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March 08, 2016

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

Michael VeyMichael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

By: Richard Paul Evans

Michael Vey is a scrawny 14-year-old with Tourette’s syndrome who gets bullied mercilessly. But Michael has electrical powers; he can “zap” people although his mother makes him promise never to do it. He thinks he’s unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s nerdy best friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to find the reason Michael and Taylor ended up this way. This attracts the attention of a powerful group led by Hatch, an evil megalomaniac seeking to control the world through the “electric children”—seventeen in all. Mr. Hatch runs the Elgen Academy, where most of the seventeen are prisoners who have been brainwashed and tortured. Michael, Ostin, and Taylor end up there. It seems that readers either love or hate the book. The naysayers point to poor writing, flat characterization, and uninspired dialogue. Fans speak of how exciting and fast-paced the story is and how addicted they are to the series so far. I couldn’t put the book down, initially. Michael’s character and his relationship with his mom were very believable to me. And there was a lot of action. However, the dialogue got pretty trite and the latter third of the book was just very hard to believe. Neither did I appreciate Hatch and his neo-Nazi philosophy. There isn’t a single swear word within but cruelty is rampant. I’ll say ages 12-up.

Review By: Ellen Dworkin