Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter Source:
Simon Pulse / Mercury Ink
Richard Paul Evans
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 is the first book in the Michael Vey series from #1 bestselling author Richard Paul Evans.
To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is just your average, ordinary fourteen-year-old. But Michael is anything but ordinary – in fact, he is electric. When Michael’s best friends, Ostin Liss and cheerleader Taylor Ridley, make an accidental discovery, the three of them learn that there are other kids with similar powers – and that someone, or something, is hunting them.
After Michael’s mother is kidnapped, Michael will have to rely on his wits, his unique power, and his friends to combat the hunters, free his mother, and save the others.
This is one of the best works of fiction I have read in some time. Richard Paul Evans hits it out of the park with this effort, a fantasy work which features realistic and memorable teen characters, who face evil in the form of a doctor and his staff who wish to control several "special" teens who have gained electrical and other powers. The evil Dr. Hatch sees them as forming an army of unstoppable warrirors who will do his bidding. This is not a short read at 326 pages, but well worth the effort.
Michael Vey is the main protagonist and is a typical fifteen-year old kid who hangs with his friend Ostin, which should have been "Austin" but was spelled differently, and a girl he has his eye on, cheerleader Taylor Ridley. The characters act as typical teens but Vey and Taylor share a common bond, they both have these "special" powers that only 15 others have had, as a result of their birth involving a certain machine. Many others died. The evil Dr. Hatch searches for the final missing two of the seventeen, namely Michael and Taylor. Michael's mother is kidnapped in an attempt to gain Michael's cooperation in helping the dastardly doctor reach his fiendish goals.
The book is masterfully crafted, a believable and interesting story with rich characters and is a wholesome read as well, without strong language, which is a refreshing change of pace. Yet potential readers should not be concerned about a possible dull story because of the wholesome language. There is plenty of action and angst-filled moments in the story, and interesting changes which occur to several of the characters. The fantasy element is very well handled and intriguing. And I enjoyed the humor. In one scene, a fat character named Ostin finds himself in an awkward situation and says it felt like being a twinkie on a salad bar.
There are some violent moments which do not cross our level of acceptability, such as characters being shot at or chased and there are characters who endure pain as a result of the "electrical" and mind powers of a few of the characters. It is for the mildly violent moments in this fantasy-based story that we recommend its reading for ages twelve and above, in addition to the fact that it is a story teens and young adults will enjoy a lot. One character can "reboot" other character's minds with her own mind. This story is imaginative reading for older adults as well who may wish to remember that "high school" feeling of being young and dealing with both awkward and great moments.
We believe that Richard Paul Evans, the author of "The Christmas Box" really showcases his talent in this wonderful fantasy story and we are pleased to award the book our Dove "Family-Approved" Seal in addition to five Doves, which is as good as it gets. A group of good guys is formed in this novel, the "Electroclan" and the book ends with a certain ending which is a bit open-ended and we are told another novel is coming. I want to read the next one!
Content Description: Sex: A student thinks his friend's mother is a "babe"; a boy kisses a girl on the forehead. Language: No strong language but a few comments like "duh" and "idiots"; a principal is referred to as "a tool"; a few "fat" and "butterball" comments aimed at a teen boy; the word "sucks" is used; "monkey butt". Violence: There are a few violent moments in this fantasy story, including some teens who try to "pants" a character by removing his pants but he zaps them with his special powers and stops them; a character is placed upside down in his locker; a character is thumped on the ear; a few characters have guns held on them and a woman is kidnapped; smoke grenades are used against bad guys; characters are chased and shot at; a few fights; several characters are zapped with pain by electrical powers of various characters and mind powers. Drugs: A teen smokes a cigarette; a brief scene with some drinking of beer; a teen girl is handed a beer but doesn't drink it. Nudity: A teen girl being examined is told to undress down to her underwear. Other: A character says she was playing a game called "Wizard" with her friends and cast a spell and some of her friends fell down and cried and couldn't remember what they were doing but this is the only incident like this and the character is one who has special powers, inherited from a machine, and is a compassionate girl who cares about others; a comment about the stars being aligned for a certain happening; a teen has a tattoo; various special powers such as rebooting people and a girl can bring happiness to people's minds.