Wednesday, October 12, 2011

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

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
The start of an action-packed teen series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans.To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has the same mysterious powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up with their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens—and through them, the world.

I enjoyed the story of Michael and all the other kids he encounters, some of whom share his powers over electricity. This book moves quickly, each chapter ends with a mini-cliff hanger to lead you on to the next chapter. 
Michael Vey is a character you can't help rooting for. He's picked on at school, he's got Tourette's syndrome, his Dad died when he was younger. I also liked his super intelligent and admittedly dorky best friend, Ostin. Michael's friend/love interest Taylor is a cheerleader but thankfully not the stereotypical YA mean girl cheerleader. She's smart and well liked and genuinely a nice person. And as a parent involved with adoption, I appreciated how adoption was portrayed in a positive light. Taylor was adopted as a baby and has a great life with her family. Another minor character mentions that while she is Chinese her parents are Caucasian because she was adopted. 
According to the book jacket, the author won an American Mother Book award. I don't know what that is, and can't find anything about it online, but I can see why this book would be mom-approved. There's nothing here to send up red flags for parents looking for something for their kids to read. There's no profanity, sex, drinking, or drug use. Michael and other characters learn to make right choices even when faced with easier alternatives. Some of the bad guys have a nice redemption arc and learn to not be bullies. If it weren't for the use of electrical torture...and there's a lot of it, although not too graphically described...I'd say this was more of a preteen book. And part of me still thinks it is, because even though the characters are fifteen, they all come across younger. The dialogue, the situations they face at school, it all just seems more twelve or thirteen to me. 
I liked the book, and it ended with enough wrap up to not leave me frustrated at being left hanging while waiting for the next in the series to come along.
Rating: 4 cupcakes
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