Michael Vey delivers electrifying adventure

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Book 1) by Richard Paul Evans; published by Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink, New York, 2011; 326 pages.

NOTE: This review is based on an ARC (advance reading copy) provided for free by the publisher.  The publication information is subject to change.

Having Tourette’s syndrome and being small makes 14-year-old Michael Vey the perfect target for school bullies.  However, there is something different about Michael, something his mother has sworn him to keep secret.  He has powers.  Extraordinary powers.  Electrical powers.  When Taylor, a popular cheerleader, witnesses Michael defeat bullies, she shares that she has a similar gift.  Together with Michael’s friend Ostin, and help from some unlikely allies, Michael sets out to discover the source of his power.  The group, dubbed the Electroclan, discovers an evil secret that they will have to work together to defeat.

This is the first in a seven book series.  Typically, the first book in a series simply introduces characters, setting and story.  Michael Vey does an impressive job of developing characters and setting up the plot devices; but it does much more than that.  This book will hook reluctant readers.  As a librarian, I’m always on the look out for books that will appeal to this non-reading set.  I’m ecstatic when a book will appeal to a wide age range.  Michael Vey does that; while it’s appropriate for middle school readers, I think high school readers, especially those struggling with reading for pleasure, will devour this book.  Being a series is a welcome bonus; familiar characters, cliffhangers, and crazy villains will keep reluctant readers into the books until the end of the series.

The book is a solid choice for boys, reluctant readers especially, but it also offers some things to educators as well.  I could see this book as a co-curricular choice for language arts and science or health classes.  If selected for classroom reading, the website for the book (http://www.michaelvey.com/) includes a book trailer, a homeschool toolkit, and a curriculum guide for teachers.

5P     4Q     Grade Level: 6-10

Cover art:  Electric blues and lightning flashes will draw tweens and teens to the cover.  The lightning-bolt “i” in the title helps define the genre.

From Reading List: The Way It Could Be (Science Fiction or Fantasy)

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ANIMATOR
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 20:48:57

    This book is Epic. (spoiler alert) Despite the cover, its not really about Cell 25. Cell 25 scenes only last for about 10-15 pages.

  2. singandread
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 06:39:06

    yea, another series since i just finished all of alex rider’s books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Nora
    Oct 01, 2011 @ 07:31:26

    adding to list of recommended books!!! sequel comes out when?

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