Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
Fourteen-year-old Michael Vey has a secret that only he, his mom and his best friend, Ostin, know. It’s a potentially deadly and shocking secret that must remain hidden at all costs: Michael has electric super powers, able to send out high-voltage shocks with just a touch. And since he is small for his age, tends to get picked on by bullies, stuffed in his locker and the like, it would come in really handy for self-defense. Unfortunately, he can’t tell anyone, so his gift is kind of useless, except for jumping the dead battery on his mom’s car. But then the bullies push him too far and he can’t help himself. Michael zaps the troublemakers, sending them smoking. The whole thing is witnessed by popular cheerleader Taylor Ridley, so the secret is out.
But Taylor doesn’t react how Michael fears. She’s not freaked or spreading rumors around school; instead, she is intently curious and wants to know more. The fact is, Taylor has similar super powers that she has never told anyone about either. She can “reboot” someone’s mind, making them forget what he is doing or saying. She can also read other’s thoughts through touch. Something weird is going on, and they are determined to find out the truth. Michael, Taylor and Ostin, who isn’t electric but happens to be incredibly super smart, form a club called the Electroclan and start doing some research.
What they discover shocks even them. A company by the name of Elgen was doing experiments in the hospital where Taylor and Michael were born. Seventeen children survived, all having different electric super powers. Now Elgen is collecting the kids with plans of starting a new, super race of people to rule the world. Taylor and Michael are the last ones on the list, and Elgen is coming to get them. Elgen will stop at nothing --- including kidnapping, torture, blackmail, even murder --- to get what they want.
Michael Vey is electrifyingly awesome. This new series from bestselling author Richard Paul Evans will thrill, shock, amaze and entertain male and female readers of all ages. Evans has a smooth, embracing writing style that oozes into one’s mind and latches on, pulsing with intrigue and never letting go. This fascinating adventure cleverly switches point of view from first person with Michael to third person with various other characters. Michael and his mother have a special relationship with each other, involving mutual respect and lots of love. Michael is very likable and real, suffering from both Tourette’s syndrome and being the unfortunate prey of the bullies. Ostin is admirably intelligent, though a bit socially awkward and also a prey of the bullies, though a loyal and trustworthy friend.
Evans jumps into some tough subjects like bullying and peer pressure with a realistic approach. He also has a sense of humor and a genuine connection to the target audience, proven with this quote from the book: “If you ask me, ninth grade is the armpit of life. And there I was in the very stinkiest part of that armpit --- the principal’s office.” I loved this book and can’t wait for the sequel, RISE OF THE ELGEN, which can’t get here fast enough.
Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on December 17, 2011