when you blew to fan the flames. Since you were playing with fire, Tubs suspected you had it and he knows that fire is a dangerous new ability and best taught by someone with experience. You know, when I first saw you, kid, I thought they were making way more of it than was needed. You were hanging out with your friends. Giving your sister a hard time. Taking out the trash like a good son, but there was nothing about you that struck me as special. Or even super for that matter. But then you did something that changed my mind completely.”
Jeff sat up straight in his chair then slouched back down again. He felt very conflicted hearing that Pyro had been shadowing him for so long and he hadn’t even known it. “What? What did I do?”
“You blew out a match.”
Jeff frowned. “How could blowing fire out prove I have fire in me?”
“It didn’t. You have fire in your hands, just like I do.” Pyro raised her right hand, palm up. Her fingertips were already swollen and throbbing. A spark emitted from each finger and flowed together in the center of her palm. A marble sized ball of fire ebbed and crackled in the middle of her hand. She studied it. “When you learn control, you’ll be able to start fires whenever you want. But what is unique about you, is you will also be able to douse them.”
Pyro held the fireball in front of Jeff. “Blow.”
Jeff shrugged and blew on the fire as if extinguishing birthday candles. A thin frost doused the flame and coated Pyro’s hand. Jeff blinked, thinking he was seeing things. He scraped a finger through the frost on her palm and touched it to his tongue. Cold and wet.
Pyro wiped her hand on her pants leg. “Fire and ice. I can’t even begin to imagine how you do that. But, Jeff, I can tell you no one has ever had opposing elements. Ever.”