-> ''Whatever you do, don't get caught.''

A trilogy by Catherine Jinks following the life of Cadel Piggot, a ChildProdigy with a love for systems of all kinds. When Cadel is caught hacking into government databases at the tender age of seven, his adoptive parents take him to a children's psychologist named Thaddeus Roth. Instead of holding him back, Thaddeus encourages Cadel's talents, teaching him how to effectively manipulate systems however he pleases. It is revealed that Cadel's real father is the brilliant EvilGenius Dr. Phineas Darkkon, and it's time for Cadel to follow in his father's footsteps.

Several years go by, and Cadel is now attending the Axis Institute, a university for the gifted. At this school, they don't study computer science, accounting, physics, or philosophy- They study infiltration, misinformation, explosives, and pure evil. [[AcademyOfEvil This is a school for evil geniuses ready to earn their degrees in World Domination.]] As you might expect, however, things aren't quite that simple. The school is filled with lunatics and freaks, and everyone is looking for opportunities to manipulate everyone else. Unsurprisingly, the school descends into chaos very quickly.

In the midst of all this, Cadel meets Kay-Lee [=McDougall=], a kind-hearted and intelligent young lady. Through his correspondance with Kay-Lee, Cadel begins to realize that perhaps the world isn't as dark and cruel as he thought. For the first time in his life, Cadel begins to question the morals he's been raised with, and the true intentions of Phineas Darkkon and Thaddeus Roth.

!!This trilogy provides examples of:

* AcademyOfEvil
* {{Adorkable}}: Gazo Kovacs.
* AffablyEvil:
** Thaddeus Roth/[[spoiler:Prosper English.]]
** Alias isn't too bad at this either, being one of the few teachers at the Axis Institute that doesn't abuse his students, remaining jovial and cheeky throughout the course. Not to mention that his class is probably one of the least evil in the Axis Institute.
** Art, the Forgery Teacher- courteous, professorial, and not above embezzlement and murder.
** Terry, the Genetic Manipulation teacher, who manages to be so charming that most people don't notice the bloodstains on his hands.
* AlasPoorVillain: {{In-universe}}: [[spoiler: When Prosper English is believed to have died at the end of the third book, Cadel is reduced to tears.]]
* AlphaBitch: Jem and Ni start out as a pair of these, before things get serious.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Cadel Darkkon. After all, it means "Battle Lord."
* BattleButler: Vadi, Prosper's genetically-mutated butler.
* BigBad: Phineas Darkkon in the first, [[spoiler:Thaddeus]] in the second and third.
* BlessedWithSuck: Cadel's friend Gazo has the superpower of generating an incredibly powerful stink when stressed.
* TheChessmaster: Prosper English, pretty much constantly. Cadel also has his moments of this.
* ClaspYourHandsIfYouDeceive
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Kunio. Off-screen and with no reason given, no less!]]
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Alias.
* EvilGenius: [[InvokedTrope Heck, it's the title.]]
* EvilutionaryBiologist: Phineas Darkkon, to a T.
* EvolutionaryLevels: Prosper's butler, Vadi, is an "evolutionary throwback" and has many [[FishPeople amphibian traits,]] such as extra eyelids.
* GambitPileup: Everyone in this school aspires to be TheChessmaster, with varying degrees of effectiveness. By the climax of the book, the [[EvilScheme Evil Schemes]] are tangled beyond comprehension.
* HackerCave: The War Room
** Hardware Heaven also qualifies.
* KickTheDog: Luther Lasco slashing Jem across the face for lying to him.
* LittlestCancerPatient: Averted. Sonja's disease does not make her {{Moe}} or [[TastesLikeDiabetes overly sweet]]. In fact, she is portrayed as a realistically impaired victim of cerebral palsy, and still manages to be a strong and helpful character.
* LukeIAmYourFather: Multiple times! [[spoiler:At first, Cadel's father is believed to be Phineas Darkkon, the quintessential evil genius. In a shocking twist, it is revealed that his father is ''actually'' Prosper English, Darkkon's second-in-command. Later ''still'', it is revealed that Cadel's father was ''actually'' Chester Cramp, one of Darkkon's employees who's barely been mentioned before.]] By this point, Cadel is so tired of the whole thing that he doesn't care anyway.
* MasterOfDisguise: Alias.
* ManipulativeBastard: Prosper English, who's been pulling the strings behind every aspect of Cadel's ''entire life.''
* TheMole: [[spoiler:Dot]]
* NeverFoundTheBody: [[spoiler:Prosper English.]]
* TheNondescript: Alias.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: Close to the end of the first book, Cadel baits Art into stealing over two million dollars from Maestro Max's account, fully expecting him to die in the process. Quite unexpectedly, the sixty year-old forger then buys a gun with the money and proceeds to kill the hitman sent after him.
* SanitySlippage: Most of the new students at the Axis Institute, but especially Jem and Ni.
* SociopathicHero: Cadel starts out as this, [[CharacterDevelopment but grows out of it thanks to Sonja.]]
* StepfordSmiler: Tracey Lane, the Misinformation Teacher.
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome: [[spoiler:Phineas Darkkon.]]
* TechnologyMarchesOn: Cadel has to develop a brand new, state of the art piece of technology a... [[HilariousInHindsight computer phone!]]
* VillainousCrossdresser: Alias, when he needs to.
* WhatIsEvil: Maestro Max's class covers this.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Cadel, whose [[{{Bishonen}} pretty face]] actually makes it easier for him to crossdress as opposed to a regular disguise.
* WickedCultured: Art, the [[strike: Forgery]] Cultural Appreciation teacher.
* XMeetsY: the series is like ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' meets ''SoonIWillBeInvincible'' and Cadel is like Franchise/HarryPotter meets [[Manga/DeathNote Light Yagami]].