Thursday, October 4, 2012

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

I approached this teen sci-fi novel (that my daughter and her friend have been gushing over) without super-duper high expectations. I was expecting something more Christmas Box-y, but silly me—this was really cool!

Michael Vey is fantastic—well thought out, with witty dialogue, entertaining and realistic characters, and lots of thought-provoking issues to chew over. It’s a page turner and I’m excited to read the second book of the series: Rise of the Elgen.

Michael is an average 14-year-old kid with a secret power. Only his mom and best friend Ostin (brilliant, nerdy, chubby, funny) are aware of his secret. Michael is a bully magnet, but one day while getting beat up he loses it and unleashes his secret weapon—the power to shock and electrocute people.

A pretty school cheerleader, Taylor, happens to be standing nearby and witnesses the whole thing. She also carries an important secret, and presses Michael to explain what he did. Taylor and Michael’s new friendship leads to a life-threatening course of events that involves everyone Michael holds dear, and opens up to him his background—why he is what he is.

Really, I loved this book. It’s a popular genre, but Richard Paul Evans is a New York Times bestselling author, so of course he does it well.

I really like the heavy moral dilemmas the heroes face. There are some very thought-provoking issues that make the reader squirm and question, what would I do in that situation? The villain is exceptionally well done, too. He’s practically Satan—sadistic, evil and scheming, but deceptive in a subtle, pleasantly packaged sort of way. When the going gets tough, he doesn’t stay loyal to his followers, either. He is a very realistic character.

One more bit of praise. As a mom I appreciate the way 14-year-old Michael is so respectful of his mother. He’s a good son in a matter-of-fact, unapologetic way, which is very cool. 

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