Friday, September 30, 2011

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

You may begin to see fewer reviews from me as it gets closer to my second baby's due date. I have just a month left, so I've been "nesting" and cleaning and not doing a lot of reading. But when I finally got around to starting the next book on my list, it didn't take me long to finish it. Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25, by Richard Paul Evans, was recommended to me by my father-in-law and brother-in-law. They'd read it after hearing about it from conservative radio and talk show host Glenn Beck, whose publishing house, along with Simon Pulse, had printed it.

Michael Vey is young adult science fiction with a male teen protagonist who should draw in a male readership (although, I enjoyed this book, too). Michael Vey, himself, is a seemingly average kid whose only apparent differences are that he has Tourette's syndrome (which manifests itself in involuntary facial tics rather than swearing; I didn't know it could do that) and an unlucky penchant for drawing notice from bullies. He's picked on wherever he goes, and he's been around. He's been in this town long enough to have a close friend, a brilliant, though nerdy, kid named Ostin, so it's imperative that he keep his secret from getting out. And what is his secret? He could stop all the bullying in every school he's been to, if he wanted, if he dared...because Michel Vey is electric. He can electrocute someone with a touch, which is just what he does when he finally gets sick of taking the abuse. But this mistake draws the exact unwanted attention his mother has been trying to protect him from all these years. Someone has been looking for the electric kids, all seventeen of them, and when he finds them, he has the power to force them to obey his will. Michael's bullying problems have really only just begun.

This is a fun mutant/superhero story. The idea is creative and sounds well-researched, even if it might not be. Michael is the sweetest kid, but he has steel in him, too. The story is a fantastic example of real good versus evil, not this wishy-washy become-evil-to-fight-evil stuff. With great power may come great responsibility, but that doesn't mean you sacrifice your morals along the way. Michael Vey doesn't. And the book has great themes of forgiveness in it.

All around, it's an awesome story for teens, and it has little for me to complain about. The only thing I have is something a writer would notice. The book is dialog heavy and probably more detailed, especially in the dialog, than it needs to be. Seemingly nonessential dialog is often included, probably to make it seem more realistic. But aside from being noticeable, it doesn't slow down the story much. At the end, there was a lot of detailed action going on, which could have been a problem if I had tried to understand it all. Instead, I just kept reading, and I got the whole gist of it. It's all very logical, but sometimes the reader doesn't need to see exactly how you get from point A to point B. But this is also a writing style, and just because it's not my favorite doesn't mean the story isn't good. And it is good.

So, get on down to your local bookstore for Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25. This book would make a great gift for any teenage boy. Or, if you don't know any teenage boys, your dad might like it, too.

Additional Note: I apologize to my readers that I haven't been able to post book pictures or links to Amazon recently. My easy little widget for adding those things quit working, so I may have to start doing it the old-fashioned way.

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention the first time that this is the first book in a series, so while it has a satisfactory ending for the beginning of the story, it doesn't end the story.

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